How do you put an identification tag on a sapling if the trunk is either too thin, or if the tree trunk is not properly visible due to low branches? With the help of Mr Charl Marais (just retired) and Mr Valentino Jeftha (Operations Superintendent) & his team from the Parks Division of the City of Cape Town, this problem has been solved for De Waal Park.
We have now installed over 60 treated wooden bollards (short vertical poles) where the top section is cut at a 45 degree angle to accommodate the tree tag. Long nails were driven horizontally into the lower section, before these 1.2m bollards were buried 0,5m deep, to prevent somebody from pulling them out of the ground (see photo 1).
After the ground was well compacted, the 45 degree cut was made with a power pole trimmer.
Thereafter the bollards were painted with Waksol timber sealer.
The end result is a sturdy name-identification pole with a life expectancy exceeding thirty years, without the need for annual maintenance.
During September 2015 the Friends of De Waal Park installed more than 150 new standard tree tags, of which 60 were installed on these bollards, while the rest of the tags were fixed to the larger tree trunks as before. Stainless steel screws are used in all cases. The larger tags are plastic, while the standard tags, including those on the bollards, are of 0.9 mm anodised aluminium. The total number of tags, old and new, now approximates 220. Tourists are suitably impressed.
Technology has enabled us to incorporate Quick Response codes ('QR codes') onto the tags which will empower the user of a smartphone app to snap this code to access Wikipedia for more information on the particular tree species (see photo 6 for four examples of standard tree tags, showing the distinctive QR Code of each species). We are also installing more story tags (see Photo 7 for an example of a story tag for Outeniqua Yellowwood). Also on Photo 7 is the sole QR Code Information Tag (with heading 'Tree Tags') which will be installed on the trunk of the Real Date Palm growing on the fountain circle (‘the most central tree in the park’).
While the story tags are sponsored, the 150 standard tree tags will cost us about R41 each (including QR Code & VAT). Currently the Friends of De Waal Park will have to borrow 90% of these funds due to various other urgent expenses (new turning circle, cleansing, wages, etc.). All comments, suggestions and donations are very welcome.
BANKING DETAILS should you wish to contribute to the Tree Tag project:
Account name: Friends of De Waal Park
Thibault Square Branch / Branch code: 051 001
Account No.: 070 125 481
Reference: Your name and “TREES”