Still hope for old cork oak at Arderne Gardens

The cork oak tree at Arderne Gardens has been undergoing rehabilitation.

An old cork oak tree at the Arderne Gardens in Claremont is showing encouraging signs of recovery after slumping into the pond at the beginning of the year.

Friends of the Arderne Gardens (FOTAG) horticulturist, Paul Barker says the tree, Quercus suber, which is part of the oak family, has always had a pronounced lean.

“When the tree collapsed into the pond, the Fotag placed a shade net over it to protect it from the heat and reduce the sun around the trees,” he says.

The group also immediately applied irrigation and used soil to backfill a hole where the root of the tree is.

Over the past few months, the tree has undergone a rehabilitation process that includes the use of biological mycocides, which protect the tree from fungal disease.

Mr Barker says they removed the net two weeks ago to assess the condition of the tree. “There are some encouraging signs of new growth of leaves,” he says.

Fotag will continue to monitor the tree in the months ahead.

The group holds a tour of the Arderne Gardens on the first Saturday of each month, starting at 10am. The next one is on Saturday September 4. A donation of R50 is welcomed and includes a brochure on the garden. Email Joy Woodward at secretary@ardernegardens.org.za for details.

New leaves growing on the branches of the tree.