Friday, 1 August 2008

The Corner Cafe Hearts Street Trees

This tree gets a new heart despite its decayed heartwood

Durban is quite well known for its abundant well established street trees. The Flamboyant (By name and description) creates an incredible display in Summer with its masses of red flowers. Its flowers take over from where the more serene purple blooms of the Jacaranda end. At the moment the Tabebuia are blooming in splashes of pink and yellow that seem to fall to the floor around the trees like a matching carpet. Other trees that stand out are Tibouchina and Spathodea, while the ever green Trichelia (Essenwoods/Natal Mahogany) and the canopy-forming Albizia (Flatcrown) are some of the few indigenous trees used to line our streets.

Unfortunately, some of these trees that were planted about half a century ago, are starting to reach the end of their lives. There have been a few cases lately of cars being flattened by their huge branches, as the heartwood has rotted away, or white ants have taken what strength is left in their limbs.

So it warmed my cockles to see a tree that had been recently felled because its core had decayed, being given new life by The Corner Cafe. A huge big heart was sculpted out of one of its now well shortened branches by the members of the Tree Amigos - a tree felling company from Durban.
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