Instant Tips
Latex
Introduction Flower-Groups vs Solitary Flowers Flower-Group Types Described by TheTreeApp Flower-groups according to how they join the woody plant part Solitary flowers; on one flower-stalk; not grouped in any way Clustered / fascicled; a number of single flowers; each on a single flower-stalk; at one point on wood Unbranched / branched collection; on one flower-group-stalk Tight spike Tight Ball/Hedgehog Pincushion like: Flower-group Protea (Protea / Pincushion / Pagoda-tree) Cone-Bush (Leucadendron) Sunflower-like & Thistle-like: Daisy Family None of the above Flower groups; By Family / Genus Aloe: Ball or Spike-like Flowers Inside Fig 'Fruit' Protea (Protea / Pincushion / Pagoda-tree) Hakea, Boekenhout, Silky-oak Cone-Bush (Leucadendron) Strelitzia Sunflower-like & Thistle-like: Daisy Family Tree-euphorbia None of the above Individual, Single Flower Types 1. Corolla nor calyx fused; no cup or tube present; single or multi-layered Star-shaped Poppy-like 2. Corolla or calyx fused Cup-/bell-shaped Tube-/trumpet-shaped 3. Other flower types 3.1 Too small to see easily without a lens 3.2 Pincushion-like individual flowers 3.3 Sweet-pea-like 3.4 Tiny flowers inside a fig 3.5 Tree-euphorbia 3.6 Unusual Visibility: Reproductive Parts: without damaging flower Mature single flower; Reproductive Parts: dominant colour: without damaging flower Single mature flower; Non-Reproductive Parts; when dominant colour is NOT green; no damage Single mature flower; Non-Reproductive Parts; when dominant colour is green; no damage
Working For Water

YouTube Link

TheTreeApp: Instant Tips

  1. Read the Help section on the Home screen.
    This will speed up your competence immediately.
  2. Play with your app as much/as often as you can.
    Learn its language and style; browse through its innumerable features, so that – before you have any real tree in your sights – you know what it is capable of doing, with you as the driver.
  3. Practice on plants in your garden.
    Do this without any intention of getting to the name of a species. Simply learn how to navigate through all the options. There are so many combinations and choices.
  4. Enjoy what you are doing and do not be anxious as you play and practice.
    You cannot hurt, harm or break it; you cannot change the programming; there is no right and wrong as long as there is pleasure in the discovery of trees.
  5. Set up the app to suit you.
    Go to Settings on the Home screen and choose your languages as well as the type of Grouping that match your skill level. Do not hesitate to experiment.
  6. Location is one of TheTreeApp's most unique, powerful features.
    This too is an arena of experimentation and pleasure. Very few other entries will reduce your Tree Search List faster and more effectively than some of the options you have here. Play with them all.
  7. Use Location in various ways.
    It allows you: to get lists at your current location; to plan ahead for traveling; to work out gardening possibilities elsewhere; to investigate indigenous and invasive ratios anywhere in the country.
  8. There is NO set order for searching.
    This is especially true in the early days. As you become more proficient you will develop your own methods that are unique to you.
  9. Once you know what the app has to offer, you will learn to look at a tree and decide quickly where to start.
    This may be via leaves, growth form or woody features. Often it is flowers, fruit or thorns.
  10. Look at the elements on a few different twigs and work out what is the most striking, unusual feature.
    This may be the serrated leaf edge; or the heart-shaped lower quarter of the leaf. It could be a purple flower or a fleshy round fruit. Start there!
  11. In the Search, if you feel confused about wording, use the little Info icon on the top green bar, as well the one next to the Search line you are reading.
    This will explain what TheTreeApp has planned, with data loaded, for that Search item.
  12. Leave out any section where you are unsure of the accuracy of your choice.
    This could be because the tree you are looking at is variable in that feature; it may be that that species does not have clear cut, reliable features in that category. Not all trees will be crystal clear in all attributes. Some may be confusing. Move on!
  13. At the end of some categories or sub-categories we use a hash# to indicate that this section is less reliable than most.
    This is usually because the species in this section tend to be more variable; but it can be that the data were hard to collect and verify.
  14. Use ++ categories last in your Search
    Be ready to go to Review to undo any entry if it seems to be misleading.
  15. If you are unsure what box to tick ANY category while doing a Search, rather leave it empty and simply move on. There is no rule that says you must fill in each tick box.
  16. If you have ended the Search but do not seem to have the right tree, start again.
    Go back a step using Revert, and check the new trees that enter the list; try a different order; leave out ANY sections where you are not totally sure of your entry.
  17. Use the illustrations and Info text by flicking/flipping through them as a comparison series.
    Especially when you do not seem to have the right tree when you have reached the end of a search, look through all the trees remaining in the list really carefully.
  18. Add a sighting.
    Once you have identified a tree, add it as a sighting and build up a list of trees you recognise.
  19. TheTreeApp is an invaluable source of information.
    Take out some extra tree-leisure time, even indoors at home, and read through a few texts of well-known trees. You will pick up some very interesting facts that will add to everyone’s pleasure on your next outdoor experience.
  20. Indigenous trees in artificial environments and, by definition, aliens too, are not necessarily mapped where you have found them.
    Try searching Location on RSA i.e. without the Current Location.
  21. Updates for more alien species.
    In this edition TheTreeApp has only been able to cover some of the most significant invasive alien species. There are a number of other important woody aliens that are widely grown and valuable and these will be included in updates.

Now, enjoy your highly informative and fun journey with TheTreeApp.




Overview


Introduction to the App

TheTreeApp is a smart mobile device app that makes it possible for you to identify and learn a great deal about South Africa's 1 000 larger indigenous tree species, as well as 130 invasive and most threatening alien trees.

It has a massive, content-rich database that contains textual information, maps, paintings, illustrations, photographs and instructive material for you to learn from and enjoy.

What sets this app apart is that it makes it possible for you to establish a positive identification of a tree in the field using an innovative, intuitive and interactive smart Tree Search process, as well as GPS functionality.



Introduction to the Tree Search

TheTreeApp has a custom-built and tested smart Tree Search function that allows you to explore our comprehensive database to identify South African trees of over 3 m tall in a natural area. This powerful, rapid and highly intuitive search function provides you with more than just a keyword search – such as those in Google and in other simpler e-book apps; instead, it makes it possible for even beginners to be guided through a user-friendly, step-by-step category selection process that progressively narrows down the possible number of trees.

On concluding the interactive Tree Search process, the app provides a relatively short list of tree species, which you can then compare with the art and texts for each tree, to determine the correct identity. If a longer list remains, then the comprehensive data – including distribution maps for each species – still make it possible for you to establish a positive identification, at very least to genus level.

Once a species has been pinpointed, the app provides textual information and images – both paintings and illustrations – of the tree for you to enjoy and learn from.

Furthermore, our mapping technology allows you to search for the identity of only those trees that occur in your chosen place. GPS functionality enables the app to list trees in a ±12.5 km radius of where you are, or any location you have selected. If there is no GPS signal, onboard maps are used so there is no need to be connected to the internet to use the app.




Getting Started


Home Screen

The Home screen contains the main menu of the app. You can navigate to any of the screens/functions from this screen.

pic To navigate back to the Home screen at any time, tap the Home icon in the top left corner of most screens.
pic Android only: Tap the back button on your device at any time to return to the previous screen.

Please note that due to the numerous phones and phone designs, the back button may look different, or appear in a different position on your device.


pic

The Home screen has 8 menu items, namely:




Home Screen Menu Items

pic

LOCATION

pic

Tapping the Location icon on the Home screen opens the Location screen.

From the Location screen, you can select the area within which you would like to search.

Note: It is recommended that you select your location before moving on to the Tree Search screen.


This screen contains 4 icons:

pic

Select
Search any location of your choosing.

Tapping the Select icon opens a map of South Africa. All the trees in the app are mapped. Tap any point on the map to open a reduced list of trees at that specific location.

pic

Current
Search at the location where you are currently.

Tapping the Current icon opens a reduced list of trees that occur near and around your current location. Your exact location is calculated using the GPS functionality of your phone so please be sure the GPS functionality is turned on.

pic

South Africa
Search within the whole of South Africa.

Mapping on the South Africa icon opens the full Tree List for South Africa.

Use this list when identifying trees along roads, in gardens and in parks, as these tend to be planted by humans. As a result, the trees for that specific location are not necessarily accurately recorded by TheTreeApp.

pic

Reserves
Search within a particular reserve or park.

Tapping the Reserve icon opens a list of registered reserves, conservation areas, parks, and gardens. This list is arranged by province.

Selecting a particular reserve or park, opens a reduced list of trees that occur in the reserve/park.

After you have selected a Location, move on to the Tree Search.



pic

TREE SEARCH

Tapping the Tree Search icon on the Home screen opens the Tree Search screen.

pic

This screen displays the following major categories:

  • Growth Form
  • Woody Features
  • Thorns
  • Latex
  • Leaves
  • Flowers
  • Fruit
  • Status

Tapping a major category takes you to a data selection process for that particular category, e.g. if you tap Leaves, you will be able to enter data on the type, colour, shape and specific features.

As you enter the data, you are left with fewer and fewer trees in the Tree List until finally you are able to identify your species, with the help of the tree images and information, to at least the Genus level.

This is, however, an extremely brief overview of the Tree Search screen. As understanding the Tree Search is vital to understanding the app, it is discussed in a great deal more detail below.



pic

HELP

You are currently in the Help section.
The Help section is divided into 3 sections:

You can return here at anytime by tapping the Home icon at the top left of almost any screen and then tapping the Help icon.



pic

Tapping the Settings icon opens the Settings screen.

Here you determine how you would like the trees in your Tree List to be named and grouped.

To start with, the Tree List will be alphabetised by your choice of Primary Language.

Your choice of a Second Language can be made under the heading Secondary Language.

You can then sort the Tree List further by:

These will remain alphabetical.

OR You could choose No Grouping – Order Alphabetically - and this will filter by the species, according to whatever language you chose as your primary language.

The best idea is to experiment with these various options and see what suits your skill and interest level, as well as your language preference.



pic

TREE LIST

pic

Tapping the Tree List icon on the Home screen displays what it promises: i.e a list of trees.

This list will be one of the following types, depending on whether or not you have made a selection in the Location screen.
The List could be:-

  • The full list of trees in TheTreeApp, if you have chosen RSA in the Location screen;

Or the List could be:-

  • The list of trees that you selected in the Location screen via Select, Current or Reserves.

Each tree has its name listed in two 'languages', according to your choices in Settings.

Tree Details

Tapping the full colour image of the tree to the left of the tree name takes you to the following options, that are listed at the base of the screen:

The full details follow the next image. Note that the order of the tabs is different in Android and in Apple.

pic
pic

Images
Tap and scroll to see both the full colour painting of the tree, indicating the type of leaf, flower and fruit for each species, as well as the black and white drawing showing a twig for that tree.

To open the image in a bigger window, tap it. Tap the X in the upper-left corner (Apple) or use the back button (Android) to close this window.

pic

Info
Tap here to find textual information about habitats, growth form, bark, leaves, flowers and flower-groups, fruit, seeds as well as uses and gardening.

pic

Map
Tap here to see the distribution map for the tree.

pic

Sightings
Tap here to record the tree in your My Trees list and view a list of tree sightings of the particular tree you have chosen.


Status Categories
pic

Status Categories
On the line of text naming the species there are one or more icons that indicate the Status categories in which the tree is listed. To find out the meaning and usage of these icons, refer to the major category Status in the Tree Search on the Home screen


Search-Bar Search
pic

An amazing feature of TheTreeApp is Tree List Search-bar to find the details for a tree when you know the name. This can be in any South African language – yes, in all 11 official languages! As long as the name that you know is listed in TheTreeApp, and you spell it in one of the ways recorded here, the tree will come up in any language, or by the Scientific names:



pic

GLOSSARY

As far as possible, TheTreeApp uses common English words to describe botanical terms.
Use the Glossary for any difficult words.

Tapping the Glossary icon opens a Glossary screen that contains an alphabetised list of buttons. Tap the button that corresponds to the first letter of the word that you are looking up.

The Glossary also helps decipher the meaning of any phrases or words that botanically trained users find unusual.



When you tap the Sightings icon on the Home screen, you are taken to your own Sightings list, showing those trees you have previously noted.

You can record any species in the Tree List in this personal list, noting the name, date, your own data and exact location. To do this tap the Sightings icon located at the bottom right of the details screen of any tree in the Tree List.

pic

My Trees
Once you have added a tree to the Sightings list, the icon appears in the Tree List, once it has been refreshed.

This section is being updated in early 2018 and if you are not sure how to use the Sightings section please contact us on contact@thetreeapp.co.za.




Tree Search

This section contains step-by-step instructions of how the Tree Search works.

pic

You can navigate to the Tree Search screen by tapping the Tree Search icon on the Home screen or by tapping the Tree Search icon in the top right corner of most screens.

pic

To recap, the Tree Search screen contains eight icons of the Tree Search major categories:

  • Growth Form
  • Woody Features
  • Thorns
  • Latex
  • Leaves
  • Flowers
  • Fruit
  • Status

Tapping any one of these icons takes you directly to the Tree Search data for that major category.

There is no right or wrong order to select these categories and there is no specific order your data input needs to follow. Nonetheless, TheTreeApp research has influenced the layout; and the most user-friendly attributes are at the top of most lists.


DATA SCREENS

Once you have tapped one of the above icons, you are taken to the data screens, which look like this example Plant Type screen:

pic

On each data screen, select the item in the list that corresponds to the tree you are trying to identify. For example, in the image to the leftabove, you need to select the item that best describes the Plant Type.

What follows is a list of the various icons and functions on the data screens that you need to understand. Please take time to become familiar with these.


Search Icon

pic

Search Icon
This is a visual representation of your choice.


Search Text

pic

Search Text
This is a textual explanation of your choice.


Search Box and Arrow

pic

Search Box and Arrow
Tap the box to indicate your choice.

The arrow next to the box indicates that once you have made a selection, there is another level of selection to be made within this category.

pic

Once you have made the selection, the box is filled with a tick and you are automatically taken to the next level.

pic

Search Box without an Arrow

pic

A Search box without an arrow means you have reached the final selection in this category.

pic

Once you have made a choice, the box is filled with a tick and you are returned to the next set of choices.

pic

Back arrow at the top left

pic

Back arrow at the top left
In either of the two types of Search Box, with or without an arrow, you can tap the Back arrow at the top left any time to go back a level. pic Android users can also use the Android back button. pic


InfoHotSpot Icon in green banner

pic

InfoHotSpot Icon in green banner
Tap this icon to access information that relates to all the choices below. This includes interpretation and comparisons between choices, and additional information.


InfoHotSpot Icon on bottom right corner of icon

pic

InfoHotSpot Icon on bottom right corner of icon
Tap this icon to access information that relates to a specific choice.


Tree Numbers

pic

Tree Numbers
One of the most vital parts of TheTreeApp is the countdown of trees in the Tree Search.

This is a countdown of the number of trees left in the Tree List as you go through the selection process. As you enter data, you are left with fewer and fewer trees until finally you are able to identify your species from a short list of relatively few trees. This may be a number of trees in one Genus.




FROM TREE SEARCH TO TREE LIST

pic

From Tree Search to Tree List
You may find that you have entered as much data as possible and are still left with a number of trees in your Tree List.

If this is the case, tap the forward arrow next to the countdown numbers (top right) to be taken to the Tree List.

What follows are some tips on how to identify your tree from this Tree List.

COMPARE THE ART IMAGES

pic

Tap the colour image of the first tree in the Tree List.

Then tap the Images icon in the bottom left corner to open the images of the tree.
(Note: Images may be open by default.)

You can easily compare the art of all the trees currently in the Tree List. Swipe the art either from right to left or left to right. Decide which pictures match your tree most accurately.

COMPARE THE TEXTUAL INFORMATION

pic

Tap the colour image of the first tree in the Tree List.

Then tap the Info icon to open the textual information.

By swiping either right to left or left and right, scroll to view the information of ALL the trees currently in the Tree List.

Work out which text best matches your tree.

CHECK THE DISTRIBUTION

pic

Tap the colour image of the first tree in the Tree List.

Then tap the Map icon for the distribution for each tree.

Swipe the map either from right to left or left to right to compare distributions of the trees in the Tree List.

SOME TREE SPECIES ARE MARKED++

++ This sign indicates that this species of tree is more difficult to distinguish from other species in the genus than is the case for other genera. It is where there are essentially no distinguishing features that TheTreeApp users will have available. Anatomical characters that can only be found using a microscope in an herbarium are an example.

pic

In cases where a species has known, reliable, distinguishing characteristics that can be found through careful use of the Illustrations, text and Search attributes, these have not been included. E.g. Most Vachellia and Senegalia species (previously in the genus Acacia), although confusing, can be separated. However, there are places in South Africa where Vachellia karroo++ and V. natalitia++ are basically unidentifiable and thus they carry the ++.

As a note for consistency, when viewing the Search attributes some of them also carry the sign ++, for the same reason. These are attributes where individual trees of many species may have characters that are not totally reliable. Thus, this entire attribute should be used with caution. If your attribute is absolutely clear on your plant then tick it. If YOU are doubtful rather move on, without ticking anything. There is no rule that says you have to fill each and every tick box!




Growth Form

The Growth Form of a tree is its general outward appearance.

Due to the fact that many of the common aspects of Growth Form (such as shape, colour and texture) are too open to personal interpretation and cannot be measured accurately, especially when taking into account the extraordinary diversity of trees and habitats throughout South Africa, TheTreeApp only offers two sub-categories under the Growth Form major category. You can choose to enter data for any or all of them.

pic Plant Height
pic Plant Type


Plant Height

pic

When using TheTreeApp to identify a tree, it is better to only choose trees 3 m or taller.

The reasons for this are:



Height category

pic

Most people find it hard to assess the exact height of a tree. If this is the case, simply estimate in which height category the tree falls.


There are 3 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic 3 m to 6 m
pic 6 m to 12 m
pic Above 12 m


Exact height

pic

Select this option when you feel you can assess a tree height accurately. This accurate data greatly reduces the species in the Tree List.

Type in any height, in metres, up to 60 m.

Android

pic

iOs

pic

Plant Type

There are two kinds of plant types that you can choose from in this section:


There are 10 options here; please enter data in one only:


Types with strong visual characteristics

pic Tree/shrub/scrambler
pic Climber/vine: tendrils/twining stems present
pic Aloe-like
pic Succulent-looking tree/shrub

Types of recognisable Families

pic Bamboo (Thamnocalamus) / Reed (Arundo)
pic Cabbage-tree (Cussonia spp & Schefflera)
pic Palms / Strelitzia / Banana (Ensete)
pic Protea family (excluding Boekenhout - Faurea): ID by flowers
pic Tree-euphorbia (Euphorbia) / cactus & cactus-like
pic Tree-fern (Alsophila) / Cycad (Encephalartos)


Tree / Shrub / Scrambler

pic

Tendrils and/or twining stems are absent. Trees and shrubs in this section are free-standing, self-supporting plants or plants that lean on or scramble over boulders or other plants.

Once there are tendrils/twining stems present, then the plant is a climber/vine/liane and will not remain upright on its own, without the support of another tree. If you see tendrils/twining stems in a large tree, look carefully to identify if there may be separate plants.

Very few climber/vines in the next category are ever large upright trees able to grow upwards, and support their own weight, on their own.



Climber / Vine

pic

Tendrils and/or twining stems are present.

These trees usually intertwine around other vegetation. They are very rarely upright trees growing upwards and supporting their own weight. If you see a fair-sized tree with tendrils or twining-stems, check carefully that it is not in fact two species intertwined.



Succulent-Looking Tree / Shrub

Select this category for any tree that appears to be succulent when you look at its outer features (the trunk/branches and/or the leaves).

pic In some species, the succulence is evident only in the main trunk and branches. In others, it is in the leaves only, which are easier to assess accurately. In some others, it is obviously genuinely succulent in all its parts.

Note: You are not expected to hack (and in fact are discouraged from hacking) into a tree to check if it is succulent on the inside and therefore, this is a category for plants that look succulent from the outside.

pic It may be that advanced users who know that in some trees, the shiny, swollen look of a plant of a succulent-looking tree can be covering a fibrously woody interior, such as the Baobab (Adansonia digitata); but remember that the focus is on succulent-looking trees.


Aloe-like

pic

Aloe-like trees all have thick, lengthy succulent leaves. Many have some form of thorns on their leaves.

Aloe-like plants often grow in groups. They are favoured by browsers and plant collectors, so check other plants around you to be sure the plant you are identifying has not been damaged, which can change its form.



Stems

pic

Aloe-like plants have a single stem or multiple stems. Agaves/Sisal have no stem at all, with the leaves growing at ground level.

Be aware that when Aloes and Dragon-trees are young, and therefore less than 3 m tall, they often appear as if they are at ground level.

Note: For this reason and many others, it is better to only choose trees 3 m or taller, when using TheTreeApp to identify a tree.



Branches

pic

No Agaves have branches but some Aloes, Tree-aloes and some Dragon-trees do.


There are 2 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic Absent; stem/s unbranched.
pic Present; stem/s branched.


Dead Leaves on Stem

pic

Some Aloes, Tree-Aloes and some Dragon-trees have dead leaves on their stems. This is a distinctive, reliable feature.


There are 2 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic None/very few retained dead leaves
pic Obvious dead leaves present; stem/s bearded


Go to Thorns

pic

Aloe-like plants are sorted by the presence of thorns as well as thorn placements; therefore, after you have selected Aloe-like, which greatly reduces number of trees in the Tree List, please go to:

Enter the thorn data.



