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 Post subject: Working for Water
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:33 pm 
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Now over December I noticed on the road between Lower Sabie and Skukuza a patch were branches had been cut of the thorn trees ( took photos). Asked the ranger on the night drive and his explanation were " possibly to clear the road" but I could see he did not believe this. Also, the branches that was cut were no where to be seen - I thought it was policy that if they were cut these branches were to be left in the veld. Any comments or explanation on this..

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:42 pm 
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Working for Water seem to have a program clearing unnatural growth next to the tar roads. Runoff rainwater tends to produce unnatural growth in these areas. I have seen this done on the H1-2.

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Last edited by niknak on Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:46 pm 
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Was this perhaps Sickle Bush, I asked the same question and was told it was alien and invasive :?
I hope not as I love those lantern like flowers.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:34 am 
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Location: Gauties .
Sickle bush is indigenous to parts of Southern Africa.
It only invades areas that are overgrazed and open, and is considered invasive by farmers as it will grow easily on ploughed open fields .
I suppose one could consider it a pioneer tree as it establishes quickly on hostile open ground, and then allows slower growing trees to establish themselves later on.

They do clear and remove some vegetation along the roads as niknak says , because of extra growth due to road runoff .

Can you post a picture of the tree ?


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:25 pm 
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Here are 2 pictures that I took.

Imgs lost

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:10 pm 
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Location: Gauties .
I can't really make out the tree type from the photo , although I must say that they do look pretty close to the road .

The biggest issue of them I suppose is that the open sided safari vehicles could easily get a passenger hurt by thorns on branches growing close to the road edge .
It would also clutter up the road sides if all the dead branches from these sort of trees were left there .


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:14 am 
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Sickle Bush is very much indigenous. The Safari Vehicles are all closed in anyway in Kruger with barely space to poke ot a lens so different from completely open vehicles outside the Park where its everyman for himself with the thorn bushes and none get trimmed for that reason.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:21 am 
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In areas where the added nutrients and water runoff from the tar roads promotes growth that is not natural to the area and that creates a barrier to game viewing “Working for Water” appear to be cutting the growth back a couple of meters from the edge of the roads. I have seen evidence of this on a number of roads over the past four or five years. Often the bush and trees are cut back to a few inches of the ground and then the stumps painted with a substance that has different colors. These stumps are visible for a while until the grasses in these areas grow. :? :?

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:08 am 
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Hi Forum Folks

You've pretty much summed it up here folks. Unfortunately I got the red crosses instead of the photographs so I can't say for certain in this particular instance what trees they were, but our Working 4 Water teams do take out trees where rain run-off has made what we call a bush curtain.

One of the most obvious examples of this bush curtain can be seen on the road between Letaba and Mopani camps, where the Mopani trees on the sides of the road are probably double the size of the rest of the trees. As this is unnatural, we have a system in place where every 2nd/3rd/4th tree is removed (depending on intensity of growth).

Remember that these trees will soak up more moisture than normal, thus not letting moisture get to the other vegetation behind them, thus creating infinite problems with erosion (and so it snowballs).

There are obvious other benefits to controlling this "bushcurtain", most notably the benefits of being able to see better from the road, but I can assure you the primary reason for removing those trees is so that we can make those areas more natural (in spite of the impact of the "man-made" road).

The colours that you see painted on the stumps are to prevent the tree growing again.

Hope that explains.

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KNP Spokesman

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:12 am 
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Thanks KNP Spokesman,
also noticed a lot of this cutting of branches back on the H11, Skukuza/Kruger gate road this last week.
Must say it does look a bit strange when first seen. :?

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:56 am 
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Thanks for the reply Guru - I can imagine the fancy car drivers getting upset about scratches. The trees that we saw were on the Lower Sabie - Skukuza road. The cutoffs were not painted, and some of the trees seemed rather far from the road. I have the photographs and can email them to you.

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