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An Environmental Initiative to Protect Johannesburg's Trees

Our Urban Forest:
It's about the trees

The city of Johannesburg has a unique quality of being one of the largest urban forests in the world.

We are proud of our natural surroundings and the people of Johannesburg place a high value on our gardens and natural areas.

It is indeed the natural beauty of this man-made forest that makes the views and overall experience so exceptional.

But the exceptional view of this forest... is changing

Our trees are dying

What is the problem

In Johannesburg we are sitting in the epicenter of an invasive pest that is killing thousands of our trees, including exotic and indigenous trees.

The Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB) is currently infesting over 200 tree species around the country.

This tiny beetle, the size of a sesame seed does not itself kill the tree, rather it is the fungus that accompanies the beetle and grows in the borer tunnel.

This fungus impacts the trees vascular system and inhibits the flow of water and nutrients within the tree.

What is the solution

There is no way in which the PHSB invasion in South Africa can be stopped. However, some treatments and management strategies can reduce its impact.

At present no chemical product is registered (legal) to use on PSHB in South Africa.

Can you and I become the envoy to inform the public of the PSHB, by being present at the Johannesburg International Flower Show?

By creating a display of a tree, we will bring awareness to people on how to look after this natural asset of our city.

Artists impression of the 3D tree

Proposal: An Environmental Initiative

Emely van Heesch-Smith to provide:

  1. A specialist design that will depict a tree, made by using flowers and natural materials, showing the healthy and the affected tree.
  2. Having Arborists and other leading informed experts on hand to inform the public on how to manage infected trees and limit the spread of the beetle.
I am offering a unique design, whereby this sculpture can be reconstructed again after the show and used in other exhibitions and events, without using fresh flowers again.

Sponsor to provide:

  1. Potential sponsoring partnership to the Floral Designer in the Grand Pavilion of Flowers at the Johannesburg International Flower Show.
  2. Estimated Costs: Implementation of the floral design exhibit: R135 000 – R155 000. A cost breakdown has been prepared.

And in doing so, promote the Sponsor as a trusted and responsible corporate citizen by showing its concern with regard to this natural resource of our city, the country’s indigenous forests, as well as our fruit and nut trees.

Contact me about getting involved in this project

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