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Tree: Jakkalsbessie (Diospyros mespiliformis)

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richardharris
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Tree: Jakkalsbessie (Diospyros mespiliformis)

Unread postby richardharris » Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:15 pm

I tend to visit the mid to northern part of the Park but January 2004 we went south!

On the road between Lower Sabie and Crocodile Bridge (S4-2) somewhere after the H5 junction there are two huge trees - on the right when going towards Crocodile Bridge. About 100 yards to the side of the road. Very large tree with dark green lush leaves. Would love to know what they are - never knowingly seen them anywhere else.

Richard

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Unread postby Imberbe » Tue Sep 13, 2005 12:52 am

You are quite right that it is almost impossible to answer your question, especially since there are quite a few large trees growing in that area. One that comes to mind is the Sycamore Fig, with its lovely yellowish bark.

The tree you are referring to is probably the Jackal-Berry (Diospyros mespiliformis) which do grow in that area, and especially next to rivers and drainage lines. They can reach 20 meters in height, and have a huge trunk with a dark and rough bark.

The Jackal-berry is known for its large amount of green berries, which ripen into a yellow fruit after about a year on the tree. This is taken by birds, babboons, antelope, jackal etc. The fruit is also used by humans for medicinal purposes. It can be eaten, but having tried it, I cant really say that it is very pleasant.

I will have a look next time I visit that area!

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Jakkalsbessie
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Re: Probably impossible question

Unread postby Jakkalsbessie » Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:36 am

richardharris wrote: Very large tree with dark green lush leaves. Would love to know what they are - never knowingly seen them anywhere else.

Richard


It could be a Jackalberry (Jakkalsbessie :lol: ) as they can become HUGE trees and they do have darkish green leaves during January.
The leaves of the Sycamore tend to be more lighter green.

The other one i would suggest it could be is the Natal Mahogany (Trichilia emetica, *Rooi Essenhout*) This large, evergreen has a wide spreading crown which casts dense shade. The handsome leaves are a glossy dark green. The bark is smooth and is dark brown to grey in colour. This is a deciduous tree, which can grow up to 20m tall.
I know there is lots of them between Lower Sabie and Croc. bridge.

Sorry I can't find nice pics now... maybe when you have time look up these 3 in a book (or internet) and see if you recognise the 1 you are looking for... and let us know then maybe we can suggest 1 or 2 more.
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richardharris
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Unread postby richardharris » Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:35 pm

From your suggestions and looking at some pictures I suspect they were Natal Mahogany. The glossy dark green leave and overall shape and size are the main pointers.

But the book seems to imply they can be found over most of the park and even in most of the main camps. So I am still not sure why they stood out so much on that road in January. Perhaps they were two huge specimens that could not be missed!

Thanks

Richard

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Unread postby Imberbe » Mon Oct 03, 2005 9:03 pm

Hallo All!

Back from KNP! :(

And here is the definitife answer!

Natal Mahogony? No! Not even one in sight! Lots along the Sabie river though.

Lots of big Leadwood, Sycamore Fig, Apple-leaf etc. in the area.

But the mystery tree is:

Big and beautifull Jackalberry! :P Two huge trees! Wish I could get closer though. Must be full of live! And maybe a Leopard or two?
:wink:

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Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:19 pm

How big are the berries of the Jakkelbessie?
I think I might have one in my garden. It is a most lovely tree and really very big. The leaves are dark green and shiny.
Once I have my camera rigged up (and I have learnt how to post photos :redface: ) I will send a photo.
At the moment it is dropping new berries everywhere.
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Unread postby Imberbe » Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:23 pm

The berry is up to 25 mm in diameter.
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Unread postby Jakkalsbessie » Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:46 am

Hi MM,

To be perfectly honest IMHO I doubt if it is a Jackalberry…
:? I have yet to see one in a garden and outside the Bushveld.
AS Imberbe said the berries are 20 - 25mm.
Bit more features… the bark is dark brown, rough, fissured and peeling in thin sections on older branches.
The leaves have a dull shine and the young leaves have a reddish colour.

My guess would be that it MIGHT rather be some type of Ficus (and will then most probably have a grey trunk :wink: )
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arks
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Jackal berry

Unread postby arks » Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:04 am

Here are my next mystery tree.

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Unread postby Senyetse » Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:23 am

Hi Arks :)

Quite difficult to ID but I think this is a Jackal berry Diospyros mespiliformes.
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miershope en jakkalsbessies

Unread postby Johnny Joe » Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:28 pm

Ek sou opmerk dat in die Punda omgewing en ook soos ons suid beweeg het deur die wildtuin dat daar 'n groot aantal Jakkalsbessies is met reuse miershope om hulle stambasisse - is daar al vasgestel hoe hierdie sou gebeur - het die miershope gevorm nadat die boom bv begin vrugte dra het, of het die boom ontkiem uit saad wat in die nes ingedra is - help n bietjie uit hier asseblief

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Re: miershope en jakkalsbessies

Unread postby JenB » Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:07 pm

Hi Johnny Joe,

Welkom by die forum!
(Translation: Welcome to the forum)

Translation:
I noticed around Punda and also as we moved south through the Park that there are a huge amount of Jackalberries with large anthills around their bases - is there a way to determine how this would happen - did the anthills form after the tree started bearing fruit or did the tree grow from seed that was taken into the nes? Please help?


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Imberbe
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Re: miershope en jakkalsbessies

Unread postby Imberbe » Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:37 pm

I have often heard speculation ... would be interesting to know whether there has been studies done ...
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Re: miershope en jakkalsbessies

Unread postby Rooies » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:15 am

JJ, we still owe you an answer, so here it goes;

The Jackal Berry tree is found throughout Africa, from the Sudan to Namibia and in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. It is most commonly found on savanna woodlands where it can be found growing on termite mounds. In heavy soils the termite mounds provide the tree with aerated soil, and a source of moisture. The roots provide protection for termites, who don't eat the living wood. Jackalberry wood is almost termite resistant after it has been cut down.
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Re: miershope en jakkalsbessies

Unread postby Johnny Joe » Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:18 pm

Thanx - so it's actually a symbiosis thing between the tree and the ants - any reason for the predominance of the Jackalberry then?


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