We all love trees – be it in our backyards or the beautiful jacarandas we admire while driving through the neighbourhood. But with different categories of trees – indigenous, alien, native – do you know the difference?
Gumtree breaks it down for you.
- Trees that have evolved and grown naturally in an area or region are categorised as indigenous trees.
- These trees usually attract more fauna and are more drought-resistant and hardy than others.
- The most famous South African indigenous varieties include the Kei Apple (Dovyalis caffra), the Tree Wisteria (Bolusanthus speciosus), The Fever Tree (Vachellia xanthophloea), Bladdernut or Swartbas (Diospyros whyteana) and Fuschia (Halleria lucida).
- Indigenous trees are more resistant to diseases and do not require as much care and maintenance as others.
- These trees also enhance the quality of soil and surroundings they are planted in.
- Alien trees include plants and trees that have been brought into a region from another. Thus, they have not naturally evolved and are simply transported from a country to another.
- Also known as invasive alien plants, they guzzle up much more water than indigenous trees. In South Africa, these trees have reduced mean annual runoff by 1.4 billion m3!
- These trees can adversely affect the quality of soil nutrients and they do not attract local wildlife as indigenous plants do.
- The most commonly found alien trees in South Africa include Bugweed (Solanum mauritianum), Port Jackson’s Willow (Acacia saligna), Tree of Hell (Ailanthus altissima), Australian Albizia (Paraserianthes lophantha), Strawberry Guava (Psidium cattleianum), Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) and Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans)