First-years of the Faculty of AgriSciences celebrated the centenary of not only Stellenbosch University but also of the faculty by ceremonially planting 100 indigenous tree saplings that will, in future, grace the premises of the Welgevallen experimental farm in Stellenbosch.
The Faculty of AgriSciences was one of the founding faculties of Stellenbosch University and four of its departments – Soil Science, Plant Pathology, Horticultural Science and Genetics – are also turning 100 this year.
The “100 years, 100 trees” ceremony was the first of several events organised by the faculty to celebrate this auspicious occasion.
Prof Danie Brink, Dean of the Faculty, told students that he thinks a tree is unique because it has the ability to capture both the future and the past. Not only can one try and visualise what a tree will look like in future, but its growth rings can also tell you something about the past.
“A tree is a fitting symbol that reminds us to celebrate the past and to visualise the future. And with a sapling there is also enormous responsibility in the now. Someone has to nurse it, care for it and even shape it over time. That is also what studying towards a degree is all about – it is not only an opportunity but also a big responsibility,” he reminded the students.
“Visualise yourself as one of these trees, growing and developing.”
The 100 trees will also serve as a link with Stellenbosch; something that will help the students to reconnect with their time here as students, future alumni and possibly parents of students that will register at SU in the years to come.?
The saplings – which include the silky oak, paperback thorn, sweet thorn and karee – were planted in bags and will now spend the rest of the summer in one of the agricultural tunnels at the Welgevallen experimental farm before they will be planted in designated spots on the premises.
Andréas de Jager, a first-year student in Viticulture and Oenology, was pleased to be part of this special occasion and that a piece of him will always remain in Stellenbosch.
Forestry and Wood Sciences student Thabile Pitjo loves nature and being surrounded by trees, and was very happy to plant a tree of her own.?
Foto credit: Anton Jordaan