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Photographer's Note

Africa's map on bark

I spotted this on a tree and from what I could tell, this was not carved but looked natural. Yellowwood like many other trees, peels off whilst growing.
This displays the older bark which is grey and the new, yellow and ocre colours which gave this tree it's name: Yellow wood (Real Yellowood)


Yellowwood is one of South Africa's most valued timber trees and is South Africa's National Tree.

Description
Podocarpus latifolius is a slow-growing, usually large, evergreen tree, which grows to between 20 and 30 m in height. Under some conditions, the tree does not grow more than about 2 m but looks very old and full of character.

The wood is yellow and quite similar to P. falcatus, the Outeniqua yellowwood, although not as dark or of the same quality. The bark is greyish and smooth when young but shows the characteristic longitudinal fissures as it matures. The bark peels off in strips.

The glossy green leaves are long and narrow. The leaves on young trees are always larger than on mature trees. The new leaves are very noticeable as they form clusters of pale green or bronze at the ends of branches, compared to the dark green of the older leaves.

There are male and female trees. The male cones (July to September) resemble catkins (an inflorescence adapted for wind pollination, found on the exotic Betula species, for example) while the female tree develops round, grey/blue seeds on thickened, fleshy, stalks known as receptacles, which as they mature, turn purple (December to February).

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Additional Photos by Alex Fan Moniz (LondonBoy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 57 W: 0 N: 181] (1323)
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