Bamboo / Reed

There is only 1 larger indigenous Bamboo in South Africa that is covered in TheTreeApp and that is Drakensberg Bamboo Thamnocalamus tessellatus. It occurs near the Drakensberg.

pic

TheTreeApp also includes a powerfully invasive Reed namely Spanish Reed Arundo donax. It is important to learn the differences between the two.

The most reliable way to separate these two species, until you are able to recognise their outer growth form, is to look at the leaves; therefore, after you have selected the Bamboo/Reed category, which greatly reduces number of trees in the Tree List, please go to:

Enter the leaf data.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This distribution maps show a convincing reason why we should try to control the spread of the invasive Spanish Reed Arundo donax.

pic

Cabbage-Tree (Cussonia) Species

pic

There are 10 indigenous Cabbage-trees (Cussonia and Schefflera spp) in South Africa. Many of them do have a fairly similar overall appearance even though their leaves are very different in structure.

There is very little else other than height, location and leaves that allows you to identify which Cabbage-tree you are looking at; therefore, after you have selected the Cabbage-tree category, which greatly reduces number of trees in the Tree List, please go to:

Enter the leaf data.



Palm / Strelitzia / Banana

These are all trees that have unusually large leaves, giving the trees a distinctive sculptural look.

pic

There are a very large number of exotic palms in our country but only four genera and five species are indigenous.

There is only one indigenous species of Banana and three species of Strelitzias (Strelitizia), sometimes called Crane-flower.

pic

The easiest way to tell the species apart, other than by location is to look at the leaves carefully; therefore, after you have selected the Palm / Strelitzia / Banana category, which greatly reduces number of trees in the Tree List, please go to:

Enter the leaf data.



Protea Family

This section is for trees in the Protea Family (excluding the Boekenhout, Faurea Genus).

pic

When looking at an overall form of these trees, you will note the following two general growth forms:

pic Single-stemmed Protea
pic Multi-stemmed Protea

Note: Be careful you do not lose your species using this pair of choices. Fire can alter these patterns, so it is best to make sure that the species that you are looking at is typical. It is always best to compare other nearby plants that look similar to the one you have chosen and be sure that there is a discernible pattern before you make a selection.

Once you have selected Protea family you decide if the tree you are trying to identify is single or multi-stemmed. This greatly reduces number of trees in the Tree List, and you should then go to:

Enter the leaf data.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

There are 4 Genera of the Protea Family (excluding the Boekenhout, Faurea, Genus):

50 species can be found in TheTreeApp



Tree-Euphorbia / Cactus Types

pic This group includes Euphorbia (Euphorbia), Prickly-Pear (Opuntia) and Queen-of-the-night (Cereus) species.

In terms of growth form, none of these 'trees' look like trees that are woody with leaves. They are all similar in that they have very succulent 'branches' that are green. These 'branches' photosynthesise, as there are only very occasional leaves, or no leaves at all. Many of them have thorns, which can be very sharp, and most have latex of some type. Latex of some of them is poisonous or a severe irritant.



Branches Cross-Section Shape

pic

All of the plants in this group have very succulent green 'branches' that photosynthesise as there are only very occasional leaves or no leaves at all. These branches have a distinctive shape.


There are 3 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic Angular
Branches look angular in cross section, even from the outside.
pic Rounded
Branches look rounded in cross section in species such as Euphorbias and Queen-of-the-nights (cactus types).
pic 'Branches'= Flat plates
The 'branches' are like 'flat plates' in species such as Prickly-pears.


Segments / Constrictions Along Branch Length

pic

Some of the Euphorbias are smooth-branched and appear almost like regular trees with normal branches and no segments.

Many species from both the Euphorbia and the Prickly-Pear Families have constrictions along the branches, forming segments in different shapes.



Go to Thorns on Succulent-Looking Stems / Leaves

pic

The presence or absence of thorns is one of the most distinctive features of the larger Tree-euphorbias and cactus types. Therefore, after you have selected Tree-euphorbia/cactus types, which greatly reduces number of trees in the Tree List, please go to:

Enter the thorn data.

Note: Be sure to check the thorns carefully to be sure to select the correct category in Thorns, especially in the Euphorbias themselves.



Tree-fern / Cycad

Neither Tree-ferns nor Cycads are typically shaped trees and both have long feathery leaves. Tree-fern leaves and leaflets are soft while those of Cycads are spiky. In Growth Form, Tree-ferns and Cycads are treated as a group.

pic

Once you have selected the Tree-fern / Cycad category, which greatly reduces number of trees in the Tree List, please go to:

Enter the thorn data.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Tree-ferns
There are two indigenous Tree-ferns in South Africa, both can reach above 3 metres in height. They are in the genus Alsophila, previously Cyathea, remaining in the Tree-fern Family CYATHEACEAE

Cycads
Cycad is the common name for a number of similar genera of which Encephalartos and Macrozamia are solely Southern Hemisphere plants. Their distributions are shown in the map below.

pic

The maximum diversity of Cycads is actually towards both tropics.

Cycas (Asia) and Zamia (the Americas) have many species in the Northern hemisphere. Their status worldwide is critically threatened and usually protected.

As it contains the only plants in South Africa that exceed 3 metres, TheTreeApp only covers the Encephalartos genus, and there are no specific species defined. The plants are generally too vulnerable and endangered in South Africa to risk giving details of their location.

However, we have created a generalised distribution map for the Encephalartos Genus, as well as combining their main visible features in both the texts and the Tree Search to allow differentiation from Tree-ferns.

pic


Woody Features

pic

Virtually all the trees in TheTreeApp are considered woody.

You could have expected the Woody Features category to cover sub-categories such as trunks, branches and twigs, as well as the various shapes, patterns and forms that characterise a species. However, these features that are most easily and clearly seen are too open to personal interpretation and too prone to having local condition variations in the trees themselves. For these reason, most of these sub-categories do not appear in the app.

That said, the few sub-categories TheTreeApp does have listed here are the very few features that are reliable countrywide in mature trees in all seasons and conditions, and, hopefully, observed by all users similarly.


There are 3 sub-categories here; you can choose to enter data for any or all of them:

pic Bark: Old trunks/stems only: Outer bark only
Bark colour is a characteristic that can be reliably recorded as long as the information required for each choice is read word-for-word and followed carefully.
pic Distinctive visible roots
There are a few Families, and/or Genera of trees that have reliably distinctive roots that are also clearly visible. Identify these early on in the Tree Search to rapidly reduce the number of species of trees.
pic

Distinctively-shaped woody outgrowths
This section covers only outgrowths that are present in a fair number on some part of the tree, i.e. on the trunk or on branches. It does not apply to an odd solitary outgrowth.
Note: Thorns, spines and prickles are to be found in the major category named Thorns.



Bark: Old Trunks / Stems Only: Outer Bark Only

pic

Bark colour is a characteristic that can be reliably recorded as long as the information required for each choice is read word-for-word and followed carefully.

To ensure clarity, we have divided the single entry choice into 3 elements for you to focus on.

OLD TRUNKS/STEMS

As trees mature, their trunks change colour. For this reason, it is important that you choose a tree you are sure is mature and only look at the colour of the trunk itself.

Ignore any colours on branches and twigs, however striking they might be, as these are not found in the app.

OUTER BARK

In principle, all of the above section about old trunks/stems applies only to the outer bark. The colour of the inner bark is not loaded on the TheTreeApp.

DOMINANT COLOUR: AREA +50%

The colour of bark is extremely variable tree by tree and surface metre by surface metre. The only reliable choice is the overall dominant colour that is present in 50% of the surface area.



Dominant colour: Area +50%

pic

The colour of bark is extremely variable from tree to tree and across each half metre of the surface. Changes are also evident as the bark ages and varies according to its history of drought, flood, fire and lichens.

The only reliable choice is the overall dominant colour that is present in 50% of the surface area.

These few choices seem meagre! But they do help differentiate trees with unusual bark.


There are 6 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic Dark grey, beige, brown, or black (NOT very pale)
pic Pale grey, beige, brown, cream towards white: Over 50% area
pic Green/aqua; ignore thin flaking over-layers
pic Red/orange/pink/mauve/Bronze / copper / rusty (not purple)
pic Yellow/gold
pic Blue/purple


Distinctive Visible Roots

pic

There are a few Families, and/or Genera of trees that have reliably distinctive roots that are also clearly visible. Identify these early on in the Tree Search to rapidly reduce the number of species of trees.


There are 7 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic Absent
This will usually reduce the number of species in the Tree List.
pic Aerial
These hang from branches, or grow out of main trunk above ground level.
pic Rock-splitting
These are visible, growing from the bottom of the tree trunk, across rocks and into crevices.
pic Strangling
These are visible cord-like 'roots' in a host tree. They are well above earth level, but grow down the host's tree trunk towards the ground or they circle/wrap the trunk and branches of the host tree. Usually you will find that two separate leafy crowns are visible, of markedly varying proportions and sizes, colours and shapes, depending on the two different species in the entanglement. In the inevitable competition for resources, with 2 large trees growing in one spot, this can sometimes kill the host and the 'strangler' can become totally terrestrial itself.
pic Elbows: In water/arsh
These are upward arching roots that are pneumatophores or 'breathing roots', which aid in the exchange of gasses.
pic Pencils: In water/arsh
These are upward projecting roots that are pneumatophores or 'breathing roots', which aid in the exchange of gasses
pic Stilts: In water/marsh
These roots begin as aerial roots developing from nodes on the trunk and stabilise and anchor the plant in soft soil.


Distinctively-Shaped Woody Outgrowths

pic

Virtually all trees could be said to have woody outgrowths.

You could have expected the Woody Features category to cover sub-categories such as bumps, lumps, spiky outgrowths, and galls. However, these features are too open to personal interpretation and too prone to having local condition variations in the trees themselves. For these reason, most of these sub-categories do not appear in the app.

Note: Thorns, spines and prickles are to be found in the major category named Thorns, which includes any twigs that have become sharpened at their ends to form a spinous extension of the branchlet/twig.

It is important to only make a selection if there are MANY of the specific distinctive features on the SAME woody parts of the tree, i.e. only on the trunk/stem or only on the branches/branchlets.

Remember one woody outgrowth does not merit a tick here!

pic Absent
pic Straight, blunt-ended
pic Curled/curved



Thorns

pic

TheTreeApp has been created to be as accurate as possible in any of the species data. In order to accommodate users of all levels, throughout the app the term 'thorns' covers all woody extensions that are sharp enough to inflict a prick on your palm. These include spines and prickles. (Read more about the scientific distinctions between thorns, spines and prickles below or in the Glossary.) Many botanical texts use the terms 'armed' – having spines, thorns or prickles of any kind – or 'unarmed' – lacking thorns. TheTreeApp does not use these terms.

When checking for thorns, take the time to properly examine more than one easy-to-reach-twig. Some trees have more than one type/shape of thorn and at a casual glance you may only find one that is hooked, while a careful search may reveal that there are straight thorns too.

For a number of species where older trees can lose many of their thorns, the TheTreeApp has recorded both thorns present and thorns absent.


There are 4 sub-categories here.

If you enter Completely absent TheTreeApp takes you back to the Tree Search.

If you have found thorns on a regular woody tree you could enter either, or both, Present on woody parts and Present on leaf/let parts.

If you have thorns on a tree such as an Aloe/Tree-aloe, or Tree-euphorbia/catus type you would choose Succulent-looking stems/leaves and not Present on woody parts.

pic Completely absent
pic Present on woody parts
pic Present on Leaf/let parts (not succulent)
pic Present on succulent–looking stems/leaves

Some trees have thorns Present on woody parts as well as Present on leaf/let parts. You can enter both these sub-categories.

However, if you choose Absent or Present on succulent stems, the other two sub-categories would be irrelevant.

SPINES, THORNS AND PRICKLES

pic

Prickle
This is a small, sharp-pointed outgrowth of the outer layer of the bark that has no conducting (=vascular) tissue.

It is usually easily removed without tearing the wood.

It does not represent a modified stem, leaf or stipule.

pic

Spine
This is a hard, straight (initially) slender and sharply pointed structure that is usually a modified branchlet, leaf or stipule.

It does not pull off the bark easily, without tearing it.

pic

Thorn
This is a modified organ derived from a stem, ending in a stiff, sharp point.

Thorns are hooked, whereas in scientific terms, spines are straight.

Throughout popular literature 'thorn' is often loosely applied to cover thorns and spines, to contrast their anatomy with prickles.

pic

Twig ends in sharp thorn-like point
The final 'type' of thorns that the app refers to is a twig that, while still looking twig-like, has a sharpened point to become a stick-like point.



Thorns Completely Absent

pic

Some older trees can lose many of their thorns which means that a species that generally has thorns may appear to have be thornless, and then you need to tick 'completely absent'.

To prevent such trees from being lost during the Tree Search process, TheTreeApp has recorded both thorns present and thorns absent for a number of trees that are likely to vary in their thorniness.

A few examples are Common Hook-thorn Acacia, Senegalia caffra; Paper-bark Acacia Vachellia sieberiana; Criss-cross Turkey-berry, Canthium inerme; Zebrawood Flatbean, Dalbergia melanoxylon; Ashen Spikethorn, Gymnosporia capitata; Cape-holly, Ilex mitis; Brittle-thorn Phaeoptilum spinosum; and Buffalo-thorn Zuzube, Ziziphus mucronata. In total there are 68 trees that are ticked for thorns both present and absent in the app.

Selecting this option reduces the number of trees left in the Tree List by nearly 10%. In Twice-divided Compound Leaves (bipinnate leaves), this figure, of % of trees eliminated, rises to nearly 60%.



>

Thorns Present on Woody Parts

pic Thorns entered here can be present on any part of the woodiness of the tree i.e. the trunk, main branches, branchlets or even on the twigs.


Thorn Shape

pic On some trees, all the thorns are the same shape; others may have different shapes. Check carefully before making a selection that there are not more than one shape of thorn on the same tree.

There are 7 different thorn shapes. Choose any one. In this list, you do not worry about how they are grouped together, i.e. it does not matter if they are single, in pairs or more than 2 in a group.

pic Straight to slightly curved: but not hooked
pic Hooked (including prickles)
pic Both straight and hooked present
pic Twig ends in sharp thorn-like point
pic Hooked on enlarged knobs: on main trunk
pic 2-pronged
pic Branched: more than 2 prongs on a single thorn


Thorns Grouping

pic

While TheTreeApp has been created to be as scientifically accurate as possible, in order to accommodate users of all levels, throughout the app the term 'grouping' covers both of these scientific terms:

  • Arrangement: The way that specific plant parts are grouped between themselves.
  • Attachment: The grouping on the wood itself.

The pictures and the words in this section are self explanatory, but it is worth looking at both the text and the images to be sure you have understood.

There are 7 different thorn groupings. Please enter only one:

pic Singly
pic Similar pairs; both thorns straight or both thorns hooked
pic Mixed pairs; 1 thorn straight + 1 thorn hooked
pic Mixed but similar pairs; 1 pair straight + 1 pair hooked
pic In 3s
pic In 4s
pic Clustered/in massed clumps


Leaves &/or Flowers / Fruit Present on Thorns

pic

Most thorns are bare and never carry leaves, flowers or fruit on them.

Some thorns, however, do have leaves, and/or flowers and/or fruit growing along their length. This is a strongly defining characteristic.

It follows that if the thorns carry flowers, they will also carry fruit.

However, you cannot predict with certainty that if the thorns carry leaves, that they will carry flowers and therefore fruit, i.e. flowers, and therefore fruit, may or may not follow leaves.


There are 4 choices:

pic Leaves, flowers & fruit absent
pic Leaves present
pic Flowers &/or fruit present
pic Leaves plus either flowers &/or fruit present


Present on Leaf/let Parts (Not Succulent)

pic

Select this option if there are thorns present on leaf and leaflet parts but not if the leaf is succulent. The thorns that are present on succulent leaves (and stems) are in the next option.


There are 5 options here.

In the case of a Palm tree there is only one entry possible.

In other types of trees there may be thorns present in more than one place, but TheTreeApp's programming only allows for one entry at a time.

If you wish to enter more than one, re-enter Present on leaf/let parts as many times as you need to.

pic On under surface of leaf/let-blade
pic Simple and Compound: On leaf stalk
pic Compound: On leaflet-stalk
pic Compound: On central feather-shaft
pic Along edges/margins of leaf-stalk in Palms


Present on Succulent Stems / Leaves

pic

Thorns are present on plants in the Aloe (Aloe), Tree-aloe (Aloidendron), and Tree-Euphorbia (Euphorbia) Genera, which are indigenous.

They are also present on five Aloe-like and/or cactus types, which are all Invasive or Alien species. These are Sisal/Agave (Agave), Prickly-pear (Opuntia), Overlapping Cholla Cactus (Cylindropuntia) and Queen-of-the-night (Cereus).


There are 2 choices:

pic

Aloe-like: Thorns on leaves
This covers 21 species of Aloes (Aloe) and Sisal/Agave (Agave).

pic

Euphorbia /cactus-type: Presence of thorns
This covers 13 species in Euphorbias, (Euphorbia) Prickly-pear (Opuntia) and Queen-of-the-night (Cereus).



Euphorbia / Cactus-Type: Presence of Thorns

pic

This section covers 13 species in Euphorbias, (Euphorbia) Prickly-pear (Opuntia) and Queen-of-the-night (Cereus).

In the Euphorbias, the specific way that the thorns attach to the ridges can be diagnostic in naming a species. This is not always easy to see without very good binoculars or being really close to the tree.

The white milky latex is often poisonous so be careful how you touch these plants.


There are 5 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic Absent
pic Cactus-type straight, sharp spines
pic Euphorbia: On a continuous shield
pic Euphorbia: On separate shields / cushions
pic Euphorbia: Cannot assess shields status



Latex

pic

All plants have some degree of sap in their various parts, as this is the life 'blood' that transfers nutrients and gasses round the structures.

Some plants however create very specific, more thickly flowing liquid of some kind that we usually call latex or sap. It can be a clear, white, yellow or brown liquid. Some of it is sticky.

Certain plants make an exudate that is resinous and an inflammable adhesive, as in Cape-cedar (Widdringtonia) and the Invasive Pines (Pinus) species.

Others create a gum that hardens as it comes in contact with the air, as in the South African Acacias (Vachellia and Senegalia).

In TheTreeApp, only the 'drip-forming' liquid type is included in this section called Latex.


There are 2 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic Absent: No drip-forming liquid visible
pic Present: Drip-forming liquid visible

Note: Latex can be prolific when conditions are favourable and there is sufficient rain, but in many of the identical plants there simply is no evidence of 'running' liquid in more arid times. For this reason, some trees have been included in both choices, present and absent. This is when they are generally considered to have drip-forming liquid present but can also appear to be dry when picked in certain more adverse circumstances.


Leaves

pic

LEAVES ARE FUNDAMENTAL

Unlike birds and mammals that have relatively fixed features, trees of the same species vary greatly as individuals, more like humans do. For this reason, identifying a new woody species often requires careful investigation.

Once you know a tree well, you recognise it at a glance and do not need to inspect the finer details; however, when identifying a species that you have not encountered before, especially one that has no remarkably coloured bark or unusual flowers or fruit, the first general rule is to look at its leaves. This is the best way to identify most woody plants worldwide. It is, therefore, important to understand the fundamental differences between the types of leaves.

BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT LEAVES

You can access detailed background information about leaves that covers both botanical interpretation and TheTreeApp function, in 3 separate places.

  1. Scroll to Leaves are fundamental below
  2. Go to the Help button on the Home screen and find this same heading, Leaves are fundamental.
  3. Go to our website, www.TheTreeApp.co.za, and watch the video, and find the same InfoHotSpot Leaves there.

DISTINCTIVE-LOOKING TREES: UNUSUAL LEAVES

pic

In the relatively small number of cases where the tree that you are trying to identify is distinctive-looking, often with characteristic leaves, you can start by selecting a Family group option.

The Family groups listed are Aloe-like, Bamboo/Reed, Cabbage-tree, Palm / Strelitzia / Banana, Tree-fern / Cycad.

If you select one of these, the number of trees in the Tree List reduces immediately and your search is shorter and simpler.

To identify the species that are not in a distinctive-looking group, select an option based on whether the tree has Simple or Compound leaves.

To learn more about this please read through the Additional Information section below.

Note: Avoid trees that have no leaves. Trees can be leafless for a wide range of reasons.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

App Terms

Not only with leaves, but throughout the TheTreeApp, it is imperative that you become familiar with the specific terms used. These have been deliberately developed and tested over a number of years, to allow people without formal botany experience to identify trees more easily. For botanists too, some of the terms will require adjustment and interpretation, as they are not those from classical text books.

Blades

The blade of a leaf/let is the flat, usually thin, part of the leaf where, in most trees, photosynthesis takes place. The exact details of the blade, and its patterns on the tree, help to identify what type of leaf it is.

pic
pic

Simple and Compound Leaves

There are two major types of leaves: Simple and Compound, and trees usually have either one or the other. There are a few species that have both types, or no leaves at all.

pic

If a leaf has a single blade, then it is a Simple leaf.

A Simple leaf-blade may be unlobed or divided into lobes. The two leaves on the left side of the diagram, top and bottom, are unlobed, while those on the right side of the diagram, top and bottom, are lobed. They are, nonetheless, all Simple leaves.

Each leaf is a separate blade. The blades of Simple leaves are called leaf-blades.

pic

If a leaf has more than one blade, then it is a Compound leaf.

This image is of Compound leaves, each with a number of separate leaflets.

Each leaflet is a separate blade. The number of blades, and the way in which they are attached to one another, determines the type of Compound leaf.

These blades of Compound leaves are called leaflet-blades.

Knowing about leaf-blades and leaflet-blades is central to understanding the Leaves section of the Tree Search function of the app.

There is further information about this in the InfoHotSpots associated with both Simple and Compound leaves.

Measuring and Assessing Leaves

pic To measure or assess the shape of the leaf-blade of a Simple leaf, use the whole leaf-blade, but not the leaf-stalk.
pic

To measure or assess the shape of a leaflet-blade of a Compound leaf, use the largest leaflet-blade on the Compound leaf, but do not include the leaflet-stalk.

Note: There is a specific InfoHotSpot each time you encounter sizes, which covers the meaning in-depth.

Stalks: Simple and Compound Leaves

All blades need to attach to another structure via a stalk.


A leaf-stalk (petiole) is the 'stick' that joins the leaf to wood (i.e to the twig/branch/branchlet or even the trunk/stem). Both Simple and Compound leaves have leaf-stalks. The leaf-stalk is generally green, while the wood or twig that it connects to is usually brown. It is important to note that young wood is often green and so, when identifying a tree, it is best to use older twigs, which are already woody and brown.


Because it is so central to entering data corectly, this information is repeated immediately below, in relation to Simple and Compound leaves, with diagrams for clarity.

pic

Simple Leaves
The leaf-blade is usually attached via the leaf-stalk (usually green) to a twig/branch/branchlet or even the trunk/stem (usually woody and brown).

Blade » Leaf-stalk (green) » Twig (brown)

pic

Compound leaves: Feather-like

Only Compound leaves have leaflet-stalks.

In Compound leaves, the leaflet-blade has a leaflet-stalk (usually green).

This leaflet-stalk attaches to the feather-shaft (a green 'stick'). This feather-shaft extends from the tip of a Compound leaf to the point of the last leaflets' attachment.

At this point, the feather-shaft becomes the leaf-stalk (usually a green 'stick'), which then attaches to a twig/branch/branchlet (usually a woody and brown).

Blade » Leaflet-stalk (green) » Feather-shaft (green) Leaf-stalk (green) » Twig (brown)

Note: The Compound leaf example used above is Once-divided (pinnate), with a pair of leaflets at the tip (paripinnate). The identical information is true of Once-divided (pinnate), with a single leaflet at the tip (imparipinnate).

pic

Once-divided Compound leaves: Not feather-like

In 2-, 3-leaflet and Hand-shaped Compound leaves, the leaflet-blade has a leaflet-stalk (usually green).

The leaflet-stalks attach to one another and then attach to the leaf-stalk (usually green).

The leaf-stalk attaches to a twig (usually woody and brown).

Blade » Leaflet-stalk (green) » Leaf-stalk (green) » Twig (brown)

Note: The Compound leaf example used above is 3-leaflet Compound (trifoliate). The identical information is true of Once-divided (pinnate): Not feather-like: 2-leaflet and Hand-shaped (palmate).


In summary, you are able to check if any blade is a leaf-blade (Simple leaf) or a leaflet-blade (Compound leaf) by noting the colour and woodiness of the 'stick'/twig/branch/branchlet carrying the blade.

pic
No Leaf-stalk or no Leaflet-Stalk (Sessile)
pic Some species do not have a leaf-stalk (Simple leaf) or a leaflet-stalk (Compound leaves); instead, the base of the leaf or leaflet joins the twig or shaft directly.
pic

Distinguishing Between Simple & Compound Leaves

With very few exceptions, trees either have Simple or Compound leaves.

Generally, this is the most reliable way to identify species. There are fewer than 20 trees in TheTreeApp that have both Simple and Compound leaves.

In all the rest of the species, once you work out the main type of leaves that a tree has, the leaves of every individual of that species will be the same kind i.e. either Simple or some type of Compound.

Below are 2 additional methods for working out if the leaves are Simple or Compound.


  1. Twigs have growth points at the end of them; leaves do not.

    All woody plants grow larger from growth points. These are easiest to identify at the ends of young twigs/branchlets.

    pic A new growth point is seen as a small pointed 'hat' at the end of the twig and it can be green, or dark or furry and is sometimes covered in scales. (This tip is called the apical bud.)
    pic As it grows the tip extends, forming the continuing growth point of that twig. From this bud, new shoots emerge and these are leaf-buds and/or flower-buds. They develop into one or more soft fronds.
    pic These fronds start developing into tiny (and eventually full-sized) leaves or flowers.

    Both trees with Simple or Compound leaves have growth points at the end of twigs.

    pic When there are a number of mature leaf-blades along a twig (or shoot) and there is a growth point (bud) at the apex of the twig, then these are Simple leaves, growing out of a twig.
    pic When there are mature leaves, each composed of a number of leaflet-blades, along a shoot/twig and there is a growth point (bud) at the apex of the twig, then the mature leaves are Compound leaves, growing out of a twig.

    In summary, Compound leaves cannot have a growth point at the tip end of the set of leaflet-blades, as growth points only occur on twigs.

    pic All these Compound leaves in the icon on the left are each made up of leaflet-blades only, with no growth points at their tips. Each leaf is attached to a twig.

    Note: You WILL find a growth point at the end of every undamaged twig. When investigating this, choose a tree where you can look closely at the end of young twigs. Here you will find a growth point, which is usually very easy to recognise. Look at a few new shoots/twigs including those of both Simple and Compound leaves, to be sure that you can recognise a growth point in different circumstances.

    pic This picture is of the furry and golden ginger growth point of a twig that carries Compound leaves.
  2. At the base of the leaf-stalk, where the leaf meets the twig, there is always an axillary bud which is usually small, tight and green.

    This bud is not present at the base of a leaflet-stalk where it joins the feather-shaft.

    This method is botanically sound but not always easy for less experienced people to see.

    pic Simple leaf with axillary bud.
    pic Compound leaf with axillary bud

Tree Search: Leaves: Sub-Categories

pic

SIMPLE PRESENT

pic A Simple leaf has only one leaf-blade, but they do come in different shapes and sizes.

COMPOUND PRESENT

pic

In Compound leaves too, there are many different types of leaves. Each Compound leaf is made up of a number of leaflets. The 'pattern' that these leaflets make defines each specific type of Compound leaf.

In most types of Compound leaves, each leaflet is similar to a Simple leaf in that it has a blade with veins, as well as a stalk.

BOTH SIMPLE AND COMPOUND PRESENT

pic In TheTreeApp, there are only 16 species where both Simple and Compound leaves are present on the same plant at the same time; therefore, if you choose Both Simple and Compound present, the numbers of trees left in the Tree List is far fewer than either of the other two choices.

ALOE-LIKE

pic At present, TheTreeApp covers only one larger indigenous Bamboo, Drakensberg Bamboo, (Thamnocalamus tesselatus) which occurs on the Eastern slopes of the Drakensberg through the Eastern Cape. In addition it lists one of a number of powerfully invasive Reeds, Spanish Reed (Arundo donax).

BAMBOO/REED

pic

If you select this category, the search is narrowed down to 21 species.

Some of these are the indigenous Aloes (Aloe), Tree-aloes (Aloidendron) and Dragon-trees (Dracaena) species. In addition there are invasive and alien species, the 2 Agave/Sisal (Agave).

CABBAGE-TREE

pic

There are 10 indigenous Cabbage-trees (Cussonia and Schefflera) species in South Africa.

The growth form of the trees is similar and distinctive, so choose this category by looking at the whole tree.

Palm / Strelitzia / Banana

pic The leaf types are all large and most are longer than they are wide. Some are Simple and some are Compound. None is succulent.

Tree-fern / Cycad

pic TheTreeApp includes two groups of 'trees' with large, superficially fern-like fronds. These are Tree-ferns, Alsophila = Cyathea, and Cycads, Encephalartos.

pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, return to any level above here, in this Leaves InfoHotSpot.


Overview

pic

Some of these data, as well as the terms used and the search methodology, are not within the framework that an experienced plant expert would expect to find.

However, making an app work in the field is unlike creating book texts, or eBook material. To ensure that the Tree Search can work efficiently, it is imperative that these data are as reliable as possible across the board, for all species covered in TheTreeApp.

The material all needed to be:

pic A Simple leaf has only one leaf-blade.

The rest of much of this section on blades relies on an easy technique of dividing the leaf-blade (and later any leaflet-blade too) into 4 quadrants.

pic

DIVIDING A BLADE

In all leaf and leaflet shapes and measurement descriptions, TheTreeApp refers to the Upper Quarter and the Lower Quarter, and occasionally to the fold lines.

To measure the Upper and Lower Quarters, leaves are divided inro 4 equal sections, across the width.

pic

You can practice this on a fair-sized Simple leaf. Fold it into 4 quarters, as drawn in the following diagrams.

pic Step 1
Fold the top half of the leaf-blade down to the top of the leaf-stalk, creating the mid-width fold.
pic Step 2
Fold the Upper Quarter of the leaf-blade upwards to meet the mid-width fold.
pic Step 3
Fold the Lower Quarter of the leaf-blade backwards and upwards so the top of the leaf-stalk meets the mid-width fold.

Once you are familiar with the idea you will not have to do this with every leaf. Your eye will learn to assess the Upper and Lower Quarters. These quarters that are created by the folding, shown in the sequences above, are indicated by the yellow lines in the diagrams below.

pic
All 4 quadrants shown
pic
Upper Quarter in red
pic
Lower Quarter in red


Overview

TYPES

pic

A Simple leave has a single blade. A blade, exactly as the name implies, is a flat plate-like structure.

Some Simple leaf-blades have a regular smooth outline and are unlobed, as you can see from the leaf in the top left of the diagram. Others are indented into lobes of varying depths.

In addition, a number of Simple leaves have markedly different forms, for example the three on the right of the diagram.

ARRANGEMENT ON WOODY PARTS

pic In botany 'arrangement' means the way in which specific plant parts are grouped on the wood. Here it means the way that the leaf-stalk joins the twig/branchlet/ branch.

LEAF BLADE

pic This sub-category covers data about each specific aspect of a blade, such as its tip, its upper quarter and lower quarter shapes, as well as its edges. Some of these data, as well as the terms used and the search methodology, are not within the framework that an experienced plant expert would expect to find. But they are all understandable in plain English and all have material that is as accurate as possible in relation to each specific species.

pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Types

pic

Most of the types are defined by the number of lobes they have.

Simple leaves can be unlobed or can have lobes that divide the leaf into 2, 3 or more parts.

In addition, there are the scale- and needle-like leaves of various 'fir' trees and succulent Aloe-like leaves too.

LOBED AND UNLOBED LEAVES

pic These are all Simple leaves. The 2 leaves on the left side of the diagram are both unlobed. The leaf on the top right is 3-lobed and the one at the bottom right is 2-lobed.

Other Types

pic Scale-like leaves are very tiny indeed, mostly overlapping, which often creates the impression of a very fine green rope. There are only 11 trees listed with these leaves. Eight are the 3 x Tamarisk (Tamarix) of which only 1 is indigenous, 3 x Cape-cedar (Widdringtonia), 1x Fountain-bush (Psorolea) and a Euphorbia (Euphorbia) whose leaves are usually absent. The other 3 are 1 Alien and 2 Invasive species.
pic Needle-like leaves can be in sheaths or can be attached along a very fine twiglet. The Indigenous Genera are Cone-bush (Leucadendron), Fountain-bush (Psorolea), Tree-Erica (Erica), and Tree Rice-bush (Cliffortia). Five Genera of Alien/Invasives are listed here.

Note on Aloe-like leaves: Aloe (Aloe), Tree-aloe (Aloidendron) and Dragon-trees (Dracaena) Genera are not offered as specific choices, but the species are listed here individually, as they are in fact all Simple leaves.


LOBED OR COMPOUND?

pic

Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between a Simple leaf that has lobes (as above) and a Compound leaf with the same number of leaflets, as the 3 examples in this diagram.

Remember to check the colour of the stalk that is attached to the blade itself. This stalk is either a leaf-stalk of a Simple leaf, attaching onwards to a (usually) brown twig; or it is a leaflet-stalk, of a Compound leaf, attaching to a green leaf-shaft (rachis) or leaflet-shaft (rachule).

Another relatively simple way of recognising the difference between a lobed leaf and a Compound leaf with leaflets is to look at the veins in the leaves or leaflets.
(See the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves for other methods.)

A leaf is termed Simple and lobed, irrespective of how deeply indented each lobe is, as long as the indentation does not break through the midvein. Once it breaks the midvein it is in fact a separate leaflet.

pic As a learning experiment, start with any Simple leaf that has a single vein up the centre. It will also have lateral veins radiating from the midvein.

All the leaves below are Simple leaves. In all cases, the side/lateral veins meet the midvein. The midvein is not dissected, by the lobe.

pic
Unlobed
pic
2-lobed
pic
3-lobed
pic Many-lobed

pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Arrangement on Woody Parts: Simple leaves

pic

In botany 'arrangement' means the way in which specific plant parts are grouped on the wood. Here it means the way that the leaf-stalk joins the twig/branchlet/branch.

Leaves attach to twigs, branchlets, branches and even to trunks and stems in some species. This pattern is relatively consistent for each species on mature leaves and wood.

However, it does often vary on any young, or coppice growth. Coppice growth is a young, strong, usually straight shoot arising from near the trunk base, often from a damaged part.

It is important to note that young wood is often green and so, when identifying a tree, it is best to use older twigs, which are already woody and brown.


There are 9 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic Alternate / spiralled
pic Opposite / sub-opposite
pic Clustered / fascicled in tufts: At one point on twig / branchlet
pic Rosettes: At end twig/branchlet
pic 3-whorled: At one level on twig/branchlet
pic 4-whorled: At one level on twig/branchlet
pic Crowded: At top of the trunk/stem
pic Needle-like leaves: In bundles or sheaths
pic Needle-like leaves: Not in bundles, pr in sheaths: On twigs

pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Only Simple Leaves Present

pic

DIVIDING A BLADE

In all leaf and leaflet shapes and measurement descriptions, TheTreeApp refers to the Upper Quarter and the Lower Quarter, and occasionally to the fold lines.

To measure the Upper and Lower Quarters, leaves are divided into 4 equal sections, across the width.

pic

You can practice this on a fair-sized Simple leaf. Fold it into 4 quarters, as drawn in the following diagrams.

pic Step 1
Fold the top half of the leaf-blade down to the top of the leaf-stalk, creating the mid-width fold.
pic Step 2
Fold the Upper Quarter of the leaf-blade upwards to meet the mid-width fold.
pic Step 3
Fold the Lower Quarter of the leaf-blade backwards and upwards so the top of the leaf-stalk meets the mid-width fold.

Once you are familiar with the idea you will not have to do this with every leaf. Your eye will learn to assess the Upper and Lower Quarters. These quarters that are created by the folding, shown in the sequences above, are indicated by the yellow lines in the diagrams below.

pic
All 4 quadrants shown
pic
Upper Quarter in red
pic
Lower Quarter in red

When you fill in data for this section, it will be covering in-depth information about Simple leaf-blades.

pic The sub-sections are listed here, but some that are more complex do have their own InfoHotSpot for further information. These are indicated by the small dark circle with an pic at the base of the icon.
pic
Shape: Extreme tip
pic Shape: Upper Quarter (leaf apex)
pic Shape: Lower Quarter (leaf base)
pic Edge: Teeth (etc) absent/present
pic Edge: Waviness absent/present
pic Edge: Rolled under absent/present
pic Leaf-stalk: Colour
pic Under-surface: Colour
pic Veins: Major/thicker veins arising from/near leaf-base
pic Midvein/s: Colour under-surface
pic Protea Family: Leaf hairiness

SIZES - LENGTH & WIDTH

pic For more information on Sizes of leaves, open the InfoHotSpot on the icon Sizes.

pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Shape: Extreme tip

When you fill in data for this section, it will be covering in-depth information about a specific part of the Simple leaf-blade. Here it is only the very tip of the leaf that is requiring data. The details for the Upper Quarter of the blade will be entered in the next sub-category.

pic Shape: Extreme tip

There are 7 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic Elongated tip/ drip-tip
pic Pointed
pic Any extra point or extension, e.g. Bristle/hair/spine
pic Notched
pic Bent-under backwards/ reflexed/ twisted tip
pic

These Protea leaves have a varying number of teeth, from 2 to 11, across the tip.

You can enter the exact number.

pic None of the above/too small to see


Edge: Teeth (etc) Absent / Present

pic

Some blades have no serrations, teeth or scallops at any point along the edges or margins. Others do have these features at some point or all the way round. In TheTreeApp ANY serrations, teeth or scallops are recorded here.

pic Teeth (etc) absent: No teeth, serrations or scallops exist at any point around the entire edge of the leaf/let-blade. In botanical language this is called 'entire'.
pic Teeth (etc) present: Some teeth, serrations or scallops exist at some point along the margin. In botanical language this is called 'not entire'.


Edge: Wavy#

pic

The edges or margins of most species of leaf have a relatively similar pattern in their degree of waviness. They can be smooth or wavy (undulating). This pattern will repeat on many, if not most, of the leaves in one species and, therefore, observing this is an excellent way to identify a tree.

However, the different patterns are not always that easy to differentiate, and that is why this sub-category has a # attached to its name. It is to indicate you should use the sub-category with care and not totally rely on the results of your observations.

pic Leaf margin not wavy
pic Leaf margin wavy


Edge: Rolled Under

pic

Some blades have rolled under edges or margins and some do not. You can feel this by rubbing the edge of the leaf between your thumb and first finger. You can also simply pass the pad of your index finger across the edge and you should feel the thickening.

pic The edge/margin is not thickened / rolled under.
pic The edge of the leaf has a thickening as if 'rolled under'


Veins#

pic In many tree species with Simple leaves the leaf veins are a reliable method of reducing your Search list. However in some of the data for some specific leaves it is hard to be sure if you are answering correctly or not. In that case – as always in TheTreeApp – rather skip that section and move on to the next one.
As a summary: this is one of the most useful attributes if the answer seems very clear to you. However, we have labelled the category with a hash# to indicate that care should be taken in its useage.

Veins: Major/thicker veins arising from/near leaf base

pic

The main veins on any leaf-blade form a very similar pattern on every leaf of that species and, therefore, observing the leaf-vein patterns is an excellent way to accurately identify a tree. Furthermore, the different patterns are usually easy to see.

The only one that can lead to confusion is 3 or more major veins from or near leaf-base# and this has been marked with the cautionary # to alert you.

pic Single midvein from base
pic 3 or more major veins from or near leaf-base#
pic Veins obscure, not clearly defined
pic Veins parallel lengthwise from the leaf-base with no lateral veins present

Midvein/s: visibility: upper surface

pic Here there are only 2 responses; visible or obscure; not visible
pic
Visible above
 
pic
Obscure; or not visible above

Secondary vein ends: pattern near leaf edge/margin

pic There are 4 responses.
pic
End at edge/margin & fork
pic
End at edge/margin and do not fork
pic
Clearly end before edge/margin#
pic
Obscure; not clear; none of the above

Secondary veins: noticeably parallel (herringbone)

pic Here there are only 2 responses; herringbone pattern present or absent.

To classify as a herringbone vein pattern the following factors need to be weighed up.

Midvein/s: colour under-surface

pic
pic Too small to see
pic Obscure; not clearly defined
pic Any other colour including green
pic Purple/blue
pic Red/pink/orange
pic White/silver/grey: not green


Protea Family Hairiness

pic

This section is included for those users who recognise a Protea family species on sight. It is not a problem if you are unable to do this, as you will find that the Proteas are listed under Simple leaves.

In the Protea Family, hairiness of the leaves is a key feature and trees can be identified by checking this feature. Some have no hairs at all; others are hairy even in maturity; and some are only hairy when young, or around the edges of their leaves.



Sizes

pic

LENGTH & WIDTH

In TheTreeApp, the blade is divided into 4 equal sections, across the width.

pic

The size of leaf/let-blades is measured in millimetres (mm).

Note: Even if a leaf is over 1 metre (1 000 mm), it is still recorded in millimetres.

pic

The length is taken from the leaf/let tip to the top of the leaf/let-stalk.

Note: If there is no leaf/let-stalk, the measurement is ended where the blade meets the twig or the feather-shaft.

pic The width is taken across the widest point of the leaf/let-blade.


Only Compound Present

pic

Each Compound leaf has a number of leaflets.

In most types of Compound leaves, each leaflet is similar to a Simple leaf in that it has a blade with veins, as well as a stalk.

Unlike Simple leaf-blades, Compound leaflet-blades do not attach directly to a (brown) twig/branchlet/branch; instead they attach to each other or to a (green) feather-shaft. In either case, this is via a (green) leaflet-stalk.

Leaves have a varying number of leaflets, depending on the species. It is the 'pattern' that these leaflets make that defines each specific type of Compound leaf.

In TheTreeApp, Compound Leaves are divided into the following sub-categories.

pic Once-divided feather-like
These leaves all look like feathers. Some have a single leaflet at the tip (imparipinnate) and some have a pair of leaflets (paripinnate).
pic Once-divided: Not Feather-like
These leaves are obviously Compound but do not look like feathers. They have a varying number of leaflets.
pic Twice-divided Compound: Feather-like
These have the overall appearance of a double feather.

LOBED OR COMPOUND?

pic

Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between a Simple leaf that has lobes (as above) and a Compound leaf with the same number of leaflets, as the 3 examples in this diagram.

Remember to check the colour of the stalk that is attached to the blade itself. This stalk is either a leaf-stalk of a Simple leaf, attaching onwards to a (usually) brown twig; or it is a leaflet-stalk, of a Compound leaf, attaching to a green leaf-shaft (rachis) or leaflet-shaft (rachule).

Another relatively simple way of recognising the difference between a lobed leaf and a Compound leaf with leaflets is to look at the veins in the leaves or leaflets. (See the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves for other methods of differentiaitng Simple and Compound leaves.)

A leaf is termed Simple and lobed, irrespective of how deeply indented each lobe is, as long as the indentation does not break through the midvein. Once it breaks the midvein it is in fact a separate leaflet.

pic As a learning experiment, start with any Simple leaf that has a single vein up the centre. It will also have lateral veins radiating from the midvein.

In the Compound leaves, below the midveins are visible in the leaflet-blades, only to the top of the leaflet-stalk. They do continue down through the leaflet-stalk, but they are not generally as visible.

If you are still not sure see the InfoHotSpot associated with Simple leaves Types.


pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Once-Divided: Feather-Like

pic

These leaves all look like feathers. Some have a single leaflet at the tip (imparipinnate) and some have a pair of leaflets (paripinnate).

All the leaflets are essentially blades, attached to the feather-shaft via a leaflet-stalk. The shaft becomes the leaf-stalk and attaches to the brown woody twig/branchlet/branch (see diagrams below).

There are the following two choices of Once-divided: Feather-like leaves:

pic

A single leaflet at the tip


pic

A pair of leaflets at the tip


pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Single Terminal Leaflet

pic

These leaves all look like feathers and have a single leaflet at the tip (imparipinnate).

All the leaflets are essentially blades, attached to the feather-shaft via a leaflet-stalk. The shaft becomes the leaf-stalk and attaches to the brown woody twig/branchlet/branch (see diagrams below).


There are 4 sub-categories here; you can choose to enter data for any or all of them:

pic Leaflets: Number of pairs (excluding terminal)
You can enter values in the keyboard from 1 to 200.
pic Leaf: Arrangement on woody parts
In botany 'arrangement' means the way in which specific plant parts are grouped on the wood. Here it means the way that the leaf-stalk joins the twig/branchlet/branch.
pic Leaflets: Arrangement on feather-shaft
One of the factors that can identify a tree with Once-divided Compound leaves is the 2 ways that the leaflets attach to the feather-shaft.
pic Blade: Largest leaflet
In this large sub-category there are many opportunities to enter data about the species you are looking at.

pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Leaf Arrangement on Woody Parts

pic

In botany, 'arrangement' means the way in which specific plant parts are grouped on the wood. Here it means the way that the leaf-stalk joins the twig.

This section refers to Once-divided Compound; Featherlike; with a single leaflet at the tip (imparripinnate).


There are 4 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic Alternate / spiralled
pic Opposite / sub-opposite
pic Clustered / fascicled in tufts: At one point on twig / branchlet
pic Whorled / rosettes: Near end twig / branchlet

pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Leaflets: Arrangement on Feather-Shaft

pic

One of the factors that can identify a tree with Once-divided Compound leaves is the 2 ways that the leaflets attach to the feather-shaft.

As shown in the icon above, these can be alternate/spiral (as on the left) or opposite one another (on the right).



Blade: Largest Leaflet

TheTreeApp DATA COLLECTED: TERMS USED

pic

Some of these data, as well as the terms used and the search methodology, are not within the framework that an experienced plant expert would expect to find.

However, making an app work in the field is unlike creating book texts, or eBook material. To ensure that the Tree Search can work efficiently, it is imperative that these data are as reliable as possible across the board, for all species covered in TheTreeApp.

The material all needed to be:

pic Compound leaves have a varying number of leaflets, depending on the type of leaf. However, in TheTreeApp we use one leaflet, noting all the data on that leaflet, as if it is one simple leaf.
It is usually best to use the largest leaflet on your leaf, or if they are all the same you could use the terminal.

When you fill in data for this section it will be covering the in-depth information about the largest leaflet.

SHAPE DESCRIPTIONS

The method of entering data for both shape descriptions and measurement in TheTreeApp is very similar in both Simple and Compound leaves.

To be sure that there is consistency in the way that each user describes the shapes of each species, in easy English, TheTreeApp team developed and tested a method of dividing each leaflet into quarters. These quarter sections are the base of describing shapes. .

In all Compound leaves, the leaflet to use is always one of the largest on your leaf.

DIVIDING A BLADE

pic

In all leaf and leaflet shapes and measurement descriptions, TheTreeApp refers to the Upper Quarter and the Lower Quarter, and occasionally to the fold lines.

To measure the Upper and Lower Quarters, leaves are divided inro 4 equal sections, across the width.

pic

You can practice this on a fair-sized Simple leaf. Fold it into 4 quarters, as drawn in the following diagrams.

pic Step 1
Fold the top half of the leaf-blade down to the top of the leaf-stalk, creating the mid-width fold.
pic Step 2
Fold the Upper Quarter of the leaf-blade upwards to meet the mid-width fold.
pic Step 3
Fold the Lower Quarter of the leaf-blade backwards and upwards so the top of the leaf-stalk meets the mid-width fold.

In all Compound leaves, you follow a similar process on the largest leaflet of your leaf.

BLADE: LARGEST LEAFLET

pic The sub-sections are listed in the InfoHotSpot in the green banner, but some that are more complex, do have their own InfoHotSpot for further information. These are indicated by the small dark circle with an pic at the base of the icon.

There are 11 sub-categories here; you can choose to enter data for any or all of them:

pic Shape: Extreme tip
pic Shape: Upper Quarter (leaf apex)
pic Shape: Lower Quarter (leaf base)
pic Edge: Teeth (etc) absent/present
pic Edge: Rolled under
pic Edge: Wavy
pic Leaflet-stalk: Colour
pic Under-surface: Colour
pic Veins: Major/thicker veins arising from/near leaf-base
pic Midvein/s: Colour under-surface
pic Sizes

pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Blade: Largest leaflet

pic

TheTreeApp DATA COLLECTED: TERMS USED

Some of these data, as well as the terms used and the search methodology, are not within the framework that an experienced plant expert would expect to find.

However, making an app work in the field is unlike creating book texts, or eBook material. To ensure that the Tree Search can work efficiently, it is imperative that these data are as reliable as possible across the board, for all species covered in TheTreeApp.

The material all needed to be:

pic Compound leaves have a varying number of leaflets, depending on the type of leaf. However, in TheTreeApp we use one leaflet, noting all the data on that leaflet, as if it is one simple leaf.
It is usually best to use the largest leaflet on your leaf, or if they are all the same you could use the terminal.

When you fill in data for this section it will be covering the in-depth information about the largest leaflet.

SHAPE DESCRIPTIONS

The method of entering data for both shape descriptions and measurement in TheTreeApp is very similar in both Simple and Compound leaves.

To be sure that there is consistency in the way that each user describes the shapes of each species, in easy English, TheTreeApp team developed and tested a method of dividing each leaflet into quarters. These quarter sections are the base of describing shapes.

In all Compound leaves, the leaflet to use is always one of the largest on your leaf.

DIVIDING A BLADE

The method of entering data for both shapes and measurements in TheTreeApp is very similar in both Simple and Compound leaves.

In all Compound leaves, the leaflet to use is always one of the largest on your leaf.

pic

In all leaf and leaflet shapes and measurement descriptions, TheTreeApp refers to the Upper Quarter and the Lower Quarter, and occasionally to the fold lines.

To measure the Upper and Lower Quarters, leaflets are divided 4 equal sections, across the width.

pic

You can practice this on a fair-sized Simple leaf. Fold it into 4 quarters, as drawn in the following diagrams.

pic Step 1
Fold the top half of the leaf-blade down to the top of the leaf-stalk, creating the mid-width fold.
pic Step 2
Fold the Upper quarter of the leaf-blade upwards to meet the mid-width fold.
pic Step 3
Fold the Lower quarter of the leaf-blade backwards and upwards so the top of the leaf-stalk meets the mid-width fold.
pic The sub-sections are listed in the InfoHotSpot in the green banner, but some that are more complex, do have their own InfoHotSpot for further information. These are indicated by the small dark circle with an pic at the base of the icon.

There are 11 sub-categories here; you can choose to enter data for any or all of them:

pic Shape: Extreme tip
pic Shape: Upper quarter (leaf apex
pic Shape: Lower quarter (leaf base)
pic Edge: Teeth (etc) absent/present
pic Edge: Rolled under
pic Edge: Wavy
pic Leaf-stalk: Colour
pic Under-surface: Colour
pic Veins: Major/thicker veins arising from/near leaf-base
pic Midvein/s: Colour under-surface
pic Sizes
pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Sizes

pic

In Compound leaves, use the largest leaflet on the leaf for all measurements.

LENGTH & WIDTH

pic

The size of leaf-blades is measured in millimetres (mm).

Note: Even if a leaf is over 1 metre (1 000 mm), it is still recorded in millimetres.

pic

The length is taken from the leaf tip to the top of the leaf-stalk.

Note: If there is no leaf-stalk, the measurement is ended where the blade meets the twig.

pic The width is taken across the widest point of the leaf-blade.

Most measurements on Compound leaf leaflets are made on the largest leaflet. If all leaflets are about the same size, then use the terminal (tip-end) leaflet.



Pair Terminal Leaflets

pic

Some of these data, as well as the terms used and the search methodology, are not within the framework that an experienced plant expert would expect to find.

However, making an app work in the field is unlike creating book texts, or eBook material. To ensure that the Tree Search can work efficiently, it is imperative that these data are as reliable as possible across the board, for all species covered in TheTreeApp.

The material all needed to be:

pic Compound leaves have a varying number of leaflets, depending on the type of leaf. However, in TheTreeApp we use one leaflet, noting all the data on that leaflet, as if it is one simple leaf. It is usually best to use the largest leaflet on your leaf, or if they are all the same you could use the terminal.

When you fill in data for this section, it will be covering in-depth information about Once-divided Compound leaves with a pair of terminal leaflets.

pic The sub-sections are listed here, but some that are more complex do have their own InfoHotSpot for further information. These are indicated by the small dark circle with an pic at the base of the icon.

There are 4 sub-categories here; you can choose to enter data for any or all of them:

pic Leaflets: Number of pairs (excluding terminal)
You can enter values in the keyboard from 1 to 200.
pic Leaf: Arrangement on woody parts
In botany 'arrangement' means the way in which specific plant parts are grouped on the wood. Here it means the way that the leaf-stalk joins the twig/branchlet/branch.
pic Leaflet: Arrangement on feather-shaft
One of the factors that can identify a tree with Once-divided Compound leaves is the 2 ways that the leaflets attach to the feather-shaft.
pic Blade: Largest leaflet
In this large sub-category there are many opportunities to enter data about the species you are looking at.

pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Leaf Arrangement on Woody Parts

pic

In botany, 'arrangement' means the way in which specific plant parts are grouped on the wood. Here it means the way that the leaf-stalk joins the twig.


There are 4 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic Alternate / spiralled
pic Opposite / sub-opposite
pic Clustered / fascicled in tufts: At one point on twig / branchlet
pic Whorled / rosettes: Near end twig / branchlet

pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Leaflets: Arrangement on Feather-Shaft

pic

One of the factors that can identify a tree with Once-divided Compound leaves is the 2 ways that the leaflets attach to the feather-shaft.

As shown in the icon these can be alternate/spiral (as on the left) or opposite one another (on the right).



Blade: Largest Leaflet

pic

TheTreeApp DATA COLLECTED: TERMS USED

Some of these data, as well as the terms used and the search methodology, are not within the framework that an experienced plant expert would expect to find.

However, making an app work in the field is unlike creating book texts, or eBook material. To ensure that the Tree Search can work efficiently, it is imperative that these data are as reliable as possible across the board, for all species covered in TheTreeApp.

The material all needed to be:

pic Compound leaves have a varying number of leaflets, depending on the type of leaf. However, in TheTreeApp we use one leaflet, noting all the data on that leaflet, as if it is one simple leaf.
It is usually best to use the largest leaflet on your leaf, or if they are all the same you could use the terminal.

When you fill in data for this section it will be covering the in-depth information about the largest leaflet.

SHAPE DESCRIPTIONS

The method of entering data for both shape descriptions and measurement in TheTreeApp is very similar in both Simple and Compound leaves.

To be sure that there is consistency in the way that each user describes the shapes of each species, in easy English, TheTreeApp team developed and tested a method of dividing each leaflet into quarters. These quarter sections are the base of describing shapes.

In all Compound leaves, the leaflet to use is always one of the largest on your leaf.

DIVIDING A BLADE

pic

In all leaf and leaflet shapes and measurement descriptions, TheTreeApp refers to the Upper Quarter and the Lower Quarter, and occasionally to the fold lines.

To measure the Upper and Lower Quarters, leaflets are divided 4 equal sections, across the width.

pic

You can practice this on a fair-sized Simple leaf. Fold it into 4 quarters, as drawn in the following diagrams.

pic Step 1
Fold the top half of the leaf-blade down to the top of the leaf-stalk, creating the mid-width fold.
pic Step 2
Fold the Upper quarter of the leaf-blade upwards to meet the mid-width fold.
pic Step 3
Fold the Lower quarter of the leaf-blade backwards and upwards so the top of the leaf-stalk meets the mid-width fold.

In all Compound leaves, you follow a similar process on the largest leaflet of your leaf.

Once you are familiar with the idea you will not have to do this with every leaflet. Your eye will learn to assess the Upper and Lower Quarters. These quarters, created by the folding, shown in the sequences above, are indicated by dotted lines in the diagrams below.

BLADE: LARGEST LEAFLET

pic The sub-sections are listed in the InfoHotSpot in the green banner, but some that are more complex, do have their own InfoHotSpot for further information. These are indicated by the small dark circle with an pic at the base of the icon.

There are 11 sub-categories here; you can choose to enter data for any or all of them:

pic Shape: Extreme tip
pic Shape: Upper quarter (leaf apex)
pic Shape: Lower Quarter (leaf base)
pic Edge: Teeth (etc) absent/present
pic Edge: Rolled under
pic Edge: Wavy
pic Leaf-stalk: Colour
pic Under-surface: Colour
pic Veins: Major/thicker veins arising from/near leaf-base
pic Midvein/s: Colour under-surface
pic Sizes
pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Sizes

pic

LENGTH & WIDTH

In Compound leaves, use the largest leaflet on the leaf for all measurements.

pic

The size of leaflet-blades is measured in millimetres (mm).

Note: Even if a leaf is over 1 metre (1 000 mm), it is still recorded in millimetres.

pic

The length is taken from the leaflet tip to the top of the leaf/let-stalk.

Note: If there is no leaflet-stalk, the measurement is ended where the blade meets the twig or the feather-shaft.

pic The width is taken across the widest point of the leaflet-blade.

Most measurements on Compound leaf leaflets are made on the largest leaflet. If all leaflets are about the same size, then use the terminal (tip-end) leaflet.



Once-Divided: Not Feather-Like

pic

These leaves are obviously Compound but do not look like feathers. They have a varying number of leaflets.

The leaflets all have green leaflet-stalks, which join the leaf-stalk. This leaf-stalk then connects the leaf to the brown woody twig/branchlet/branch.


There are 3 sub-categories here; you can choose to enter data for any or all of them:

pic Leaf: Types
There are essentially 3 main types of leaves. These are 2-leaflet, 3-leaflet and Hand-shaped Compound.
pic Leaf: Arrangement on woody parts
In botany 'arrangement' means the way in which specific plant parts are grouped on the wood. Here it means the way that the leaf-stalk joins the twig/branchlet/branch.
pic Blade: Largest leaflet
In this large sub-category there are many opportunities to enter data about the species you are looking at.

pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Types

pic

There are 5 options here; please enter data in one only.

pic 2-leaflet Compound
Check carefully that this is not a 2-lobed Simple leaf by looking at the veins (see below).
pic 3-leaflet Compound
Check carefully that this is not a 3-lobed Simple leaf by looking at the veins (see below).
There are 2 choices if you have a 3-leaflet Compound leaf. If you feel sure it is in the Rhus (Searsia) Genus, then choose that option. However, if you are not sure, all the Rhus species are in the general 3-leaflet category. There is an InfoHotSpot specifically highlighting Rhus. Open this with pic at the base of the Rhus icon.
pic 3-leaflet Compound: only Rhus (Searsia) species
There is an InfoHotSpot specifically highlighting Rhus features. Open this with pic at the base of this Rhus icon.
pic Hand-shaped Compound
These are very distinctive. More than 3 leaflets join together (via their leafelt-stalks) on to one green leaf-stalk that attaches to the brown twig. You use the largest leaflet for all your data entries.
pic Hand-shaped Compound Palm: leaflets in a fan
These are very distinctive. More than 3 leaflets join together (via their leafelt-stalks) on to one green leaf-stalk that attaches to the brown twig. You use the largest leaflet for all your data entries.
pic

In the Compound leaves, to the left, the midveins are visible in the leaflet-blades, only to the top of the leaflet-stalk. They do continue down through the leaflet-stalk, but they are not generally as visible.

If you are still not sure see the InfoHotSpot associated with Simple leaves Types.


pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Types

Rhus Searsia species
Characteristics of Rhus Searsia leaflets names

Historically various Rhus, Searsia species were known by three names in English, many of these deriving from the virtually identical Afrikaans and Koi San names. These were Kuni, Karee and Currant.

In the early 2000's a group of tree specialists in South Africa, from numerous walks of interest and skill, met for close on a year to add some value to the English common names. Over 95 % of the names you see here were approved by this erudite group who included Prof Kevin Balkwill, Richard Boone, Meg Coates-Palgrave, Dr Hugh Glen, Dr Marie Jordaan, Mervyn Lotter, Ernst Schmidt and Val Thomas.

Superb work was done on the names of the then Rhus genus. (The scientific name was only changed to Searsia in 2007).

Essentially, as far as possible, the old names were kept as the base, with the following attributes of the terminal leaflet dividing the species visually for the amateur tree spotter. All three names kept -Rhus after the descriptor, e.g. Karee-rhus, Kuni-rhus and Currant-rhus, to honour the fact that that name is recorded over 2 000 years ago in Roman literature.

Karee-rhus species have a terminal leaflet with a length that is close to, or more than, x3 the width. The leaf tip is always pointed.

pic

Currant-rhus species have a terminal leaflet with a length that is less than x2 the width. The tip of the leaf (Upper Quarter in fact) is rounded, and definitely not blunt/truncated. In a few it is pointed.

pic

Kuni-rhus species have the bonding feature of a grey bloom covering the leaf surface. In addition the terminal leaflet length is (usually) approximately x2 the width. In addition the leaf tip is often blunt/truncated. In a few it is rounded.

This is the least reliable of the sub-categories.

There are two of the four species of Kuni-rhus where the terminal leaflet is more than x3 the width. These are Crack-bark Kuni-rhus, Searsia rimosa and Namaqua Kuni-rhus, S. undulata. Both these species had deeply entrenched Kuni as a name, and it was decided to honour the history of the specific species rather than force them into a new nomenclature format, by their leaflet shape. To add to the troubles in Namaqua Kuni-rhus, S. undulata the leaflet tip is not consistently blunt.

However, as a summary, there are hundreds of names across all the South African vernaculars that rely entirely on their history for their acceptance. As a general rule this nomenclature is extremely helpful to the Rhus newcomer.

pic

Leaf Arrangement on Woody Parts

pic

In botany, 'arrangement' means the way in which specific plant parts are grouped on the wood. Here it means the way that the leaf-stalk joins the twig.

This section is to cover all Once-divided Compound Not Feather-like leaves. They can be 2-leaflet, 3-leaflet or Hand-shaped Compound. Th eimagesa re all for 2-leaflet Compound.

pic Alternate / spiralled
pic Opposite / sub-opposite
pic Clustered / fascicled in tufts: On twig / branchlet
pic Rosettes: At end twig/branchlet
pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Leaflet-Blade: Largest Leaflet

pic

TheTreeApp DATA COLLECTED: TERMS USED

Some of these data, as well as the terms used and the search methodology, are not within the framework that an experienced plant expert would expect to find.

However, making an app work in the field is unlike creating book texts, or eBook material. To ensure that the Tree Search can work efficiently, it is imperative that these data are as reliable as possible across the board, for all species covered in TheTreeApp.

The material all needed to be:

pic Compound leaves have a varying number of leaflets, depending on the type of leaf. However, in TheTreeApp we use one leaflet, noting all the data on that leaflet, as if it is one simple leaf.
It is usually best to use the largest leaflet on your leaf, or if they are all the same you could use the terminal one.

SHAPE DESCRIPTIONS

The method of entering data for both shape descriptions and measurement in TheTreeApp is very similar in both Simple and Compound leaves.

To be sure that there is consistency in the way that each user describes the shapes of each species, in easy English, TheTreeApp team developed and tested a method of dividing each leaflet into quarters. These quarter sections are the base of describing shapes.

In all Compound leaves, the leaflet to use is always one of the largest on your leaf.

DIVIDING A BLADE

pic

In all leaf and leaflet shapes and measurement descriptions, TheTreeApp refers to the Upper Quarter and the Lower Quarter, and occasionally to the fold lines.

To measure the Upper and Lower Quarters, leaflets are divided 4 equal sections, across the width.

pic

You can practice this on a fair-sized Simple leaf. Fold it into 4 quarters, as drawn in the following diagrams.

pic Step 1
Fold the top half of the leaf-blade down to the top of the leaf-stalk, creating the mid-width fold.
pic Step 2
Fold the Upper quarter of the leaf-blade upwards to meet the mid-width fold.
pic Step 3
Fold the Lower quarter of the leaf-blade backwards and upwards so the top of the leaf-stalk meets the mid-width fold.

In all Compound leaves, you follow a similar process on the largest leaflet of your leaf.

Once you are familiar with the idea you will not have to do this with every leaflet. Your eye will learn to assess the Upper and Lower Quarters. These quarters, created by the folding, shown in the sequences above, are indicated by dotted lines in the diagrams below.

BLADE: LARGEST LEAFLET

When you fill in data for this section, choose to cover this in-depth information using the largest leaflet.

pic The sub-sections are listed here, but some that are more complex ,do have their own InfoHotSpot for further information. These are indicated by pic at the base of the icon.

There are 9 sub-categories here; you can choose to enter data for any or all of them:

pic Shape: Extreme tip of leaflet blade
pic Shape: Upper quarter of leaflet blade (leaf apex)
pic Shape: Lower quarter of leaflet blade (leaf base)
pic Edge: Serrations (etc) absent/present
pic Edge: Rolled under
pic Edge: Wavy
pic Veins: Major/thicker veins arising from/near leaf-base
pic Midvein/s: Colour under-surface
pic Sizes
pic Compound leaves have a varying number of leaflets, depending on the type of leaf. However, in TheTreeApp we use one leaflet, noting all the data on that leaflet, as if it is one simple leaf.
It is usually best to use the largest leaflet on your leaf, or if they are all the same you could use the terminal.
pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Sizes

pic

LENGTH & WIDTH

pic

The size of leaflet-blades is measured in millimetres (mm).

Note: Even if a leaf is over 100 mm, it is still recorded in millimetres.

pic

The length is taken from the leaflet tip to the top of the leaf/let-stalk.

Note: If there is no leaflet-stalk, the measurement is ended where the blade meets the twig or the feather-shaft

pic The width is taken across the widest point of the leaflet-blade.

Most measurements on Compound leaf leaflets are made on the largest leaflet. If all leaflets are about the same size, then use the terminal (tip-end) leaflet.



Twice-Divided Compound: Feather-Like

pic

These have the overall appearance of a double feather.

They are composed of a number of pairs of featherlets, each carrying leaflets.

The example leaf in the diagram below, includes the following:

pic

Note: In all Compound leaves, the leaf-stalk (petiole) merges with its feather-shaft (rachis). The number of pairs of featherlets, as well as the number of pairs of leaflets, helps identify the exact species.

LEAFLET ATTACHMENT TO FEATHERLET-SHAFT

There are 2 ways that leaflets can attach to the featherlet and this can help identify a specific tree with Twice-divided Compound leaves that are feather-like.

See below how the leaflets attach to the featherlet-shaft (Alternate leaflets on the left and Opposite leaflets on the right):

pic

These are featherlets; and the leaflets attach to the featherlet-shaft


pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Both Simple and Compound Present

pic

In TheTreeApp, there are only 16 species where both Simple and Compound leaves are present on the same plant at the same time; therefore, if you choose Both Simple and Compound present, the numbers of trees left in the Tree List is far fewer than either of the other two choices.

Once you have selected both Simple and Compound leaves, you have the option to choose to continue to 'Simple present' or 'Compound present' and enter the data for one of these two types. Either method will help you identify your tree.

The 16 species occur in the following Genera:

Indigenous Genera:
Bush-cherry (Maerua), 4 species
Cucumber-bush (Thilachium), 1 species
Corkwood (Commiphora), 4 species
Greehair-tree (Parkinsonia), 1 species

Invasive Genera:
Acacia (Acacia), 2 species
Gorse (Ulex), 1 species
Hakea (Hakea), 1 species
Jasmine (Jasminum), 1 species
Potato-creeper (Solanum), 1 species


pic For more information on leaves and how to tell the different types of leaves apart, open the InfoHotSpot in the green banner on the first data screen for the major category Leaves.


Aloe-Like

pic

If you select this category, the search is narrowed down to 22 species.

Some of these are the indigenous Aloes (Aloe), Tree-aloes (Aloidendron) and Dragon-trees (Dracaena) species. In addition there are invasive and alien species, the 2 Agave/Sisal (Agave) and Willow Hakea (Hakea salicifolia).

Aloe-like plants are sorted by the absence or presence of thorns, as well as by the thorn placements. After you have selected Aloe-like, please go to:

Enter the thorn data there.

DRAGON TREES

Dragon-trees, Dracaena species, are also entered here. Like this group of Aloes, they have long strap-like leaves that emerge near the top of a central thick stem.

pic

In addition, one of them Wolkberg Dragon-tree, Dracaena transvaalensis has 'Aloe-like' leaves, described as leathery, stiff and fleshy to nearly succulent.



Bamboo / Reeds

pic At present, TheTreeApp covers only one larger indigenous Bamboo, Drakensberg Bamboo, (Thamnocalamus tesselatus) which occurs on the Eastern slopes of the Drakensberg through the Eastern Cape.

In addition it lists one of a number of powerfully invasive Reeds, Spanish Reed (Arundo donax).

As the invasive species is completely dominating vast areas of our waterways, throughout most of South Africa and threatening the indigenous Bamboo in the limited area where it does occur, it is important to learn the differences between these two species. Luckily they do look very different in terms of leaf size and shape. Measure these and compare the artwork to identify the species.

ADDITIONAL READING

These distribution maps show a convincing reason why we should try to control the spread of the invasive Spanish Reed Arundo donax.

pic

Cabbage-Trees

pic

There are 10 indigenous Cabbage-trees (Cussonia and Schefflera) species in South Africa.

Many of them do have a fairly similar outward appearance even though their individual leaves are very different in structure.

There is very little else that is immediately obvious, other than height and location that allows you to identify a Cabbage-tree, besides the very complicated leaves.

Cabbage-tree leaves are divided into further sub-categories. Look at the icons to see which leaves match the ones on the tree that you are trying to identify to see if it is a Simple leaf, Once-divided Compound or Twice-divided Compound.

pic Simple leaves
These attach directly to the twig/ branchlet which is usually brown if mature.
pic Once-divided Compound
These leaves are usually Hand-shaped (Not-featherlike). Each leaflet has a green leaflet-stalk attaching to the others and collectively they attach to the green leaf-stalk. This in turn attaches to the brown twig/branchlet.
pic Twice-divided Compound
These leaves are usually composed of a group of featherlets that are grouped in a Hand-shaped pattern. Each featherlet is sub-divided further into irregularly shaped leaflets; each featherlet-stalk is green attaching to the others; and collectively they attach to the green leaf-stalk. This in turn attaches to the brown twig/branchlet.

The leaves that are the most complex are the Twice-divided Compound.

Once you have selected Twice-divided Compound, you will need to assess a few leaves on your chosen tree and decide on the sequence of the:

See a few examples below:

pic 1 triangle: 1 single leaflet
pic 1 triangle: 3 leaflets
pic 1 triangle: a pair of leaflets: a triangle: 3 leaflets
pic 1 triangle: a pair of leaflets: a pair of leaflets: a triangle: a pair of leaflets: a triangle: 3 leaflets


Palm / Strelitzia / Banana

pic

The leaf types are all large and most are longer than they are wide. Some are Simple and some are Compound. None are succulent.



Tree-Ferns / Cycads

pic

Here TheTreeApp covers the leaves of the two different 'types': Tree-ferns, Alsophila = Cyathea, and Cycads, Encephalartos.

These two types have very specific features that differentiate them.

pic Tree-ferns
Leaves and leaflets are soft and not spine-tipped.
pic Cycads
Leaves and leaflets are firm and spine-tipped.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Note: There is interesting information in the Growth Form major category InfoHotSpot on Tree-ferns and Cycads. Some of this is summarised below.

TREE FERNS

Tree-ferns are all in the one Tree-fern Family, namely Cyatheaceae. The two indigenous species included in TheTreeApp are now in the Alsophila, which has changed from Cyathea. The naturalised species formerly known as Cyathea cooperi is now placed in the genus Sphaeropteris.

CYCADS

World-wide, the name 'Cycads' covers a range of three Families: the Cycadaceae, Stangeriaceae and Zamiaceae.

In South Africa there are 2 of these Families present and the first, Stangeriaceae, has only 1 Genus with the single species Stangeria eriopus. It is too small to be included.

The second Family is Zamiaceae, which also has a single Genus found in South Africa, Encephalartos. The plants range from Encephalartos caffer, a dwarf cycad in grasslands of the Eastern Cape, to Encephalartos transvenosus, in the north of Limpopo Province, which can reach 13 m max. TheTreeApp team has compiled a general profile of the Zamiaceae, for these plants that can grow to above 3m.




Flowers

Introduction

TheTreeApp has been carefully edited to ensure that the data for each species is as scientifically accurate as possible. However, many of the terms used are not those of traditional botany.

Flowers, scientifically, are particularly complex. Therefore, an easy-to-follow simplified system has been developed in order to accommodate users of all levels. This system will be unfamiliar to the more advanced user at first.

To reach the level of consistency that we aimed for – that is understandable without a formal botanical training (and . . . despite this training!) – has taken many years of trial and error. What emerged over time was the usage of a data set that is not directly recorded in the general literature, but had to be extrapolated and gleaned from texts, as well as a multitude of photographs. We are very aware that this is a journey that is not yet completed. There are some cases where our data will not deliver the species we had hoped it would.

Our sincere belief is that we have created a fundamental shift in the understanding of single flowers as well as flower-groups, that in no way could ever replace the efficacy of formal botanical description and terminology, where and whenever that is needed. But this method does allow ordinary people to look at a flower on a tree with new eyes; and enter some meaningful, comparative data, that will, at very least, sort it to Genus level.

To repeat. We make no claims that the simplified system in TheTreeApp can ever match botanical data, item by item. But we hope that users will join the journey and learn to use the ideas incorporated in this new, useful tool.

Botanical Details of a Single Flower

Each single flower is made up of similar components. For purposes of TheTreeApp, it is necessary to be able to recognise the differences between the Reproductive and the Non-reproductive parts that are visible in the majority of flowers.


All the following cutaway diagrams show cross sections through the middle of the flowers.

Reproductive parts

pic The essential Reproductive parts are the male stamens and female pistil. These are shown in red.

Non-reproductive parts

pic The essential Non-reproductive parts are some form of the corolla (with or without separated petals), as well as calyx (with or without separated sepals), and the flowerstalk. These are shown in red.

Tree flowers vary greatly. Most have a visible corolla, calyx and flower-stalk. Many, however, have only 1 or 2 of these 3 parts of the flower. A few (such as the Euphorbia) have none of these Non-reproductive flower parts.

Even when a flower has both petals and sepals, one or other of these flower parts might be very small, and hard to see. Thus some flowers are dominated by visible petals; others are dominated by the calyx (with or without sepal lobes). In addition there are those where the petals and sepals are of equal size and it can be difficult to know which is which.

Flower with prominent petals

In the actual species that are represented below, the petals can have rounded or pointed tips; and this applies equally to the sepals.

pic

Flower with prominent sepals

In the actual species that are represented below, the petals can have rounded or pointed tips; and this applies equally to the sepals.

pic

Flower with Equally prominent Petals & Sepals

In the actual species that are represented below, the petals can have rounded or pointed tips; and this applies equally to the sepals.

pic

Flower Tube/Trumpet from top of Flower-Stalk; Petals Separated or not, at upper end

In the actual species that are represented below, the petals can have rounded or pointed tips; and this applies equally to the sepals.

pic

In the various species, Genera and Families, these different components have different sizes and shapes. Here is a diagram of a flower that has the same components as the single flower above. In this example the corolla forms a tube with small petals at the top, rather than the large separated petals of the previous image.

In the actual species that are represented here, the petals can have rounded or pointed tips; and this applies equally to the sepals.

Flower-Groups vs Solitary Flowers

Flowers can be solitary (alone) or can be held in some type of group (flower-group).

You can do this by checking how the flower is attached to the twig:

Note: When you have a tree that has a flower-group type flower, the 'flower-head' IS made up of single flowers. Therefore, in the Tree Search, you can enter both a Flower-group choice as well as a Single flower choice, i.e. in the latter sub-category you enter the type of single flower that makes up the flower-group.

Flower-Group Types Described by TheTreeApp

There are 2 major groups to help you indicate the type of flower-group you are looking at.

  1. Flower-groups: according to how they join the woody plant part
  2. Flower-groups: by Family/Genus

The first category requires explanation, but the second is self-evident.

Flower-groups according to how they join the woody plant part

There are 7 sub-categories in this section.

Solitary flowers; on one flower-stalk; not grouped in any way
pic

These are made up of visibly separate individual flowers attached to a single flower-group-stalk.
The flower-group-stalk joins to the branch or twig.

Clustered/fascicled; a number of single flowers; each on a single flower-stalk; at one point on wood
pic

These are made up of visibly separate individual flowers attached to a single flower-group-stalk.
The flower-group-stalk joins to the branch or twig.

Unbranched/branched collection; on one flower-group-stalk
pic

These are made up of visibly separate individual flowers attached to a single flower-group-stalk.
The flower-group-stalk joins to the branch or twig.

Tight spike
pic

There are close on 100 of these species.

The axis of the flower-group is elongated to produce the spike, and flowers are also usually crowded close together.

In a tight spike, the individual flowers (which are small, white, cream or yellow in these Genera) have a short or absent flower stalk.

Flowers are also usually crowded close together.

Examples include Acacias (Acacia, Seneglia and Vachellia), Bushwillows (Combretum), and Cabbage-trees (Cussonia and Schefflera).

Tight Ball/Hedgehog
pic

The flower-group-stalk is not elongated.

In a tight ball, the individual flowers are attached, almost all at one point, to a very short apex of the flower-group-stalk.

Examples include all the Acacias that have their names changed to Vachellia.

Pincushion like: Flower-group
pic

The Pincushion flower-group looks very like a tight ball flower-group, but parts of each single flower (pistils, stamens or petals) are large enough to form a pincushion-shaped structure rather than a ball.
Examples include Albizia/False-thorn (Albizia) and Bushwillow (Combretum).

Note: Please look at this flower type very carefully.

It may be what you actually have is a single flower carried on one flower-stalk and not a flower-group (made up of single flowers). If you look carefully at a 'pincushion' single flower you will see it is made up of individual flowers, each with a central style and stigma. Therefore is one flower.
Examples include Powderpuff-tree (Barringtonia racemosa), Bush-cherry (Maerua).
See the icon below.

pic

If so, select the Flowers not groups: Solitary option in this section (Flower-group type) and then select the following option:

Protea (Protea / Pincushion / Pagoda-tree)

This well-known 'flower' is in fact a flower-group. It is created by a central dense mass of individual 'flowers'.

The shape of the overall flower-head, as well as each single flower, depend on whether this is a Protea (Protea), Pincusion-bush (Leucospermum) or Pagoda-tree (Mimetes).

pic
Protea (Protea)
pic
Pincushion (Leucospermum)
pic
Pagoda-tree (Mimetes)

Note: The Cone-bush (Leucadendron) is the next flower-group. It is also in the Protea Family but it looks very different from these 3, which are similar enough to one another to be recognised as related to our traditional Protea.

Cone-Bush (Leucadendron)
pic

This is a well-known 'flower' in the Protea family, even though it looks very much like a fruit, or a cone.

It is in fact a flower-group created by a central dense mass of florets that are individually the reproducing single flowers. These are surrounded by outer bracts.

Note: While the Cone-bush (Leucadendron) is, of course, in the Protea Family, it has not been grouped with the other Proteas, as it looks very different from the other Proteas, which are similar enough to one another to be recognised as related to our traditional Protea.

Sunflower-like & Thistle-like: Daisy Family
Sunflower-like
pic

While many people may view this as a 'flower'; it is not actually a single flower but instead is a flower-group in the Daisy family.

Each outer coloured 'petal' is actually a ray floret, with one or more showy petals. Each of the central (darker) 'units' is a tubular or 'disk' floret or single flower, of the overall flower-group.

Disc florets have either small or no lobes on the tubular corolla. They are too small to see individually without a magnifying glass.

Note: Please look at this flower type very carefully.

A star-shaped solitary flower has similar yellow-coloured petals but has a group of stamens in the centre instead of the disk 'florets'. It may be what you actually have is a single flower carried on one flower-stalk and not a flower-group (made up of single flowers). See the example below:

pic

If you feel you have a Flower-group example, then select:

If however, you feel you have a SINGLE flower, then select the Solitary option in the section Flower-group type; and then select the following options:

Thistle-like
pic

Each thistle-like projection is a 'floret', which is a tiny single flower creating a dense cluster as a thistle- or grass-like head.

The flower-head is formed by bracts (modified leaves) surrounding the apex of the flower-stalk.

They are too small to see without a magnifying glass.

This flower-group occurs in the Daisy (ASTERACEAE) and Buddleja (BUDDLEJACEAE) Families.

If you believe this is the correct allocation, select the following option:

None of the above
pic

If you feel sure that you have: –

  • a flower-group, on one single flower-group-stalk;
  • with the flower-stalk carrying a number of single flowers;
  • and none of the other categories apply to your flower-group;

then select this option.

Flower groups; By Family / Genus

Aloe: Ball or Spike-like
pic

Any flower-group (inflorescence) on an Aloe-Aloe (Aloe) or Tree-aloe (Aloidenderon) is an easy flower-group to recognise.

Some of these are ball-shaped and some are spike-like.

All are made up of separate, easy to distinguish, tubular, single flowers.



Flowers Inside Fig 'Fruit'
pic

All Figs are included in the Fig, Ficus Genus which is in the Fig MORACEAE Family.

Figs do not have visible outer flowers.

All the reproductive parts that make up more commonly known flowers are inside the fleshy container we call the fig.

These flowers are pollinated inside the fruit; each species by its own species of wasp.



Protea (Protea / Pincushion / Pagoda-tree)

This well known 'flower' is in fact a flower-group. It is created by a central dense mass of individual 'flowers'.

The shape of the overall flower-head, as well as each single flower, depend on whether this is a Protea (Protea), Pincusion-bush (Leucospermum) or Pagoda-tree (Mimetes).

pic
Protea (Protea)
pic
Pincushion (Leucospermum)
pic
Pagoda-tree (Mimetes)

Note: The Cone-bush (Leucadendron) is the next flower-group. It is also in the Protea Family but it looks very different from these 3, which are similar enough to one another to be recognised as related to our traditional Protea.



Hakea, Boekenhout, Silky-oak
pic

These trees are all in the Protea Family, with 8 species in all in this section. However, only the first one Boekenhout, Faurea is indigenous. The other 2 are Hakea, Hakea, and Silky-oak, Grevillea, all species of which, in TheTreeApp, are Nemba registered as Invasive Aliens. All of them have flowers that are in compact flower-groups, made up of small flowers with significantly visible Reproductive parts.



Cone-Bush (Leucadendron)
pic

This is a well-known 'flower' in the Protea family, even though it looks very much like a fruit, or a cone.

It is in fact a flower-group created by a central dense mass of florets that are individually the reproducing single flowers. These are surrounded by outer bracts.

Note: While the Cone-bush (Leucadendron) is, of course, in the Protea Family, it has not been grouped with the other Proteas, as it looks very different from the other Proteas, which are similar enough to one another to be recognised as related to our traditional Protea.



Strelitzia
pic

Strelitzia is both the Common English, and Botanical names for this Genus. In Afrikaans it is not surprisingly, the Wildepiesang. There are 3 species covered in TheTreeApp.

This flower-group is so visually unusual that it is easy to recognise in this list by its shape, even if you do not know its name.



Sunflower-like & Thistle-like: Daisy Family
Sunflower-like
pic

While many people may view this as a 'flower'; it is not actually a single flower but instead is a flower-group in the Daisy family.

Each outer coloured 'petal' is actually a ray floret, with one or more showy petals. Each of the central (darker) 'units' is a tubular or 'disk' floret or single flower, of the overall flower-group.

Disc florets have either small or no lobes on the tubular corolla. They are too small to see individually without a magnifying glass.

Note: Please look at this flower type very carefully.

A star-shaped solitary flower has similar yellow-coloured petals but has a group of stamens in the centre instead of the disk 'florets'. It may be what you actually have is a single flower carried on one flower-stalk and not a flower-group (made up of single flowers). See the example below:

pic

If you feel you have a Flower-group example, then select:

If however, you feel you have a SINGLE flower, then select the Solitary option in the section Flower-group type; and then select the following options:

Thistle-like
pic

Each thistle-like projection is a 'floret', which is a tiny single flower creating a dense cluster as a thistle- or grass-like head.

The flower-head is formed by bracts (modified leaves) surrounding the apex of the flower-stalk.

They are too small to see without a magnifying glass.

This flower-group occurs in the Daisy (ASTERACEAE) and Buddleja (BUDDLEJACEAE) Families.

If you believe this is the correct allocation, select the following option:



Tree-euphorbia
pic

Euphorbia flower-groups have prominent nectaries surrounding the them and this creates a unique flower-group type called a cyathium. The result – confusingly – is that the Flower-group looks similar to a single poppy-like flower with rounded lobes.
1% of the Tree List are Euphorbias.



None of the above
pic

If you feel sure that you have: –

  • a flower-group, on one single flower-group-stalk;
  • with the flower-stalk carrying a number of single flowers;
  • and none of the other categories apply to your flower-group;

then select this option.

Individual, Single Flower Types

The system used in TheTreeApp to describe individual flower types is essentially based on the following:

  1. Neither the petals of the corolla nor the sepals of the calyx are fused.
    Therefore, the petals or the sepals are free throughout their length.
  2. Either the corolla or the calyx fuse from the end of the flower-stalk to form a cup/bell or tube/trumpet.
    The petals or the sepals may or may not be separated lobes.
  3. The rest of the flower types are in 6 further, different categories.

Categories 1 and 2 above cover over 85% of the species in the Tree List.

1. Corolla nor calyx fused; no cup or tube present; single or multi-layered

In TheTreeApp these flowers are termed:

pic
Star-shaped

Here the most prominent non-reproductive parts are pointed at the tips.

This is irrespective of whether it is the petals or the sepals that are prominent.

pic
Poppy-like

Here the most prominent non-reproductive parts are rounded at the tips.

This is irrespective of whether it is the petals or the sepals that are prominent.

Close to 40% of TheTreeList has these types of flowers.

2. Corolla or calyx fused

In TheTreeApp these flowers are termed:

pic
Cup-/bell-shaped

Here the petals or the sepals are fused from the point where the flower-stalk ends and the corolla or calyx form a cup.

Sometimes the petals/sepals then separate, and sometimes the mouth of the cup remains complete.

The open mouth of the cup is wider than, or roughly the same width as the cup length.

pic
Tube-/trumpet-shaped

Here the petals or the sepals are fused from the point where the flower-stalk ends and this forms a tube/trumpet.

Sometimes petals and/or sepals are separated; and sometimes the tube mouth remains complete.

The mouth of the tube/trumpet is always as the same width, or narrower than the length of the tube.

35% of the flowers on Tree List are recorded as being one of these shapes.
This is whether or not the upper/open end of the tube is divided into separated petals or sepals.

Occasionally, when it is hard to determine from the available resources if the flower is more cup- or more tube-shaped, TheTreeApp uses:
cup-/bell to tube-/trumpet-shaped.

3. Other flower types

3.1 Too small to see easily without a lens
pic This includes any flowers that are 5 mm or less in width/diameter It is interesting that 47% of the flowers in The Tree List are recorded here. Where ever possible, the trees in this list are also recorded as being one of the other shapes described below.
3.2 Pincushion-like individual flowers
pic Individual flower pic Flower-group This includes any flowers where the stamens and style (reproductive parts) dominate the appearance of the flower. This means that the corolla and/or calyx are far less significant, if not absent. The Tree List records around 10% of these flowers.
To use this category, you should look really carefully at the flower, to be sure it is not a Flower-group that is the pincushion, as in the right hand diagram. An individual flower pincushion only has one set of reproductive parts. The easiest way to determine this is to identify the style, of which there is only one in one flower; whereas to be a pincusion, there are usually many stamens. The Flower-group pincushion has many styles.
3.3 Sweet-pea-like
pic 5% of the Tree List records these flowers. They consist of a banner petal, a keel and 2 wings. The repoductive parts are usually enclosed in the keel petal. Most of these flowers are in the Legume Family, Sweet-pea Sub-family.
3.4 Tiny flowers inside a fig
pic 2% of the Tree List are Figs.
3.5 Tree-euphorbia
pic Euphorbia flower-groups have prominent nectaries surrounding the them and this creates a unique flower-group type called a cyathium. The result – confusingly – is that the Flower-group looks similar to a single poppy-like flower with rounded lobes.
1% of the Tree List are Euphorbias.
3.6 Unusual
pic This includes any flowers that do NOT follow the basic patterns described in the rest of the types above.
Whenever possible, you should avoid using this category without looking really carefully at the flower, to be sure it is not just a slight variant of a common shape.
This category is only used when the entire flower is really uncommonly formed.


Visibility: Reproductive Parts: without damaging flower

pic

You need to determine if by simply looking at the flower, without damaging or opening it further, you are able see any of the Reproductive Parts (see the parts labelled in RED TEXT in the diagram below).

pic

Note: As you can see in the diagram above, the ovary is also part of the reproductive system; however, as it is often too deeply embedded in the flower to be seen (clearly), the ovary is not included as part of the reproductive parts that you need to observe in this section.


There are 3 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic Not visible: enclosed
pic Visible: exposed
pic Too small to assess


Mature single flower; Reproductive Parts: dominant colour: without damaging flower

You need to determine if you are able to simply look at the flower and, without damaging it in any way at all, observe the colour of the Reproductive Parts (see the parts labelled in red text in the diagram below).

pic
There are 4 options here; please enter data in one only:
pic Not visible
pic Red / maroon / pink / magenta / pale or dark but not purple
pic Blue / purple / lilac / indigo / violet
pic Any other colour range, not including green


Single mature flower; Non-Reproductive Parts; when dominant colour is NOT green; no damage

You need to determine if you are able to simply look at the flower and, without damaging it in any way at all, observe the colour of the Non-reproductive Parts.

The Non-reproductive Parts are marked in red text in the diagram below.

pic

Note: As you can see in the diagram above, both the corolla (made up of petals) and the calyx (made up of sepals) are Non-reproductive Parts. The relationships of positioning and relative sizes is highly variable in different genera, but generally reliable in a specific species.

To complete this part of the Search you do not have to distinguish between the corolla and calyx parts. All that is needed is to record the single most dominant colour in a single flower.

In the majority of plants the calyx is green. But in most South African trees this is not visually the most prominent feature of the flower. However, there are a number of trees where there is in fact no distinct corolla, and you will then record the colour of the calyx. In some other trees the corolla and calyx are not distinctly separated (ie they are undifferentiated). In botany the two parts together are then called the perianth. But, again you will not need to recognise the botanical features, you only need to record the colour.

To summarise; none of these more botanical facts change what you are required to do here. Simply mark whether you feel that the single flower is larger or smaller than 10 mm, without the flower-stalk, in any measurement.

Please note that this list here, does not include green. If you feel that the dominant colour is green, go one step back in the Search, and then move on to the next sub-category – Dominant colour green.

There are 5 options here; please enter data in one only:
pic Non-reproductive Parts are not visible
pic White / cream
pic Yellow / orange / gold
pic Red / maroon / pink / magenta / pale or dark but not purple
pic Blue / purple / lilac / indigo / violet


Single mature flower; Non-Reproductive Parts; when dominant colour is green; no damage

You need to determine if you are able to simply look at the flower and, without damaging it in any way at all, observe if the colour of the Non-reproductive Parts are predominantly green.

The Non-reproductive Parts are marked in red text in the diagram below.

pic

Note: As you can see in the diagram above, both the corolla (made up of petals) and the calyx (made up of sepals) are Non-reproductive Parts. The relationships of positioning and relative sizes is highly variable in different genera, but generally reliable in a specific species.

To complete this part of the Search you do not have to distinguish between the corolla and calyx parts. All that is needed is to record the single most dominant colour in a single flower.

In the majority of plants the calyx is green. But in most South African trees this is not visually the most prominent feature of the flower. However, there are a number of trees where there is in fact no distinct corolla, and you will then record the colour of the calyx. In some other trees the corolla and calyx are not distinctly separated (ie they are undifferentiated). In botany the two parts together are then called the perianth. But, again you will not need to recognise the botanical features, you only need to record the colour.

To summarise; none of these more botanical facts change what you are required to do here. Simply mark whether you feel that the single flower is larger or smaller than 10 mm, without the flower-stalk, in any measurement.

There are 2 options here; please enter data in one only:
pic The greatest measurement of the flower is 10 mm or smaller; without the flower-stalk
pic The greatest measurement of the flower is more than 10 mm; without the flower-stalk



Fruit

pic

While TheTreeApp has been created to be as botanically and scientifically accurate as possible, in order to accommodate users of all levels, for the Fruit section an easy-to-follow simplified system has been developed for this rather complex area of study. To the more advanced user, this system may have unfamiliar terminology/categories at first; however, with some experimentation, in the field, with real fruit, it will soon make sense.

Note: Please pay special attention to those sub-categories that have a hash (#) after their names. These need to be selected with caution due to the fact that these entries are open to individual interpretation and may be ambiguous. Before you input data for one of these sub-categories, it is helpful to look at the trees you have left in the Tree List first. See which trees best match a particular option and if these trees drop out of the Tree List when a particular option is selected, use the Review button at the bottom right of the screen to undo the entry in the # sub-category.

pic Months that fruit are present

There are 5 sub-categories here; you can choose enter data for any or all of them:

pic Kind & shape
pic Feel/texture/consistency: recently ripened
pic Surface features
pic Colour: recently ripened


Measuring Fruit Sizes

In all data collected by TheTreeApp team, a generous margin for individual fruit differences has been allowed.

However, all fruit start as barely a few millimetres long or wide in the dying flower, and grow to a size that is relatively predictable for that species. Make the effort to look at a number different fruit on your chosen tree and choose one that is of average appearance.

Choose the ripest available. Remember that as fruit mature many of them start to shrivel, shrinking in size, and they will often change colour as well.

In TheTreeApp all measurements are in millimetres.


TheTreeApp TERMS FOR THE LENGTH AND THE WIDTH

pic pic pic

Neither of these measurements are that easy to do, as generally speaking, fruit is not flat, as most leaves are, and there is some adjustment needed for an estimate. You need to imagine that the fruit has been cut in half, both lengthways top to bottom, and on its width. You would then - in effect - measure the 2 'diameters'.

IN A THIN, FLAT FRUIT WHAT IS THE LENGTH?

As above, most fruit are round, oval, oblong, square or pod-like. They are not generally, markedly thin in either length or width. (Remember the length starts where the stalk enters the fruit and is measured to the opposite side.)


A few fruit are particularly thin in one dimension, which can be either length or width. In both the icons below it is the length that is very short.

pic

Reminder: When measuring length you start from the point where the fruit-stalk enters the fruit, to the opposite furthest point, as shown below. Below, the top icon has a very short length, and wide width. In the lower icon there is a long length but a short width.

pic

Shape & kind

pic

If you enter as much data on the kind and shape of fruit as you possibly can, you are likely to get close to an identity of a tree species.


There are 2 sub-categories here; you can choose to enter data for any or all of them:

pic Shape: recently ripened
pic Some Family/Genus: fruit features


Shape: Recently Ripened Fruit

pic

There are 6 sub-categories here; you can choose to enter data for any or all of them:

pic
Simple: No wings/lobes/parts

This is the largest sub-category of fruit in TheTreeApp holding 965 species. However, there are a series of sub-categories to refine your search further.

pic
Simple: With wings

There are 81 species defined as having wings. The wings on the fruit are usually an aid to seed distribution, by the wind.

pic
Multi-part: Similar lobes/parts: fused

There are 111 species in this group. These fruit are made up of a number of similarly shaped sections, which are fused together to clearly form 1 fruit.

pic
Multi-part: Similar lobes/parts: joined#

There are 50 species in this group. These fruit are made up of a number of similarly shaped sections, which are joined together to form 1 fruit. In certain species you may wonder if it IS one fruit or more. This is why the sub-category has # at the end of its name as it is open to personal interpretation.

pic
Nutlet/nutlet: unadorned/ hairy/ bristly/ spiky/ lobed/ fatty/ winged

There are close on 90 species in this group. These fruit are made up of usually very small nutlets but still have a hard outer shell. They can take any of the forms described in the heading above.

pic
Any other shape not above

There are 113 species in this group. These are fruit with shapes that do not comfortably belong in any of the sub-categories above. Some more 'difficult' to define fruit are repeated here and above.



Simple: No Wings / Lobes / Parts

pic Not surprisingly, this is the largest group of fruit in TheTreeApp, with over 960 species left in the Tree List if you have no other data entered; however, there are many subcategories to follow to reduce the Tree List further.


Shapes
pic

There is 1 option and 3 sub-categories here:

pic Round: not woody
Length and width are within 25% of being equal
pic Oval
Either length or width are greater than 125 - 200%
pic Length greater than width by 200% or more
pic Kidney-shaped


(±) Round: Length & Width within 25%: Not Woody
pic

Not surprisingly, this is a very large group comprising some 500 species.

Fruit varies a great deal in exact shape, even within a single species – and even on a single tree. Deciding between round and oval can be relatively difficult.

To make sure you do not lose your species while using the Tree Search, in some cases, round or oval can be used interchangeably, i.e. they do overlap, to allow some leeway for the deviances of nature. Simply enter what appears to you to be correct. (There are ± 500 round species and 400 oval species recorded here, but a total of ±730 species in both the round and oval categories together. You can deduce that ±200 species have been allocated to both categories.)



Oval: Length or Width is Greater by 125 to 200%
pic

This is a large category of some 400 species. Please read the description in round, immediately preceding this entry.

To repeat the information in the previous sub-category ((+/-) Round: Length & Width within 25%: Not Woody): Deciding between round and oval can be relatively difficult. To make sure you do not lose your species while using the Tree Search, in some cases, round or oval can be used interchangeably, i.e. they do overlap, to allow some leeway for the deviances of nature. Simply enter what appears to you to be correct.

However, oval is not as simple to describe as round. The oval sub-category has further sub-categories. All of them require you to choose between comparative measurements. Until you are able to rely on your own judgement to assess this, it is best to use a measure of some kind.



Length to Width Proportions
pic

This establishes which of the 2 measurements is the greater



Width Proportions
pic

This establishes the relative lengths of 4 measurements:

pic

Middle width is greatest

pic

Stalk- and tip-end widths are within 25% of being equal

pic

Stalk-end width is greater than tip-end

pic

Tip-end width is greater than stalk-end



Length greater than width: > 200%
pic There are approximately 250 species in this group. These are all fruit that are basically two times (or more) longer than they are wide. These can be woody or non-woody fruit.


Kidney-shaped
pic There are 16 species in this group. These can be woody or non-woody fruit.

In some the length is greater than the width and in others it is the reverse.

pic pic

Simple: With Wings

pic All these fruits have wings of some type or another to assist with fruit, and therefore seed dispersal. From school days, this is discussed as being one of the ways that the plant disperses seeds, so it is a familiar concept to most people.

Wings are generally easy to recognise; however there are a wide range of shapes, sizes and types in this group, and so it is not always easy to decide if you are looking at 'wings' or extensions of the fruit.

If you are unsure, simply select the option that matches best. If you are unable to identify a tree, return to the category where you were unsure and try a different option.

This is a far smaller group of fruit, with approximately 80 species in the section.


There are 3 sub-categories here; you can choose to enter data for any or all of them:

pic Wings are made of...
pic Shape of wing/s
pic Number of wings


Wings Are Made Of...
pic

Different winged fruit are 'made' of specific plant materials.


There are 5 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic

Wood - even if quite thin and flimsy

Some of these wings are woody, e.g. in Bushwillow (Combretum) Genus and Cluster-leaves (Terminalia) Genus. This can even be quite flimsy, thin wood.

pic

Old flower petals; therefore appear papery

Some trees have fruit with wings that are papery, as in the Wild-pears (Dombeya) Genus, Southern Chinese-hats (Karomia speciosa) and Spekboom (Portulacaria afra).

pic

Same 'material' as the fruit itself

Others have wing-like projections or spikes made of the same 'material' as the fruit itself, Candlewood (Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus).

Note: The very observant user may notice that this is the same icon as for Composite irregular fruit. Some people see these as wings on 1 fruit; others see them as irregular lobes. TheTreeApp has them listed as both.

pic

Soft plant material

Some fruit have wings made of soft plant material almost as if it were similar to a leaf or a petal; which it is not. This icon is made from pictures of Forest-nettle, Acalypha species.

Note: The very observant user may notice that this may be a Composite irregular fruit; with a number of joined lobes, ignoring the 'wings'. Again TheTreeApp has them listed as both.

pic

Finally, some fruit wings are difficult to classify. Select this option if the fruit of the tree that you are trying to identify does not fit any of the above choices.



Shape of Wings
pic

The shape of the wings can be the deciding factor in identifying your tree.


There are 4 options here; please enter data in one only. In the first 3 options below, the shape of the wings refers to the manner in which they surround the seed 'case'. In the 4th option is for wing shapes that are harder to define.

pic Round or oval seed 'case' plus 1 or 2 long wings
pic Round or oval seed 'case' plus 3 or more wings
pic Wing around (most of) the seed 'case'
pic Other shape with wings: not described here


Number of Wings
pic

The number of wings you record will help identify the species.

This can be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and more than 5.

If a wing is complete all the way round the central seed, this is counted as 1 wing.

pic 1 wing
pic 2 wings
pic 3 wings
pic 4 wings
pic 5 wings


Multi-Part: Similar Lobes / Parts: Fused =1 Fruit

pic

The essential factor to look for in this sub-category is that some number of 'lobes/parts' (from 2 to 25) have fused together to form one fruit.

The 'lobes/parts' of these fruit do NOT include wings.

The outer overall shape of the fruit is of no interest here; you need to simply look if the fruit itself appears to be made up of multi-parts.

Note: This is different from the next sub-category (Multi-part: Similar lobes/parts: joined at 1 point = 1 fruit). This group is where the 'lobes/parts' are each separate but joined at one point to make a single fruit on a single fruit stalk.

There are 116 fruit in this sub-category


There are 2 sub-categories here; you can choose to enter data for any or all of them:

pic Shape of lobes / parts
These include rounded / oval; elongated; and irregular / angular.
pic Number of lobes / parts
Type in the number of lobes. This entry must be between 2 and 25.


Multi-Part: Similar Lobes / Parts: Joined at 1 Point = 1 Fruit

pic

In the previous category, the 'lobes/parts' were fused to make a single fruit. Here they are definitely separated, but very similar parts. The essential factor to look for in this sub-category is that some number of 'lobes/parts' (from 2 to 25) have joined together to form one fruit.

The outer overall shape of the fruit is of no interest here; you need to simply look if the fruit itself appears to be made up of multi-parts that are separately shaped.

Note: This is different from the previous sub-category (Multi-part: Similar lobes/parts: fused = 1 fruit) where the 'lobes/parts' have fused together to form one fruit.

These are approximately 50 fruit in this sub-category.


There are 2 sub-categories here; you can choose to enter data for any or all of them:

pic Shape of separate parts of composite fruit
These include rounded / oval, elongated and irregular / angular.
pic Number of parts
Type in the number of parts. This entry must be between 2 and 25.


Nutlet: Unadorned / Hairy / Bristly / Spiky / Lobed / Fatty / Winged

pic

Nutlet
Unadorned/ hairy/ bristly/ spiky/ lobed/ fatty/ winged

There are close on 90 species in this group. These fruit are made up of usually very small nutlets but still have a hard outer shell. They can take any of the forms described in the heading above.

Some Family/Genus: Fruit Features



Any other shape not above#

pic

There are 9 options here; please enter data in one only. However this list is followed by the category to enter Length and this can be done as well.

pic

Square
There are approximately 11 species country-wide. These are from 9 Genera.

pic

Fruiting-spike/catkin: With hairy nutlets
There are approximately 7 species country-wide. These are all Boekenhouts (Faurea) and Willow (Salix).

pic

Star-shaped
There are 5 species country-wide.

pic

Covered in stiff green / golden / pale hairs: looks like a caterpillar
There are 2 species country-wide.

pic

Mass of shortened, flattened, green bananas
Held in a wood-like outer frame.
This is the unripe fruit of the Wild-banana (Ensete ventricosum) as is the sub-category below which is the ripened fruit

pic

Tightly packed mass green / yellow / orange / black dried 'peas'
Mass of shortened, flattened, yellow bananas held in a wood-like outer frame. This is the ripe fruit of the Wild-banana (Ensete ventricosum) as is the sub-category above which is the unripened fruit

pic

Triangular
There are 2 species country-wide.

pic

Tightly packed, 'round' segments/fruit on a spike.
There are approximately 10 species country-wide. These are mostly Cabbage-trees (Cussonia), plus 1 invasive and 1 non-invasive alien.

pic

Does not match any listing above
There are over 40 species country-wide.

pic

Length in mm of any of the above



Some Family/Genus: Fruit Features

pic This category comprises those Families or Genera of plants which are easily recognisable either because they are familiar to most people or because they have distinctive fruit that most people recognise.

There are ±400 fruit listed here. Browse through these fruits in the Tree Search a few times to learn their characteristics and you will soon recognise them in the field.

They are listed alphabetically.


There are 13 sub-categories here; please enter data in one only. Detailed information about each sub-category for this InfoHotSpot follows after the list.

pic Aloe-like families
pic Bushwillow family
pic Cones: Various Families: Excl Yellowwood spp
pic Daisy: Some Genera: Thistle- or brush-like
pic Fig Genus
pic 'Gum nuts' & some Myrtle spp
pic Legume Family: Plus sub families
pic Ochna Family: Micky Mouse-bush
pic Protea Family
pic Raisin - Grewia Genus
pic 'Rhus' - Searsia Genus
pic Yellowwood Family
pic Species not in Families / Genera above


Aloe-like Genera (Aloe, Aloidendron, Dracaena & Agave)

pic

This sub-category includes Aloe, Aloe and Tree-aloe, Aloidendron, Dragon-tree Dracaena and Agave, Agave species.

pic

Aloe-like flowers grow on a central flower-group-stalk out of the middle of the rosette of leaves. If pollinated these become soft pale capsules with suture lines that indicate where the capsule will split when dry to release the seeds.

As the capsules mature, they become dry and brittle, and, depending on the species, somewhere between papery and woody.

There are 22 larger Aloe (Aloe) and Tree-aloe (Aloidendron) species in TheTreeApp, all growing towards or upwards of 3 m in height.

Note: For three of the South African Aloes included in TheTreeApp, the botanical name has changed from Aloe to Aloidendron. These are Eastern Tree-aloe, Aloidendron barberae, Quiver Tree-aloe, Aloidendron dichotomum and Giant Tree-aloe Aloidendron pillansii.

The other trees in this sub-category are indigenous Dragon-trees (Dracaena) and 2 species of Alien/Invasive Agave, Sisal (Agave). All have similar capsule fruit, with Dragon-tree fruit being rounder than the others.



Bushwillow Family (Combreteaceae))

pic

The best known of this family are the Bushwillows themselves, the Combretums, which all have similar pods and a central nut which houses a single seed, with wings around the nut. These range from 3 to 7 wings.


