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Trees

As I drove from Doornbosch to the other side of the farm, Kouderivier, I couldn’t help but stop and admire the
beautiful old oak trees. I sat in the shade of that canopy of green and marvelled at the trees own private
cooling system. What foresight our ancestors had, especially here in the Overberg where the seemingly
inhospitable sandy soils and windy plains are not inducive to lush green forests. Establishing trees here is very
difficult and much attention is needed in the early days, including regular watering and nourishment.

Trees are fundamental to life, they provide shade for livestock, habitat for innumerable plant and animal
species, windbreaks for both crops and livestock. The Overberg winters are harsh and many a young lamb or
calf has been saved by trees or shrubs that offer protection for those first wet, cold hours of their lives. Why do
farmers let their livestock calve and lamb in winter in the Overberg – well that is when rain falls and the
pastures provide the most food for their mothers. Without pastures and hay, the milk production dries up!

Alien trees are a major issue in the area, especially those that are invasive, and these include, Australian
myrtle, port Jackson, rooikrans, and pines to name a few. Early pioneers thought they were helping with
problems such as dune stabilisation but unfortunately have created major issues. Wildfires in the hot summer
months are every farmer’s nightmare, and annual planning is necessary to try and prevent such catastrophic
events.

If you are not strolling through the fynbos or sheltering under the trees at Doornbosch, you could visit Platbos
indigenous forest, a 20minute drive through Baardskeerdersbos, towards Uilenkraal. This unique forest
combines two different forest types, a coastal forest species including milkwood, pock ironwood and sea guarri
as well as Afromontane species such as wild peach and white stinkwood. Make the most of your visit to
Doornbosch and discover these hidden gems in the Overberg