Home of the Champion Trees | iinfo TZANEEN

Eucalyptus saligna situated in the Woodbush Forest Estate, Magoebaskloof, Tzaneen, ranked as the tallest trees in the Southern hemisphere and the tallest trees in Africa

Tzaneen and its surrounding areas are the proud hosts of as many as 10 of the Champion Trees in South Africa. And what are Champion Trees exactly? 
 
The Champion Tree Project was born on a sunny day in the spring of 2002, when the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry initiated a project to identify and safeguard trees worthy of special protection throughout South Africa. Champion Trees are significant because of their remarkable size, age, or aesthetic, cultural, historic and tourism value.
 
Here is the list of the 10 Champion trees in Tzaneen and surrounding areas:
 
1.       Plantland Baobab (“The bar tree”) - situated on a private farm near Modjadjiskloof, this giant has a record trunk circumference of over 33m. The tree hosts an inside bar and a cellar. Although the tree no longer serves as a pub it is still fully equipped with benches and a bar counter for many curious visitors to explore.
 
2.       King of Ga-Ratjeke (“Baobab”) – This third-largest tree stands hidden between the houses in the dusty village of Ga-Ratjeke, Modjadjiskloof. The tree was spotted a few years ago by big-tree enthusiasts. The tree has a height of 23,5m and a huge trunk circumference of 25,8m.
 
3.       The Kurisa Moya Forest Giant – The leading the pack of the giant forest trees in Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge, situated on the western outskirts of the Magoebaskloof range is this giant cabbage tree, with a height of 35m and a trunk circumference of 11,66m. Many hikers tend to stop in their tracks to inspect this significant tree
 
4.       Commonwealth Plantation (“Grey Ironbark”) – This champion tree is located near Haenertsburg and was originally planted as an experimental plot but henceforth became known as the Commonwealth Plantation. The tree has a height of 70m. 
 
5.       Magoebaskloof Giants (“Saligna Gum”) – these trees are known to be the highest trees in Africa and can be found naer Haenertsburg. Famous for the three tall-standing Saligna Gum trees, this trio holds the record for being the tallest planted trees in the Southern Hemisphere as well as the tallest trees in Africa. These trees has a remarkable height of 81,5m.
 
6.       Westfalia Showblock (“Saligna Gum”) – Famous Geologist and Prospector, Dr. Hans Merensky, has these trees on his farm called Westfalia, near Modjadjiskloof.  When he passed, these trees were maintained by the Merensky Foundation and stands tall with a height of up to 70m.
 
7.       The O’Connor Tree Avenue (“Saligna Gum”) – In the early 1930’s forestry pioneer, Alexander James O’Connor planted this lane of Saligna Gumtrees in Haenertsburg which over the years grew to a significant height of 71m. These Champion trees is in the same estate as the Magoebaskloof Giants.
 
8.       Misty Grove (“Californian Redwood”) - Also located in Haenertsburg, this tree is found among the company of the Magoebaskloof Giants and catches the beautiful sight of the seasonal mist that drifts through Magoebaskloof. The tree has a height of 59m
 
9.       The Three Matrons (“Flase Weymouth Pine”) - Close to the Magoebaskloof Giants near Haenertsburg are the three famous False Weymouth Pine trees named The Three Matrons. Planted in 1914, these trees has a height of 49,2m and have grown to rare dimensions of pine trees.
 
10.   Merenskry Lane (“Saligna Gum”) – Also planted by Dr. Hans Merensky in the Westfalia Estate, Modjadjiskloof, is the lane of Saligna Gum trees that was planted in the early 1930’s and reaches up to 70m tall.  A scenic monument. 
 
Tzaneen and its surrounding areas is the ideal place for curious big-tree enthusiast to come and explore.
 
Make it your goal to visit the sights of all these big trees. A definite must!

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