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Living Leadwood for Annick

Living Leadwood for Annick
Photo Information
Copyright: Jan Hendrik van Rooyen (janhendrik) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 363 W: 58 N: 667] (2392)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-06
Categories: Trees
Camera: Canon 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-08-13 10:16
Viewed: 6566
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Leadwood tree Combretum imberbe

I’m posting this picture of a living Leadwood tree for Annick, after he posted THe Rhythm of Life and Death

These Leadwood trees were standing along a small watercourse (een spruitje Annick), where they like to grow. Very late one afternoon in May 2008 I took this picture close to Satara, not to try and take a landscape, but rather to have a typical Kruger scene with Leadwoods for my Macbook’s wallpaper so that I can visit Kruger every day.

If you look at the Leadwood tree in the foreground, as well as the one in the background, you can see mud against the trunk. This is where the elephants had rubbed themselves after they had covered their bodies with mud to rid themselves of ticks and other parasites. Inspection of the mud against the tree will reveal many dead ticks. This also gives you a reasonably good gauge of an elephant’s height compared to that of the tree. Because of the hardness of its wood, this is one tree that is elephant proof after it has reached a certain age.

C. imberbe is considered to be one of the slowest-growing trees in the lowveld of South Africa and is capable of reaching a considerable age (Palmer and Pitman 1972). The highest recorded age is 1070±40 years, as determined by carbon dating by the National Physical Research Laboratory of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (Carr 1988). No further information could be attained on this aspect in the literature. However, when cultivated it may grow fairly fast; a tree planted in the Limpopo Province of South Africa grew six meters in 15 years (Palmer and Pitman 1972).

The heartwood is dark brown in colour, close-grained, very hard and heavy (air-dry mass of 1200 kg/m3, Venter and Venter 1996; 1230 kg/m3 at 12% moisture content, Goldsmith and Carter 1981), and durable (Carr 1988, Coates Palgrave 1983). This wood sinks like a rock in water; I’ve tested it.

Because of these characteristics the wood is termite and borer-proof, with dead wood weathering away very slowly, unless ignited by a veld fire (Carr 1988).

The sapwood is fairly narrow and brownish yellow in colour, but also close-grained and hard (Carr 1988). Growth rings are however poorly defined (Goldsmith and Carter 1981). Dead branches may remain on the tree, or the whole tree may remain standing long after it is dead (Palmer and Pitman 1972, Goldsmith and Carter 1981). Because they can remain standing for so long they were sometimes used as landmarks in the bush.

It was found in this research that the tree cannot be harvested sustainably. This is also the reason why, though I love the sight and smell of a leadwood fire, they should not be harvested and used for firewood. They simply can not be sustainably harvested. I know from personal experience that the wood of the sicklebush is just as nice for a fire.



Combretum imberbe


robindb, Evelynn, maurydv, uleko, red45, marhowie, jaycee, ramthakur, Argus, soccer, metcher, SunToucher, Luis52, loot has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Argus: Thank you Ivanjanhendrik 1 09-01 12:26
To red45: Thank you Grzegorzjanhendrik 2 08-25 11:34
To uleko: Thanks Ullajanhendrik 1 08-25 06:29
To jaycee: Thanks Janejanhendrik 1 08-25 06:27
To Miss_Piggy: Dankie Annajanhendrik 1 08-25 06:23
To ramthakur: Thanks for your critiquejanhendrik 1 08-25 06:18
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Jan,

Hoe lekker lyk die bosveld, ek wens ek was nou daar!!!!

Very nice image of a place close to our hearts. The colour and DoF are well handled and the clouds add spice to it.
Interesting note to go with it.



Ha Jan Hendrik...
Absolutely...that's THE tree along a spruitje:-)
And you know what...it's a beautiful tree...een mooie boom!
And the light is perfect! It's Kruger!
Didn't know it was elephant proof as well.
Very good photo.
Thanks a lot.

This is a really nice sharp image Jan with nice depth of focus. I love the feeling imparted by the low angled light. Enjoyed your note.

Evelynn : )

Ciao Jan Hendrik,
splendido paesaggio, eccellenti POV e composizione che rimanda alla classica iconografia e ai caldi colori dell'Africa, meravigliosa la luce e ottima mnitidezza.
TFS. Maurizio

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-08-14 1:18]

Hello Jan,
What a lovely scene - it could be here. And the trees you show are really attractive.
I like the lighting - it has quite a golden glow to the whole scene
Well done

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-08-14 1:34]
  • [+]

Hello Jan,
Wonderful view from Kruger NP in beautiful light. I wish I could smell it and hear the sounds too. Fine details of the interesting trees and beautiful colours too. I can fully understand your wish to escape here every now and then while at your compouter!
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-08-15 2:39]
  • [+]

Hello Jan!

