Autumn has already officially started in Johannesburg (apparently!).
When is the start of autumn in South Africa?
On the 20th of March, it was the vernal equinox which means spring for the northern hemisphere and autumn for us down in South Africa in the southern hemisphere. It also so happens to coincide with the International Day of Forests on the 21st of March.
Luckily for us, Johannesburg has one of the best climates in the world – and, where it might mean we don’t swim every day, we still experience great hot, summery days. Joburg is also one of the world’s most wooded cities and as such we are able to see Autumn in all its glory.
Our abundance of Pin Oaks, American Sweetgums, Maples and London Plane Trees (aka ‘itchy ball trees’) means that our Jozi streets are full of colour.
Shot hole borer beetles in Johannesburg
Unfortunately, as many people know we have a big problem with the shot hole borer beetle in Johannesburg at the moment and it’s killing our trees. So, this autumn, please while you’re looking at the beautiful red and yellow leaves, take a moment to see if it has been infested and if it has, take action and report it.
Here’s a video of our current shot hole borer infestation in South Africa.
This week, City Parks started to remove 42 Boxelder Maple trees in Craighall Park (that’s spitting distance from me).
According to a recent Johannesburg City Parks media release “There is currently no approved chemical application in South Africa, to eradicate the PSHB. JCPZ would like to caution residents against the use of any chemical which has the potential to cause more harm to the environment than good. Concerns posed by the use of unapproved chemical applications are centered around the contamination of ground water, loss of animal habitat and the death of pollinating insects such as bees”.
In conclusion, whereas I’m looking forward to our beautiful autumn trees and visiting places like Emmarentia Dam to see them, it is a sad time for our beloved Johannesburg trees and we really need to pull together and protect them.