Plant a tree to make a difference

Triston Marinus preparing to plant a sand olive tree donated by Alfonso Sands of Diep River.

Even though National Arbor Week, in the first week of September, has passed, you can still plant a tree.

The Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET) in Westlake is encouraging Capetonians to plant trees in their gardens throughout the month of September.

“It is such a great activity for your whole family to be involved in, and a perfect occasion and tool to educate your children on trees and their roles in providing oxygen and clean air to the environment, among the other benefits,” said Jacki Sands, from CTEET.

On Saturday, September 5, three students from CTEET’s conversation leadership programme planted trees, donated by Diep River residents, in the Parkwood community garden.

Nico van Wyk, Anastacia-Lee Mathee and Triston Marinus have been part of the programme for three years, and their mission was to raise awareness of the importance of “greening” urban spaces.

Ms Sands said that apart from being beautiful and providing shade, trees cleaned the air and produced oxygen and their roots prevented erosion and helped soil retain water. They were also important habitats for animals and birds and lowered people’s heart rates and stress levels.

If you do not have a garden, you can donate a tree to a community garden or an organisa= tion that is planting trees this month.

“We call upon all citizens of Cape Town to join in.

“If everyone plants at least one tree, it will make all the difference in the world,” Ms Sands said.