Amidst the picturesque landscape of Lonehill Dam, the iconic willow tree has long been a cherished feature, admired by residents and visitors alike. Nadeem Abrahams from the Lonehill Residents Association describes how the willow tree has added to the beauty of Lonehill Dam.

Lonehill Residents Association needs help beautifying the Lonehill dam after the beautiful willow tree, a mainstay of the area, was blown over by the wind in a rainstorm earlier this month. The environment manager of the association, Nadeem Abrahams, said the tree is iconic because it has been growing on a little island in the Lonehill dam for as long as he can remember.

He added that herons and egrets soon found homes in the tree as the years passed, making it a local heronry, a big attraction to park visitors, and an even bigger attraction to the local bird-watching community.

“Thousands of residents and visitors to the Lonehill Park and restaurants have taken photographs of the Lonehill Koppie with the ínfamous willow tree in the forefront which is always full of white egrets and Herons nesting.

Residents and visitors are in awe of images of the birds nesting in it.” He said he is not sure about its age, but it can be dated back to the early 80’s, as seen in some of the photos that residents took during their visits during the good old days.


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The tree also contributes a lot to the dam’s beauty because it becomes a sight to behold with all the bird nests draped on it like Christmas tree decorations.

“When the water in the dam is still, the reflection of the tree in the water amplifies its beauty. If you talk about the Lonehill Koppie and the Lonehill Dam people will think of the willow tree too. There is even a painting of the dam and koppie features the tree.

Many see the tree as inspiring and symbolic of humans’ capability to withstand hardship, loss, and difficult emotions. Thanks to its long life and the ease with which new trees can be rooted from cuttings, the willow tree is also seen as a survivor and a symbol of rebirth.”

It symbolises flexibility and can bend in outrageous poses without snapping, “We as humans are capable of doing the same on a mental, emotional, and spiritual level.”

Now that it has fallen, he said there is no need to find another one as it has not died but only toppled over and will continue to grow. He added that it would be interesting to see how the herons and other birds will adjust to the new position of the willow tree.

“We were all a bit sad and concerned about the birds and their nests but as the days passed, we noticed that they remained in the tree and living life as if it never toppled over. We are always asking the residents of Lonehill, Beverley and Pineslopes to consider financial donations to the Lonehill Community Improvement Initiative. Residents have the option to donate as and when they are of the means to do so, or they can sign up for a monthly debit order.”

Get involved by joining Lonehill Community Improvement Initiative (LCII) or contacting: 011 465 9196.


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Feature image:  Lonehill Residents Association / (Facebook)

Originally published in Joburg{ETC}