Guide to TREES introduced into Southern Africa By Hugh Glen and Braam van Wyk

ISBN 9781775841258
Recommended Price R390.00
Published by Struik Nature, June 2016


About the book
Southern Africa is home to more than 2 000 introduced (not indigenous) trees. These non-native species are encountered daily and form a familiar part of our urban landscapes, growing successfully in parks, gardens, along road sides, and in other open spaces. This guide features nearly 600 of the most common and familiar of these and, using the same model of identification as Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa, facilitates ID based on leaf and stem features. The book provides the country of origin for each species and offers key information on cultivation and uses. Each entry is supported by colour images that depict key features, and a shaded map that shows the plant's cold tolerance (where the species can grow). An essential guide for landscapers and gardeners as well as tree enthusiasts who will struggle to find these trees in their guide to indigenous trees.

Ferdi's impression of the book
In a dark and turbulent time in our country when sometimes one cannot see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, when destruction; nepotism; corruption; collapse; poverty; and dictatorships seem to be winning the battle, you come across people like Hugh Glen and Braam van Wyk - People who are passionate about something beautiful. In this case the almost 2 000 species of trees which adorn our towns and cities.

Most humans have a love relationship with trees. How often have I seen a tree and, enchanted by it, told it how beautiful it is, feeling quite sure it must be able to sense my gratitude. And, naturally, these are usually 'introduced' trees that catch my eye. Probably because they are planted near where I live, and also because some of them are so regal.

But that is me. However, I don't believe there is a human being who doesn't appreciate the shade of a mature tree on a hot day, or the beauty of a street filled with flowering Jacarandas, or looking down a lane of majestic oak trees in spring.

In Durban the Natal Mahogany was planted as a street tree more than 100 years ago. These have become such incredible landmarks in the Durban landscape that, when the streets were widened, they were curved around the trees.

We live in a fascinating and diverse country, not only do we have more than 2 000 indigenous trees, we also have more than 2 000 'introduced' trees from around the world. England has only 20 indigenous trees, and Europe a mere 80. They only need a pamphlet to identify their trees while, in our beautiful country, only experts and the learned have been able to easily identify a tree, that is, until this guide was published.

The authors have used the same system that they applied in the Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa to help readers easily identify a tree, based on leaf and stem features. It is this system which is key to the success of Guide to Trees introduced into Southern Africa and should be read in conjunction with How to Identify Trees in Southern Africa. I know my life will be enriched by understanding my surroundings better.
Tree planting has taken on a whole new dimension.