TEN POINTS for this picture and especially note! I'm not so lucky to live in such place like you, but my local Botanic Garden is for me what Kruger is for you. So I read your note like my own words! Great tribute to your beloved place and great dedication to our friend!

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-08-17 19:15]

Hi Jan,
Wonderful shot and the warm lighting gives it a fine touch. The typical African jungle ambience is well portrayed here too. Very neat and sharp image with lovely colours and perfect DOF. I like the cloud formation and the marvellous composition. Thanks for sharing.

Hallo Jan Hendrik,
'n Tipiese Kruger Park tonneel, en net om daarna te kyk laat die kliere in my keel saamtrek. Ek glo nie enige een kan nie droom om nie daar te wil wees nie. Veral in die Satara omgewing waar jy hierdie foto geneem het. 'n Wonderlike landskap scenario wat jy opgedra het aan Annick wat gewys het dmv van al sy fotos hoe baie hy die tydjie in die park geniet het. Jou foto jaag die "begeerte" om die wildtuin te besoek nogal sterk aan.
Vriendelike groete

Hi Jan,
I like the late lights warm color and long shadows cast adding depth.
Nice detail & an effective comp, good balance with the large tree left anchoring the shot.
Well done!

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-08-20 16:36]
  • [+]

Hi Jan,

A wonderful scene from Kruger - it brings back marvelous memories for me. The trees are beautiful and the mud on the trunk is very clear. Superb lighting, colors, and composition. Even the clouds are outstanding.


Hi Jan Hendrick,
I like this beautiful landscape and this particular end of the day (?) lightning. You chose nice composition with good control on exposure. Details are very sharp with very agreeable tones of colors. Thanks,

Hello Jan,
Thanks for your kind critique on my recent image of a butterfly. I am obliged.
Apparently, you have featured the tree here out of your sheer love for the place.
You note gives appropriate information about this tree and helps in getting to the soul of this image. I like the view lit by the mellow evening sun. It evokes a sense of peace and tranqullity.
Thanks and regards.

hello jan,
lovely dedication to a great phptorapher, i am sure this dedication will please annick, the natural colors look lovely in this landscape shot, the shadows and the light on the grass looks lovely,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-09-01 7:44]
  • [+]

Hello Jan-Hendrik,
A look at the thumbnail reminded me of the English 18th cent painter, John Constable.
But a closer look replaced that impression with a fine depiction of the African bush with a very informative note!
A beautiful well composed capture in fine evening light. The note was essential not only to inform us about Leadwood trees, but to get some impression of the size when one sees how far up the trunk elephants reach with their backs.
Gone is my belief that the African bush consists mostly of savanna grass and acacias!
I thank you for that and for sharing this fine image,
Regards, Ivan

  • Great 
  • soccer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 0 N: 655] (2557)
  • [2008-09-01 22:53]


What a beautiful scenic pic you have posted here! Making me jealous as I am itching to get to the Kruger again!

Good composition and the gold light makes for a wonderful pic!


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-09-02 13:34]

Hi Jan,the best moment whit a best light to take this fantastic pic! Top quality of sharpness and colors and very interesting comment..i wish to be there now!! Eheheh...thanks a lot for share,have a nice day,Luciano

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2008-10-07 16:48]

Hello Jan,
a lovely scenery of the special tree in a very specisal light and mood.
the bark is so clear and very nicely captured with the soft sky.


Hi, Jan.
Very beautiful typical African landscape. Well balanced composition with nice, warm light. Wish to be there.

Hoi Jan Hendrik,
Een prachtige foto van dit imposant gebied. Meestal zien we alleen maar close ups van de dieren maar ik ben blij dat af en toe iemand ook laat zien waar de dieren nu echt leven. Je hebt de foto op een erg mooi tijdstip gemaakt. Het warme licht geeft de bomen een prachtige kleur en maken de shaduws heerlijk zacht. Je composition me de boom aan de linkerkant is perfect en geeft het een mooie diepte.

Hello Janhendrik,
Seems like this tree s found in abundance in Kruger Park.Looking at the mud mark, I am amazed to realise that the tree is a huge one. Beautiful landscape shot with sun touched trees and meadows.
Thanks for the share,

Hi Jan Hendrik. Amazing warm light and perfecy sharpenes for a great landscape.


  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2009-05-30 23:05]

Merhaba Jan,
nefis bir kompozisyon, renkler ve kadraj çok başarılı.
Tebrik ederim.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2009-06-04 15:19]

Hola Jan.
I found here an excellent photo, and beautiful note too. I wish some day be there and smell the fresh air like You do all the time.
Many thanks for Your warm words in my last photo.
Saludos Jan.

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