Water Loving trees – what trees consume lots of water in South Africa?

We should all know that trees are some of the biggest water guzzlers on the face of the earth, but what some people may not know is that different trees consume different amounts of water. There are a few reasons behind this, including the environment the trees are in, the ecosystems they are a part of, as well as their size and type.

In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at a couple of the South African trees that consume the most water. We hope this information helps you make a better-informed decision about the trees you’ve been thinking about transplanting or growing in your yard. If you’d like more personalized assistance though, we’re always open to have a chat! Get in touch with us today to get started.

 

Eucalyptus

The Eucalyptus is a genus of well over 700 species of flowering trees and shrubs that are mostly indigenous to Australia, but have set root within the borders of South Africa. The plants in this flora genus usually have either smooth, fibrous or hard barks and stems, as well as oily leaves and woody fruits.

These trees are fast-growing as they are the most planted hardwood trees in the world, covering more than an estimated 19 million hectares of land across the globe. These water guzzling trees are used as hardwood for a variety of different applications, such as in construction as well as in the making of wooden products like furniture and ornaments.

These water-loving trees come in many different sizes:

  • Small: 10 m (33 ft) in height;
  • Medium-sized: 10–30 m (33–98 ft);
  • Tall: 30–60 m (98–197 ft);
  • Very tall: over 60 m (200 ft). 

 

Acacia Mearnsii

More commonly known as the Black Wattle, these species of flora belong to the Fabaceae family and are indigenous to Australia. As one of the many invasive tree species in South Africa, the Acacia Mearnsii have been reported to use up to 7 million millimeters of water per day. For a water-scarce country like South Africa, this isn’t good. 

These trees are mostly rooted in commercial plantations because of their firewood and tannin properties. These plantations have been known to decrease water availability in the areas they are located, causing an estimated economic loss of over $2 million. These trees are the biggest water consuming trees in the country and may only grow in population as time passes.

 

If you’d like to learn more about the thousands of trees you can plant or transplant in your backyard, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! We look forward to hearing from you.

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