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Media Release: Big trees in the Garden Route

03 September 2013

The Garden Route National Park is home to yellowwood trees that have been around for more than 8 centuries.  The Outeniqua yellowwood tree in Woodville is a huge, tall tree that is about 31 meters. It is believed to be over 800 years old.

The 800 year old Diepwalle Big tree survived the unsustainable methods of harvesting post the 1939 era. 

The Outeniqua yellowwood in Tsitsikamma is also estimated to be over 800 years old. It is close to 40 meters high and about 9 meters in diameter. 

Bird life around these trees is spectacular and rare indigenous birds live off the yellowwoods for food and shelter, including and not limited to the Cape Parrot, the Knysna Turaco, Knysna Loerie and African pigeon. Mammals found around the trees are monkeys, bushpigs, bats and rodents.

Yellowwood trees are protected under the National Forests Act of 1998 and may not be cut, damaged, destroyed or disturbed without a licence. SANParks has a management plan to effectively manage the trees in the forest, using various scientific research methods. These include monitoring forest and forest gap dynamics. The plan also details plant species of conservation concern and charts a way forward for cultural resource management. Of the 157 000 hectares of Park land managed by SANParks, 40, 500 hectares are indigenous forests. 

Entry fees to see the trees range from R17 for adults and R9 for children. During SA National Parks Week, entrance is free to all South African citizens.

"Like a mighty king it stood towering above the white alder and mountain saffron, stinkwood, assegai and hard pear. As if God had planted it long before the others. Its giant roots anchored it to the ground like giant arms."
 - Dalene Matthee - Circles in a Forest, 1984.

Issued by:
South African National Parks (SANParks) Garden Route National Park Communications
Tel: 044 302 5633

Nandi Mgwadlamba
Regional Communications Manager 
Tel: 044 302 5633; Cell: 078 702 9663