The Subtropical Thicket Restoration Project

ReStory narrator: Mike Powell

The very first 2 hectare block of planting from the Subtropical Thicket Restoration Project, with Dr Marais learning the ropes. The restored area was an old abandoned citrus orchard, on the Farm the Havens near Patensie, Eastern Cape, South Africa (33° 40’ 49.61”S, 24° 34’ 25.79”E). Photo – M Powell (10/12/2003)
The old lands at the Havens Farm in Cambria, (33° 40’ 49.61”S, 24° 33’ 25.79”E), in December 2004, just prior to site preparation and planting. Photo – M Powell (10/12/2003)
The very first Subtropical Thicket Restoration Project (STRP) teams to plant spekboom (Portulacaria afra), the Havens Farm Cambria , (33° 40’ 49.61”S, 24° 34’ 25.79”E). Photo – M Powell (10/12/2003)
Site preparation for the replanting of P. afra or spekboom on the Havens Cambria, December 2004. In the background is the intact Gamtoos Valley Thicket – a reference site for restoration, specifically highlighting that it is a mixture of woody and succulent plant species and not a monoculture of spekboom. Photo – M Powell (10/12/2003).
The standard size for an un-rooted spekboom cutting planted on the Cambria East-Facing old lands, Dec 2003 – 33° 40’ 56.93” S 24° 34’ 5.52”E. Photo – M Powell (10/12/2003).
The successful restoration with the ecosystem engineer spekboom, showing the gain in canopy height and canopy volume after exactly 11 years since planting – 33° 40’ 52.39”S, 24° 34’ 22.07”E. Photo – Dr Christo Marais (15/12/2014).
The successful restoration of the same field on the Havens in Cambria after 15 years, showing variable growth rates, probably as a result of herbivory – 33° 40’ 52.39”S, 24° 34’ 22.07”E. Photo – Chelsea Botha (30/07/2019).
A typical spekboom bush after successful establishment and 15 years of growth at the Havens, Cambria site. Photo – Chelsea Botha (30/07/2019).