There are 3 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic not winged – Tonga-mangrove Lumnitzera
pic 1 winged - Cluster-leaf, Terminalia
pic 3-winged Bushwillow, Combretum
pic 4-winged Bushwillow, Combretum
pic 5- or more-winged Bushwillow, Combretum

The cousins of the Bushwillows in the same Family are the Cluster-leaf Genus, the Terminalia species. These all have a single central nut with a single flat wing surrounding it. The colours vary in the different species, and from young to old, from pale brown to fairly strong purple.



Cones: Various Families: Excl Yellowwood Species

pic

A diverse range of plants have their fruits or seeds borne in protective cones which are distinctive enough to be easily recognised.

There are 28 species in total, of which 16 species are indigneous in 2 genera. These are 3 Cape-cedar (Widdringtonia) and 13 Cone-bush (Leucadendron) species. 11 are Alien or Invasive Pines (Pinus spp), Cassuarina (Cassuarina spp.), and Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempivirens).

This group of cone-bearing genera excludes the Yellowwood (Podocarpus). These are in a separate sub-category called Yellowwoods.

pic Some of the cones listed are hard and can be relatively round, like Mountain Cape-cedar (Widdringtonia nodiflora), and Willowmore Cape-cedar (Widdringtonia schwarzii), as well as some Casuarinas (Casuarina* spp.) and 2 Pines (Pinus*). It also includes the Alien species, Italian Cypress, Cupressus sempivirens*.
pic Others are hard and not generally round, which includes Cycads (Encephalartos spp.), Clanwilliam Cape-cedar (Widdringtonia wallichii), as well as most Pines and 2 Casuarinas (Casuarina* spp).
pic The Cone-bushes (Leucadendron) in the Protea Family are included here even though the 'cone' is not the fruit itself, but a cone-shaped structure that hold the fruits which are nuts.


Daisy Family: Genera with Thistle-like flower-heads (various)

pic NOTE: Individual fruits are small and look like seeds with bristles. As in the diagram these are held in a fruit-head.

In these members of the Daisy Family, the flower-heads become dry when the fruits are ripe and form heads looking like the flower-head of a thistle. Numerous small achenes (nutlets) are held in the old flower-head, which can be singly or in clusters.

TheTreeApp includes approximately 20 species that have fruit-bearing structure of this kind. There are 3 Vernonia (Vernonia) species and 9 Silver-oaks (Brachylaena), as well as Trident Camphor-bush (Tarchonanthus trilobus), that all look very similar.



Fig Genus

Attachment to Woody Parts
pic

There are 25 Figs, Ficus species in TheTreeApp.

The fruits of figs can be differentiated by size, sometimes by colour or overall shape and by how they attach to the main trunk and branches.


There are 2 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic

A single fig, on a single, unbranched fig-stalk attaching directly to the wood of the tree.

Note: When looking at a single fig to be sure that other individual fruits have not simply fallen off the group-stalk, through ripening, wind or birds and other fruit-eating animals.

pic

A group of figs as a branched cluster.

The figs in the second group are often named 'Cluster-figs' as part of their English Common name.

Note: Small-leaved Rock Fig (Ficus tettensis) is unusual as it is sometimes single and sometimes in pairs.



'Gum Nuts' (Eucalyptus) & some Myrtle species (Myrtaceae)

pic

This group covers 11 species which are very widespread throughout most of South Africa.

There are 8 Gum, Eucalyptus* species and 1 Myrtle, Leptospermum*, which are all Invasive or Alien species, as well as 2 Metrosideros. 1 of these, the – Cape-gum, Metrosideros angustifolia, is indigenous. The other Metrosideros, Metrosideros excelsa, is an Invasive Category 1b. This is often called the New Zealand Christmas tree (Pohutukawa) because of its beautiful red flowers. Despite its beauty, do not plant it, as it interferes with our indigenous plants through diverting the local pollinators from our trees and utilising scarce water resources.

In this sub-category, many of the leaves, flowers and fruit are fairly similar, but the artwork and texts should help you to spot the differences. Particularly look at the sizes of the fruit.



Legume Family: Plus Sub Families

pic

Thorn-tree, Bauhinia, Sweet-pea (FABACEAE: Mimosoideae Caesalpinioideae& Papilionoideae)

pic There are ±170 species in three Sub-families in the Legume Family (Fabaceae) covered in TheTreeApp. Their fruit is all in the form of pods with seeds inside (i.e. Legumes, as in peas and beans). In all the Sub-families the leaves are Compound, of various types, and the flowers tend to be amongst South Africa's most colourfully striking.

In most cases, the pods start off green and slightly fleshy, often being quite 'juicy'. This is not recorded in TheTreeApp, which only registers their ripe, black, brown, reddish or yellow, woody state.

In all three Sub-families, there are a number of Invasive or Alien plants. It is a group that have adapted too well to our local conditions and eradicating them should be a priority, as, in many areas, they out-compete our indigenous species.

After choosing this Legume group in the Fruit Search, you can refer to the Tree Search Category Status and look up which of these Fabaceae are in fact prohibited Invasives and how many of them have the legal requirement of having to be eradicated or controlled. There are over 40 of these species, of which most are legally declared to be invasive.

You can also look up Endangered and Protected and identify 7 species. This includes Sandveld Newtonia, Newtonia hildebrandtii, and Umtiza listeriana both of which are endangered and protected Legume species.



Ochna Family (Ochnaceae): Micky Mouse-bush

pic Due to the shape of the receptacle and surrounding sepals with the black fruit, they are sometimes called Mickey-mouse-bushes.

In TheTreeApp, there are 9 Ochna species.

Many of them have similar coloured, sized and shaped fruit. They belong to a genus that is not easy to identify with certainty. This is true whether using their flowers, as most are yellow, or their similar looking fruit, nor by their fairly standard leaf size. And sadly many are relatively eastern species and their distributions overlap centrally.



Protea Family (Proteaceae)

pic

In TheTreeApp, there are over 60 species included in this section. The fruit of all these Protea Family Genera are nutlets with bristles and/or hairs and sometimes fatty lobes.


Protea Family Sub-categories with further data to be entered

pic Flower-heads holding nutlets
There are 3 Genera of the Protea Family, Proteaceae, which are included here, totally 54 species. These are all Genera that have relatively large, roughly round to cone-shaped flower-heads that mature to become dry and brownish, holding the fruit that are nutlets.
pic Catkin-like spike with nutlets
There is one other Genus of the Protea Family, Proteaceae, which ais included here, totalling 4 species. This is Boekenhout, Faurea.
pic Almond-shaped nut
There are 3 other Genera of the Protea Family, Proteaceae, which are included here, totalling 6 species. Only one is indigenous, the Wild-almond, Brabejum stellatifolium. There are 4 Hakea, Hakea species, all of them rated as Nemba 1b which is a higher-end Invasive category. The last is Australian Silky-oak, Grevellia robusta, which is Nemba 3, also Invasive but less threatening.


Genus of Fruiting Plants

Flower-head holding nutlets
pic

Here the old flower-heads dry out and hold the nutlets (the actual fruit).


There are 4 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic

Protea (Protea)
Note that the flowers of some Protea have long stamens and look very similar to Pincushion flowers. There are 26 Tree Proteas covered in TheTreeApp.

pic

Pincushion (Leucospermum)
There are 12 Pincushions included in TheTreeApp.

pic

Cone-bush (Leucadendron)
There are 13 Cone-bushes included in TheTreeApp.

Note: These are also included in the section on cones

pic

Pagoda-tree (Mimetes)
There are 3 Pagoda-trees included in TheTreeApp.



Nutlet Striking Features #

pic

Look carefully at your Protea Family nutlet and decide if it is lobed, or if there are any other striking features such as wings, parachute, hairs, notches, pits or a fleshy covering or appendage. This will help define the species more precisely.

This sub-category probably requires some degree of professional knowledge, and for this reason has the # to indicate that the results could be inaccurate. The data are correct, for the individual species, as far as the current literature could provide information, but interpretation could be unreliable.

One of the difficulties with this small group is that data are often recorded as the size of the whole old, dried 'flower-head', rather than that of the tiny individual fruit (nutlet). Most are only a few millimetres long and will need a hand lens to be sure of the finer features and the size too.



Catkin-Like Spike with Nutlets
pic

Boekenhout (Faurea)
The nutlets are initially held on a catkin-like spike.

As with all fruit they can sometimes be found on the ground under the tree.

The image shown here is closest visually to Willow Boekenhout, Faurea saligna or Terblanz Boekenhout, Faurea macnaughtonii. Other species are on similar catkins, but the appearance of the fruit itself varies.



Almond-Shaped Nut
pic

In this final subset of Protea Family there are 6 species, of which only one is Indigenous.

This is the famous Wild-almond (Brabejum stellatifolium) found only in the South-western Cape. Of the other five, four are classified as Invasives (Australian Silky-oak, Grevillea robusta and three Hakeas) and the fifth is Willow Hakea (Hakea salicifolia), which is an Alien. This is not classified as an Invasive, requiring control of any kind.



Raisin - Grewia Genus

pic

RAISIN GENUS (GREWIA)

The Raisins, Grewia species, are a well-known and very distinctive Genus, with 15 included in TheTreeApp. They are, however, quite difficult to tell apart as individual species.

The leaves and flowers provide the best clues, but in mid-winter you may have no more than the remnants of the old fruit to help you. Beware, then, of size as they will be shrivelled in their older age.

pic

A number of them have single round fruit, each fruit on a separate stalk.

pic

However, many are deeply lobed to form a Multi-part fruit with 2, or 4 lobes, sometimes 3 through attrition or lack of fertilisation.



'Rhus' = Searsia Genus

pic

Only a few of the trees in this genus are particularly tall, but nonetheless, they are a well-known and distinctive group. They are relatively easy to distinguish as being within their genus but difficult to separate at species level.

Location is the first vital clue to identity and this is one of the few South African Genera with as many as 30 species, which, between them, occur in virtually every square kilometre of the country. Acacia is obviously one of the others.

pic

Rhus flowers are all very similar but the shape of the fruit can be an aid to identity. There are very few weeks of the year (in only a few extreme-climate areas) where no Rhus fruit can be found.

TheTreeApp does indicate the fruit-bearing months, but bear in mind that these dates can be altered by unusual seasonal variations and, even, global warming.



Fruit Characteristics
pic

All Rhus, Searsia species fruits initially grow in bunches. They are eaten by birds and mammals and once ripe can be depleted to only a few on each 'cluster'. Each one has a thin, but tough outer skin around a thin fleshy layer. (They are like very small inadequate mangos, being in that Family, the ANACARDIACEAE.)

The main differentiating feature is the shape of the actual fruit, which does vary even on each plant; however, if you look through a number of bunches you should be able to assess what you think is the most common shape.

There are 4 options here: 3 shapes, and whether or not the fruit has hairs, as a fourth option. Only three of the 30 species have hairy fruit, and in all three cases it is described as being densely hairy. Please enter data in one only:

pic More round than oval
pic More oval than round
pic Some plane compressed
pic Hairs present on the fruit*

*The three species with dense hairs are Willow Karee-rhus, Searsia angustifolia, Rub-rub Currant-rhus, Searsia incisa and Bi-coloured Currant-rhus, Searsia tomemtosa.

To further understand the characteristics of the names of the Rhus, Rhus=Searsia names, see the InfoHotSpot Leaves: Compound; Once-divided: Not feather-like.



Yellowwood (Podocarpaceae) Family

pic
pic Male cone

Many trees, including Yellowwoods, have separate male and female flowers, whether on the same tree or on different trees.

In Yellowwoods, the male trees bear cones, which is why are considered to be cone-bearing plants.

Note: The male cones are not fruit; the fruits are always only the fleshy 'drupes' on the female fruiting body, or receptacle.

pic Female fruiting bodies

Yellowwoods have fleshy fruits borne on female trees. The fruits might be single or have up to 5 parts/sections.le.

As always in TheTreeApp, location plays a significant role in identifying Yellowwoods, as do their leaf shapes and sizes. Fruit can be the final piece of data that helps you name your species.



Feel / Texture / Consistency: Recently Ripened#

pic

The options in this section generally follow those in standard texts and have been thoroughly tested. However, due to the blurred boundaries of the concepts and definitions in this section, this sub-category does not contain material that is derived from an exact science. All the terms have been applied with fair consistency throughout as far as possible. Individual plants vary due to many factors including the highly variable weather.

Thus this category has the warning has (#) attached to it to advise you to use it with some degree of caution.

Do your best, but do have an attitude that you will learn the way that TheTreeApp has been constructed, and after some experimentation you will find this is very helpful data. And fun to use.

Note: The shape of this fruit is immaterial here. Shape is dealt with in a previous sub-category. It is only feel/texture/consistency of recently ripened fruit that is required here.


There are 8 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic

Thin skin: Inner flesh: 1 or more seeds
There are over 550 species country-wide.

pic

Hard / firm / thick skin; not pliable; fleshy inside
There are 100 species in country-wide.

The shapes vary greatly as do the actual feel of the fruit. However, they are essentially classified by those things it is easy to see do not apply to them. i.e. they are not fleshy, woody, brittle, bristly nor cotton-wool/hairy.

The fruit in this group are from a wide variety of Genera, including Gardenia (Gardenia), Toad-tree (Tabernaemontanum), Torch-wood (Balanites), Nuxia (Nuxia) Olive (Olea) and Lala-palm (Hyphaene).

pic

Skin varies: dry / not fleshy inside: Seeds may have attached flesh
There are 235 species country-wide.

pic

Woody > 30 mm length: Not fleshy
(Neither soft nor hard fleshiness present)

There are 100 species country-wide. 38 of these are Acacia species including the alien or invasive Acacia and the indigenous Senegalia and Vachellia species.

All the Thorn-tree Family (Fabaceae) are listed here, again, as are all the Pine (Pinus genus), Bushwillows (Combretum Family). Some of these fruit have been covered in Families/Genera, but not all of them. Some have wings, but some do not.

pic

Woody < 30 mm in length: Not fleshy
(Neither soft nor hard fleshiness present)

There are 344 species country-wide.

All the Thorn-tree Family (Fabaceae) are listed here, again, as are all the Pine (Pinus genus), Bushwillows (Combretum Family). Some of these fruit have been covered in Families/Genera, but not all of them. Some have wings, but some do not.

pic

Wing / skirt / appendage: Brittle / papery.
There are only 15 species in this country-wide. 7 of these are Dombeya, Dombeya species.

pic

Fruit: Dry / Brittle / papery
There are 95 species country-wide. 17 of these are Aloe, Aloe and Tree-aloe, Aloidendron species.

Note: Most especially in this option, remember that shape is irrelevant here.

pic

None of the above
If you simply cannot decide on an option, select this hold all option which contains all fruit.



Surface Features

pic

There are 5 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic

Hairy/velvety: not including wooliness
There are 182 species country-wide. These are from approximately 70 Genera. A number of species have botanical names such as villosa, softly hairy tomentosa, densely wooly, mollis and molle, with soft hairs or any word from pubescence (e.g. pubiflora) meaning short hairs and hirsutus/hirtella/hirta, hairy.

pic

Knobs/warts/raised lumps (not seed shapes)
There are 48 species country-wide. They are from a wide variety of 35 Genera.

This category should only be used if the knobs, warts or raised lumps are a markedly visible feature of the fruit. Many more ordinary fruit develop the odd outgrowth. This category is for fruit that to a significant extent are defined by their bumpiness.

pic

Cotton-woolly/combined with hairs
There are 25 species country-wide. These are from 10 Genera including the Invasive Poplar, as well as our Indigenous Willow, Salix, and Sagewood, Buddleja.

pic

Sticky: on the outer surface; without opening the fruit; any part
There are 20 species country-wide in this section. 5 are Acacias, all Vachellia, and the rest are all different Genera – totalling 15.

pic

Spiky, spiny
There are only 14 of these fruit. But they are quite easy to identify when you see them. Do not include fruit with sharp hairs. This is for really sharp, firm spikes only.

pic

Bristles/harsh erect hairs; in clusters or singly
Do not include fruit with really sharp, firm spikes. These are above. This category has only 13 species, 8 of which are Silver-oaks, Brachylaena.

pic

None of the above



Colour: Recently Ripened

pic

Choose the ripest fruit available. As fruit get older, many of them start to shrivel, shrinking in size, and often change colour.

pic Black
pic Brown / beige / grey
pic Bronze / copper / rusty
pic Red / pink / orange
pic Purple / blue
pic Green / blue
pic Yellow / orange / gold
pic White / cream / silver



Status Screen Overview

pic

There is detailed background information about Status and how the Category works in TheTreeApp. You can access this in 3 separate places:

  1. Scroll to Status background Information below
  2. Go to the Help button on the Home screen and find this same heading, Status
  3. Go to our website www.thetreeapp.co.za, and watch the same InfoHotSpot of the same name there.

Below is the InfoHotSpot describing the screen that is open.

There are 3 categories

pic Indigenous
pic Invasive & Non-invasive Aliens
pic Poisonous / irritant

INTRODUCTION

In this major category, all the trees listed in TheTreeApp are sorted into groupings that are not included as search elements anywhere else in the Tree List.
For this section to help with an actual Tree Search you would have to already have some information about the species.

Status has 3 sub-categories. The first 2 are mutually exclusive, as a species has to be either Indigenous or Alien. The third, Poisonous/irritant can apply to both. You are unlikely to know a plant is poisonous if you do not know its identity, so you would not use this category as a search tool.

pic

The Status category has two major purposes/uses:

  1. To be a discovery tool

    Status is a fascinating category that offers you lists of trees that are in defined groups. In relation to the specific group type, here you can answer the questions of "How many trees are there..?" as well as "Which specific trees are there..?"

    For example, you can start with any major category that interests you, such as Location, and then moving on to Status, you can establish how many/which poisonous trees, or Invasives, or Invasive poisonous trees are in the selected location.

    Note: You can do the same with ANY category/sub-category, such as a specific height group, or trees with or without thorns. This category helps gardeners, and in later updates when gardening is fully added to this app, the two sections will work really well as combined data.

  2. To be a Search tool

    When you want to identity a tree, ultimately via the Tree Search, you can use either of the first 2 major categories in Status, either as a starting point, or half way through your search. These are the choice between Indigenous and Invasive & Non-invasive Aliens.

    In Status, you choose the sub-category that applies to the tree you are aiming to identify which reduces the Tree List to include only the relevant species. You then continue your search as usual following the Tree Search categories. This could lessen your search time by as much as 90%.



Indigenous Overview

pic

There is detailed background information about Indigenous and how the category works in TheTreeApp. You can access this in 3 separate places:

  1. Scroll to Indigenous background Information below
  2. Go to the Help button on the Home screen and find this same heading, Indigenous.
  3. Go to our website www.thetreeapp.co.za, and watch the same InfoHotSPot of the same name there.

Below is the InfoHotSpot describing the screen that is open.

Plants that have records to show that they have occurred naturally in the country throughout the record-taking period are called indigenous or native. These records can be oral reports/names handed down through generations of local people or from any data generated by 'early' explorers.

There is only one sub-category here that could be used for helping a Tree Search, and that is the first one, Search by Family/Genus names.

Here you can search trees in any Family/Genera that you know by either Botanical or English name.

pic
pic Endangered / Threatened / Declining / Vulnerable / Rare
These are divided into 6 sub-categories, which are used by the internationally endorsed IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria.
pic Not endangered: Least concern
pic Protected
pic Bush encroachers


Search by Family/Genus Name

pic

Here you can search trees in any Family/Genera that you know by either Botanical or English name.

This includes 4 sub-categories that cover all 982 Indigenous trees in TheTreeApp. Two of the 4 sub-categories are recorded by the Botanical names (by Family and by Genus) and two by English name (also by Family and by Genus).

You would have to be sure the tree you were looking at was not an Alien.

The categories that follow are discovery tools rather than search tools.

pic

Search by Family/Genus names

This includes 4 further sub-categories:

Note: The colour used here to highlight English name Indigenous species is the same colour used in the maps to indicate the species' distributions.

Within a sub-category, all the subsequent data are in alphabetical order and are, therefore, easy to follow. Once you have selected a group, you can then continue your search in the normal way, returning to the core categories such as Leaves, Thorns, Flowers, etc from the Tree Search page.



Endangered / Vulnerable / Threatened / Declining / Rare

pic

South Africa uses the internationally endorsed 'IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria' in the Red List of South African plants. These are divided into a number of categories that have legal implications for the way in which the species is handled. All 982 Indigenous trees in TheTreeApp, 102 are placed in one of the categories in this list.

NATIONAL RED LIST CATEGORIES

Taken from http://redlist.sanbi.org/redcat.php

pic
pic

South Africa uses the internationally endorsed 'IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria' in the Red List of South African plants. This scientific system is designed to measure species' risk of extinction. The purpose of this system is to highlight those species that are most urgently in need of conservation action. Due to its strong focus on determining risk of extinction, the IUCN system does not highlight species that are at low risk of extinction, but may nonetheless be of high conservation importance.

Because the Red List of South African plants is used widely in South African conservation practices such as systematic conservation planning or protected area expansion, we use an amended system of categories designed to highlight those species that are at low risk of extinction but of conservation concern.

Note: In the Help section (which you can access from the Home screen), there is an extended version of this information, with all the details of the criteria by which these plants are assessed.

DEFINITIONS OF THE NATIONAL RED LIST CATEGORIES

Categories marked with N are non-IUCN, national Red List categories for species not in danger of extinction, but considered of conservation concern. The IUCN equivalent of these categories is Least Concern (LC).

