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Monday, April 27, 2020

Champion Tree Status awarded to Rubber Tree in Company's Garden Cape Town

Why did it take so long for this remarkable tree to receive its Champion Tree status?  (Rubber Tree/ Ficus elastica Moraceae)

The Company's Garden is THE OLDEST garden in South Africa.  Some of the trees planted here originate back to the early colonialists who explored the Cape.  As far back as the early 1600's when this garden was used to feed the travelers circumnavigating the tip of Africa, and eventually became what we know today.

The New Champion Trees Project

It is befitting that the Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries declared as protected under Sec 12 of the National Forest Act of 1998 individual and group trees with a Champion Tree Status, giving them the ultimate protection that they deserve.

This notification of the updated list of Champion Trees in South Africa was issued on 18 October 2019.


Champion Tree, Champion Trees of South Africa, Rubber Tree, Ficus elastica Moraceae, Alex and Juanita Aitkenhead, African Photography, Cape Town, Companys Garden, Video of Champion Tree
(Company's Garden Rubber Tree receives Champion status in 2019 - Ficus elastica, moraceae)
The Western Cape was lucky to have six new Champion Trees added to its long list already.

Living in Cape Town makes it a lot easier to access our local list and without hesitation, we have started to record and visit these remarkable trees.


The Company's Gardens: 

This precious section of green and shade in the middle of a busy postcolonial city is the remaining half of a garden planted in the 1650s by the Dutch East India Company ( Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie VOC ) The garden was planted on slopes of  Table mountain and led to the dispossession of the local inhabitants who used this area. It led to the establishment of our Historic City and the introduction of agriculture into this region and the beginnings of scientific investigation into the Cape Floral Kingdom.

Company's Garden self-guided walk Brochure can be found in this link below: 


Champion Tree, Champion Trees of South Africa, Rubber Tree, Ficus elastica Moraceae, Alex and Juanita Aitkenhead, African Photography, Cape Town, Companys Garden, Video of Champion Tree
( Entrance to the Company's garden off Victoria Street )

Champion Tree, Champion Trees of South Africa, Rubber Tree, Ficus elastica Moraceae, Alex and Juanita Aitkenhead, African Photography, Cape Town, Companys Garden, Video of Champion Tree
(Table Mountain watching over and  providing protection from the southeasterly winds )
Take a walk towards the Northern Entrance of the garden, and you will find this tree to be a focal point in the area.


Champion Tree, Champion Trees of South Africa, Rubber Tree, Ficus elastica Moraceae, Alex and Juanita Aitkenhead, African Photography, Cape Town, Companys Garden, Video of Champion Tree
( We needed to scout around to find this Champion )

Champion Tree, Champion Trees of South Africa, Rubber Tree, Ficus elastica Moraceae, Alex and Juanita Aitkenhead, African Photography, Cape Town, Companys Garden, Video of Champion Tree
(Company's Garden Rubber Tree receives Champion status in 2019 - Ficus elastica, Moraceae)

This Champion Rubber Tree stands a towering 27m above the ground and has circumference 38.4m.  The age is unknown, but a guestimate would be in the early 1800's.

Champion Tree, Champion Trees of South Africa, Rubber Tree, Ficus elastica Moraceae, Alex and Juanita Aitkenhead, African Photography, Cape Town, Companys Garden, Video of Champion Tree
(Company's Garden Rubber Tree receives Champion status in 2019 - Ficus elastica, Moraceae)

Champion Tree, Champion Trees of South Africa, Rubber Tree, Ficus elastica Moraceae, Alex and Juanita Aitkenhead, African Photography, Cape Town, Companys Garden, Video of Champion Tree
(Company's Garden Rubber Tree receives Champion status in 2019 - Ficus elastica, Moraceae)

Champion Tree, Champion Trees of South Africa, Rubber Tree, Ficus elastica Moraceae, Alex and Juanita Aitkenhead, African Photography, Cape Town, Companys Garden, Video of Champion Tree
(Company's Garden Rubber Tree receives Champion status in 2019 - Ficus elastica, Moraceae)

Champion Tree, Champion Trees of South Africa, Rubber Tree, Ficus elastica Moraceae, Alex and Juanita Aitkenhead, African Photography, Cape Town, Companys Garden, Video of Champion Tree
(Company's Garden Rubber Tree receives Champion status in 2019 - Ficus elastica, Moraceae)

Champion Tree, Champion Trees of South Africa, Rubber Tree, Ficus elastica Moraceae, Alex and Juanita Aitkenhead, African Photography, Cape Town, Companys Garden, Video of Champion Tree
(Company's Garden Rubber Tree receives Champion status in 2019 - Ficus elastica, Moraceae)

Champion Tree, Champion Trees of South Africa, Rubber Tree, Ficus elastica Moraceae, Alex and Juanita Aitkenhead, African Photography, Cape Town, Companys Garden, Video of Champion Tree
( The picturesque Government Avenue lined with Oak trees )

Map of the Company's Garden and Self Guided Walk.

Look for the Rubber Tree marked as "U" in the image below.

Champion Tree, Champion Trees of South Africa, Rubber Tree, Ficus elastica Moraceae, Alex and Juanita Aitkenhead, African Photography, Cape Town, Companys Garden, Video of Champion Tree, Map of Companys Garden, Self Guided Tour Cape Town, Remarkable Trees
( Company's Garden brochure and self-guided walk: the map on page 20, this Champion Rubber Tree is marked as "U" on this map

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