The Milkwood Tree

Earth Day – Restore Our Earth

“I love the Milkwood Tree! They help to block fires because they act as a fire block and I love the way they have formed a forest at Monkey Valley Resort in Noordhoek.”

I chose to feature this favourite tree of mine as we look towards Earth Day this month. Earth Day has a whole section on Deforestation and how we can all work together to save our forests!

“Forests are one of our most powerful tools to combat climate change and provide food and habitat for the species of the world. But our forests are under threat. Our planet is currently losing forests at a staggering rate: We’re losing more than 18 million acres of forests every year — that’s about 27 soccer fields of forest lost every minute.”

Baboons Love the Milkwood Tree

The Milkwood tree is an evergreen, smallish tree. The trunk is almost never straight. It has yellow-green flowers and the fruit is purple. Baboons and birds love to eat the fruit. It gets its name from the sap which looks like milk.

The Milkwood tree is a protected species. When a tree is protected, one isn’t allowed to damage, move or cut it down. It is a part of South Africa’s heritage.

This tree is very useful against fires. One can use it as a firebreak. It also has natural healing properties and traditional doctors use it to help with healing broken bones, for example.

The Milkwood grows in coastal forests in South Africa all the way up to Zimbabwe. Some places such as Noordhoek and Gordon’s Bay have many Milkwood trees. Some are more than 100 years old!

Threats to the Milkwood

  • Humans. Even though it’s a protected tree, people still damage and cut them down.
  • The Madeira Vine. This is an invasive species from South America. It strangles trees and plants.
  • The Gypsy moth. In 2005 there was a bad invasion of these moths in Noordhoek, Cape Town. They ate most of the leaves off many Milkwood trees.
  • Shot hole borer – they are worried that this invasive beetle has been attacking trees in Knysna.

More about Earth Day, 22 April 2021

As the world returns to normal, we can’t go back to business-as-usual. From April 20-22, join the world’s leaders for Earth Day 2021. Together, we can prevent the coming disasters of climate change and environmental destruction. Together, we can Restore Our Earth!

Earth Day 2021 begins with a global youth climate summit led by Earth Uprising, in collaboration with My Future My Voice, OneMillionOfUs and hundreds of youth climate activists. Today’s youth climate activists including Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Villaseñor, and Licypriya Kangujam will be there.

Earth Day occurs at the same as Biden Administration’s global climate summit which is good news. There will be workshops, panel discussions, and special performances that will focus on Restore Our Earth™ — “we’ll cover natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems.”

We want a better world, do YOU? Take action this Earth Day: 22 April 2021!

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