EXTINCT (EX)

A species is Extinct when there is no reasonable doubt that the last individual has died. Species should be classified as Extinct only once exhaustive surveys throughout the species' known range have failed to record an individual.
Note: None of these are covered in TheTreeApp South Africa.

EXTINCT IN THE WILD (EW)

A species is Extinct in the Wild when it is known to survive only in cultivation or as a naturalised population (or populations) well outside the past range.
Note: None of these are covered in TheTreeApp South Africa.

REGIONALLY EXTINCT (RE)

A species is Regionally Extinct when it is extinct within the region assessed (in this case South Africa), but wild populations can still be found in areas outside the region.
Note: None of these are covered in TheTreeApp South Africa.

pic
CRITICALLY ENDANGERED, POSSIBLY EXTINCT (CE PE)

Possibly Extinct is a special tag associated with the category Critically Endangered, indicating species that are highly likely to be extinct, but the exhaustive surveys required for classifying the species as Extinct has not yet been completed. A small chance remains that such species may still be rediscovered.

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED (CR)

A species is Critically Endangered when the best available evidence indicates that it meets at least one of the five IUCN criteria for Critically Endangered, indicating that the species is facing an extremely high risk of extinction.

pic
ENDANGERED (EN)

A species is Endangered when the best available evidence indicates that it meets at least one of the five IUCN criteria for Endangered, indicating that the species is facing a very high risk of extinction.

pic
VULNERABLE (VU)

A species is Vulnerable when the best available evidence indicates that it meets at least one of the five IUCN criteria for Vulnerable, indicating that the species is facing a high risk of extinction.

pic
NEAR THREATENED (NT)

A species is Near Threatened when available evidence indicates that it nearly meets any of the IUCN criteria for Vulnerable, and is therefore likely to become at risk of extinction in the near future.

pic
NDECLINING

A species is Declining when it does not meet or nearly meet any of the five IUCN criteria and does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable or Near Threatened, but there are threatening processes causing a continuing decline of the species.

pic
NCRITICALLY RARE

A species is Critically Rare when it is known to occur at a single site, but is not exposed to any direct or plausible potential threat and does not otherwise qualify for a category of threat according to one of the five IUCN criteria.

NRARE

A species is Rare when it meets at least one of four South African criteria for rarity, but is not exposed to any direct or plausible potential threat and does not qualify for a category of threat according to one of the five IUCN criteria.



Critically Endangered

pic

The species is highly likely to be extinct while small chance remains that such species may still be rediscovered or the species is facing an extremely high risk of extinction.



Endangered

pic

The species is facing a very high risk of extinction.



Vulnerable

pic

The species is facing a high risk of extinction.



Near threatened

pic

The species is likely to become at risk of extinction in the near future.



Declining

pic

There are threatening processes causing a continuing decline of the species.



Rare

pic

A species is known to occur at a single site, but is not exposed to any direct or plausible potential threat; or it meets a criterion for rarity, but, again, is not exposed to any direct or plausible potential threat.



Least Concern

pic

A species is classified as Least Concern when it has been evaluated against the IUCN criteria and does not qualify for any of the Endangered/ Threatened/ Declining/ Vulnerable/ Rare subcategories.

The trees here are considered at low risk of extinction as they are widespread and abundant. There are 894 species in TheTreeApp that are in this category.



Protected

pic

On 21 November 2014, the Government notices from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries No. 908, listed close to 50 Indigenous plants in South Africa, that fall under their legal jurisdiction as Protected trees.

There are 44 of these that are in TheTreeApp. These are from 28 Families, covering 39 Genera. Between them, they are found in almost every corner of South Africa.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

pic

The authority with the legal and practical responsibility for tree protection in South Africa is the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The following has been copied, with editing modifications only, from FORESTRY REGULATION & OVERSIGHT Module: 1110.

BACKGROUND: PROTECTED TREES

In terms of the National Forests Act of 1998 certain tree species (types of trees) can be identified and declared as protected.
The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry followed an objective, scientific and participative process to arrive at the new list of protected tree species, enacted in 2004. All trees occurring in natural forests are also protected in terms of the Act.
Protective action takes place within the framework of the Act as well as national policy and guidelines.
Trees are protected for a variety of reasons and some species require strict protection while others require control over harvesting and utilisation.

LISTING AND PROCLAMATION

The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry received a long list of proposed tree species for protection from stakeholders. A panel of experts then assisted the Department in evaluating these proposals, using a set of criteria developed at public workshops.
The final list of protected tree species was published by notice in the Government Gazette and newspapers after a public review process.

The criteria used to select tree species for inclusion in the protected tree list are:

As the basis of all protection falls within the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries the following has been copied, with editing modifications only, from GOVERNMENT NOTICES, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES, No. 908, 21 November 2014.

NOTICE OF THE LIST OF PROTECTED TREE SPECIES UNDER THE NATIONAL FORESTS ACT, 1998

(act no 84 OF 1998)

By virtue of powers vested in me under Section 15 (3) of the National Forests Act, 1998, I, Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries hereby publish a list of all Protected trees belonging to particular species under section 12 (1) (d) set out in the schedule below.

The effect of this declaration is that in terms of Section 15 (1) of the National; Forests Act, 1998, no person may:

Contravention of this declaration is regarded as a first category offence that may result in a person who is found guilty being sentenced to a fine or imprisonment for a period of up to three years, or to both a fine and imprisonment.



Bush Encroachers

pic

Plants in this group are not Alien but Indigenous plants that tend to become abnormally abundant where the area is degraded, for example by overgrazing or injudicious fires. They are often, erroneously, termed 'weeds', because of their impact on the land, and this is in part due to that fact that they were included in the Cara legislation of 1983 and 2001. These need to be carefully managed to avoid further ecological damage to the area.

There are 15 species in this list in 5 Families and 7 genera. By far the largest group are the Thorn-tree Sub-family, the Mimosoideae in the Legume, Fabaceae Family. This includes some specific Acacias and Sickle-bush, Dichrostachys cinererea.

Sweet-thorn Acacia, Acacia=Vachellia karroo is the widest spread of the encroachers, with Velvet raisin, Grewia flava covering much of the north of South Africa.

There is legislation covering the management of bush encroachment.



Invasives & Non-Invasive Aliens

pic

There is detailed background information about Invasives and Non-invasive Aliens, and how that section works in TheTreeApp. You can access this in 3 separate places:

Below is the InfoHotSpot describing the screen that is open

There are 3 categories

SEARCH BY FAMILY/GENUS NAMES

pic

There are 4 sub-categories here, and you can choose to search using any one of them that fits your level of skill or interest. There are essentially 2 tools here:

INVASIVE ALIENS

pic

Plants which are not naturally occurring in a country are called Aliens. It is estimated that South Africa has approximately 750 alien tree species and around 8 000 alien shrubby and herbaceous species.

Of these 8 000 alien plants, 379 are naturalised, which means that they are permanently established without direct human support. TheTreeApp covers 112 of these trees.

pic

NON-INVASIVE ALIENS

TheTreeApp has also covered 24 Aliens that are currently recorded as non-invasive species. These are all woody that do occur in more natural areas and have the potential to become Invasive.

INVASIVE AND NON-INVASIVE ALIENS:
FURTHER INFORMATION

Why are invasive species a problem?

Invasive Alien Plant species (IAPs) are a legal liability for every landowner in the country.

Moreover, IAPs are highly adaptable, vigorous growers that easily invade a wide range of ecological niches. They:

pic

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) regards Invasives as the third most devastating threat to biodiversity after habitat loss and habitat degradation globally.

Invasives "constitute the single greatest threat to South Africa's biodiversity", says Dr Guy Preston. By 2008, invasive species had invaded at least 20 million hectares of South Africa. It is estimated that, on average, they spread and grow at 10% per annum, doubling in just seven years.

Woody invasive species in South Africa

"Many trees and other woody plants are highly invasive in South Africa, a feature that sets the country apart from most other regions of the world, where herbaceous species generally dominate invasive flora," says Professor Dave Richardson.

TheTreeApp includes 110 of the larger, woody Invasive species, which enforcebale legal status in order to slow their spread. (See NEMBA section beow.)

pic
Water wise. A eucalyptus invasion is removed on the banks of the Vaal Dam by a Working for Water team. Category 2 Eucalyptus species found alongside water courses, dams or in protected areas immediately are designated Category 1b Invasive species and must be removed.
pic
Clearing Red-eye, Acacia cyclops in the Eastern Cape, by Working for Water teams, is a high priority, as this Nemba 1b Invasive alien is a serious threat to Indigenous plants and water levels too.

Some of this removal can be done through active physical clearing with saws, large garden clippers and axes, or picks to remove roots. In many cases, however, it will require the correct type of chemical on the stumps to kill any further regrowth.

pic
Working for Water teams chemically treat stumps of Black Wattle, Acacia mearnsii, near Pietermaritzberg to reduce regrowth.

Invasive alien plants and the law

Legislation regarding noxious weeds is nothing new in South Africa.

As early as 1860, Spiny Cocklebur, Xanthium spinosum was declared a noxious weed in the Cape Peninsula. Even before the promulgation of the Noxious Weeds Act, Number 42 of 1937, the various provincial administrations were charged with the enforcement of legislation on the compulsory eradication of weeds.

pic
Spiny Cocklebur, Xanthum spinosum

The changes to create the current legislation were necessitated by the accelerating deterioration of the country's natural resources due to invasion by IAPs, as well as a heightened public awareness with regard to environmental matters.

History of CARA NEMBA – WEEDS IN AGRICULTURE

The Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act 43 (CARA) was first passed in 1983 and amended in 2001. CARA lists 199 plants of which 44 were legally declared or proposed for declaration as noxious weeds. This meant they had to be removed by law.

A further 31 plants under CARA were listed as declared invaders and their spread had to be controlled. Australian tree species featured prominently in these lists.
The 199 plants listed in CARA have been incorporated into the latest (NEMBA) legislation, except for two Eucalyptus species which the bee keeping industry have proved are critical for bee foraging and not Invasive.

The two CARA species dropped from the latest (NEMBA) legislation are the black ironbark/ red ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon) and Victorian blue gum (Eucalyptus gomphocephala).

There are 75 species in this list included in TheTreeApp and the most widespread of these are the 2 Prickly-pears, Opuntia ficus-indica and O. imbricata. In the arid regions Honey and Velvet Prosopis, Prosopis glandulosa and P. velutina are dire threat, while Black Locust, Robinia pseudoacacia in the east has a significant distribution. There are 6 Australian Acaias/Wattles in the 1b category.

NEMBA categories
pic

On the 1 August 2014, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) published the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 2004 (Act No 10 of 2004) (NEMBA), including the Alien and Invasive Species Regulations (AIS Regulations). The AIS Regulations became legally binding on 1 October 2014.

The AIS Regulations are aimed at preventing the introduction of invasive species into South Africa while effectively managing those species which are already established.

The regulations include two lists:

FAMILY/GENUS NAME DETAILS

pic

Plants that are not naturally occurring in a country are called Aliens. It is estimated that South Africa has approximately 750 alien tree species and around 8 000 alien shrubby and herbaceous species.

Of these 8 000 alien plants, 379 are naturalised, which means that they are permanently established without direct human support.

It is a major part of the conservation mission of the development of TheTreeApp to empower ordinary South Africans to be aware of this threat and to help, actively, wherever possible, to control IAPs.

INVASIVE ALIENS DETAILS

pic

It is a major part of the conservation mission of the development of TheTreeApp to empower ordinary South Africans to be aware of this threat and to help, actively, wherever possible, to control IAPs.

This section covers all 136 Invasive and Non-invasive aliens in TheTreeApp. Two are recorded by the Botanical names (by Family and by Genus) and two by English name (also by Family and by Genus). TheTreeApp includes 110 of the larger, woody Invasive species, listed by Nemba in their 2014 classification. These trees all have some form of legal requirement that controls their existence in South Africa.



Search by Family/Genus Names

pic

Here you can search trees in any Family/Genera that you know by either Botanical or English name.

This includes 4 sub-categories that cover all 136 Invasive and Non-invasive Alien trees in TheTreeApp. You can choose to search using any one of them that fits your level of skill or interest. Two of the 4 sub-categories are recorded by the Botanical names (by Family and by Genus) and two by English name (also by Family and by Genus).

pic

Note: The colour used here to highlight English name Invasive and Alien species is the same colour used in the maps to indicate the species' distributions.

Within a sub-category, all the subsequent data are in alphabetical order and are, therefore, easy to follow. Once you have selected a group, you can then continue your search in the normal way, returning to the core categories such as Leaves, Thorns, Flowers, etc from the Tree Search page.



Invasives

pic

Of the 556 listed Invasive plant species under NEMBA's AIS Regulations, TheTreeApp includes 111 that are larger and woody species.


There are 4 options (NEMBA categories) here; please enter data in one only:


Category 1a

pic

These are invasive species which must be controlled and where possible, eradicated. Any form of trade or planting is strictly prohibited.


Category 1b

pic

These are established invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed. Any form of trade or planting is strictly prohibited and landowners are obligated to control Category 1b plants and animals on their properties.


Category 2

pic

Invasive species, or species deemed to be potentially invasive, in which a permit, issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs is required to carry out a restricted activity.


Category 3

pic

Invasive species which may remain in prescribed areas or provinces. Further planting, propagation or trade is, however, prohibited.



Category 1a: Invader: Early Detection: Control

pic

These are Invasive species which must be controlled and where possible, eradicated. Any form of trade or planting is strictly prohibited. Category 1a species are usually species which are newly established and have small populations.

In South Africa there are 7 included here as the larger woody Invasives. These occur in the Southern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and in Mmpumalanga.

pic
Artwork: Joan Van Gogh; New Zealand Christmas-tree, Metrosideros excelsa


Category 1b: Established Invader: Control

pic

These are established invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed. Any form of trade or planting is strictly prohibited and landowners are obligated to control Category 1b plants and animals on their properties.

NEMBA specifies that a species management plan should be implemented, in conjunction with a control plan, for dealing with large infestations of Category 1b plants on large properties.

pic
Artwork left: Joan Van Gogh; Sweet Prickly-pear, Opuntia ficus-indica | Artwork right: Penny Moraites; Black Locust, Robinia pseudoacacia

There are 75 species in this list included in TheTreeApp and the most widespread of these are the 2 Prickly-pears, Opuntia ficus-indica and O. imbricata. In the arid regions, Honey and Velvet Prosopis, Prosopis glandulosa and P. velutina are dire threat, while Black Locust, Robinia pseudoacacia in the east has a significant distribution. There are 6 Australian Acaias/Wattles in the 1b category.



Category 2: Apply for Permits

pic

Invasive species, or species deemed to be potentially invasive, in which a permit, issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs is required to carry out a restricted activity.

Category 2 species include commercially important species such as pine, wattle and gum trees.

Category 2 species revert to Category 1b species when they are no longer under the control of the landowner or when found outside of the demarcated area, such as pines or gums in a wetland or protected area such as a nature reserve or national park.

pic
Artwork by Joan van Gogh; Beefwood, Casuarina cunninghamiana

There are 22 Invasive species in this list included in TheTreeApp, with some of them occurring literally throughout the county e.g. Beefwood, Casuarina cunninghamiana.



Category 3: No Trade: No Planting: Tree May Stay in Place

pic

Invasive species which may remain in prescribed areas or provinces. Further planting, propagation or trade is however, prohibited.

pic
Artwork by Joan van Gogh , American Agave, Agave americana

There are 22 Invasive species included in this list. One of the most widespread is the well known American Agave, Agave americana.



Non-Invasives Aliens

pic

Non-invasive Aliens are species that occur in natural areas.

These are plants which the compilers of TheTreeApp, and their associated colleagues, believe have the potential of becoming Invasive, even though at present there is no 'legal' status which labels them as such. Their continued presence, especially in indigenous areas or in places where they can spread to pristine lands, should be treated with an awareness of the potential threat they pose.

pic
Artwork: by Joan van Gogh; Black Ironbark, Eucalyptus sideroxylon

There are 30 trees listed here, including 8 Gum-trees, Eucalyptus all form Australia. In addition, the well-known Syringa, Melia azeradach is in this category.



Poisonous

pic

There are 2 options here; please enter data in one only:

pic Poisonous to humans: Some plant part: Some degree
pic Poisonous to animals: Stock&/or wild

TheTreeApp has included this information in the knowledge that certain plants can be dangerous or a severe irritant if not handled correctly, either directly by humans, or in areas where either stock or wild animals browse. The data has been gathered in the sincere belief that it is better that the general public using this app are given warning of any inherent dangers.

pic
Artwork: Joan van Gogh; Dune Poison-bush, Acokanthera oblongifolia

However, TheTreeApp cannot be held responsible in any way whatsoever, nor should any authors who generated the original material be held responsible in any way, for any omissions or errors in any of the data, which may lead to unfortunate consequences.


Reports vary considerably about the poisonous status of specific plants. TheTreeApp team have done their best to be as inclusive as possible, to avoid any damaging situation occurring. Some plants may be labelled as poisonous when in fact only a specific part of that plant is toxic. Or the truth might be that an amount of exposure to that plant product would need to be excessive to be able to lead to unpleasant consequences.


In the Uses section of the Information on each species the data are presented in a slightly more extended form, usually indicating why this label has been applied to the species.



Species Poisonous to Humans

pic

There are 44 species included in this list. There are 28 Families represented, with ± 50 Genera. The two largest groupings are the Oleander Family APOCYNCAEAE, with 7 Genera and 10 species, and the Euphorbia Family EUPHORBIACEAe with 6 Genera and 16 species.

pic
Artwork: Joan van Gogh; River Euphorbia, Euphorbia triangularis



Species Poisonous to Animals

pic

There are 22 species included in this list. There are 16 Families represented, with ± 17 Genera. The largest grouping is the Thorn-tree Sub-family of the Legumes, Mimosoideae, with 2 Genera, Acacia and Albizia and 5 species.

pic
Artwork: by Joan van Gogh; Botterboom, Tylecodon paniculatus



Working For Water

pic

Established in 1995, Working for Water (WfW) is a globally acclaimed programme which was established by the late Professor Kader Asmal, then Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, to remove invasive alien plants (IAPs) and mitigate their effects on water quantity and quality, biological diversity, wild fires, soil erosion, the productive potential of land, and the functioning of natural ecosystems.

pic
Professor Kader Asmal cutting a tree at the launch ceremony of the WfW programme in 1995.

The launching of a public employment programme that contracted poor and marginalised communities to remove invasive alien plants as well as supporting allied natural resource management initiatives was a first step towards achieving the goal of managing this environmental challenge.

Facts that underpin the WfW programme

Of the estimated 9 000 alien plant species introduced to our country, 376 are legally classified as invasive. It is estimated that these plants cover at least 20% of the country's surface area at varying densities and the problem is growing exponentially.

pic
Working for Water teams have cleared hundreds of hectares of invasive Black Wattle, Acacia mearnsii from choked river streams high in the Drakensberg Mountains.

Institutional arrangements

South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) continue to tackle the critical challenges of invasive alien trees with leadership and substantial political will through the two divisions of Environmental Programmes. These programmes are primarily funded through the government’s poverty relief program, the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

pic
There are over 5 000 Working on Fire firefighters based in over 200 fire bases across the country. This fire crew is returning from a shift on the firelines of a fire in Knysna, Southern Cape. Photo credit Credit Esa Alexander, The Times.

Natural Resource Management (NRM) programmes

These address threats to the productive use of land and water, and the functioning of natural systems, from invasive alien species, wild fires and land degradation. In doing this work, they also promote opportunities for value-added industries including fibre and eco-furniture production, while ensuring meaningful livelihood opportunities for those employed from marginalised communities.

pic
Working on Fire teams battle a fynbos fire above Muizenberg, Cape Town.
pic
The prestigious High Altitude Working for Water team is trained on how to remove pines and eucalyptus species in difficult terrain high in the mountains.

Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programmes (EPIP)

These manage the identification, planning and implementation of focal areas such as People & Parks, Working for Wildlife, Working for LandWorking for Waste, Working for the Coast and Greening & Open-space Management.

pic
A Working for Water team using chain saws to remove pines in the Eastern Cape.

All Environmental Programmes work to the employment prescripts of South Africa's Expanded Public Works Programme using labour-intensive methods which target the unemployed, and opportunities for youth, women, people with disabilities and small to medium size enterprises (SMMEs).

pic
Pop up bush-mills are set up to cut up large logs from Working for Water clearing sites for use in the Eco Furniture Programme which turns wood from invasive species into school desks. This bush mill in the Eastern Cape supplies logs to the Eco Furniture Programme factory based in George.

Value Added Industries (VAI programme)

This seeks to make optimal use of the biomass cleared through the Working for Water programme and create additional employment opportunities. It is looking at energy generation, production of school desks eco-coffins and now also composite and other fibre based products for building and restoration work. Over 500,000 Learners now have quality school desks through the Eco-Furniture Programme, and many other products are being developed, to take full advantage of the potential utilization of invasive biomass.

The Light House project is intended to design and develop housing options from composite materials utilising invasive biomass as the fibre component. These can be placed in a cluster, replacing shacks (building over the shack, moving the family upstairs, and completing the building). It has been argued to potentially be the “greenest” house in South Africa, and is both fire and flood proof. This building approach can also be applied to the development of quality, but low cost, school buildings.

Working for Water contact details

Environmental Programmes, Department of Environmental Affairs
Tel: + 27 (0)21 441-2700
14 Loop Street, Cape Town 8001
Private Bag X4390, Cape Town 8000, South Africa
Web: http://www.environment.gov.za/workingforwater/ndex.html
Hotline: 0800-205-005