PICS: SA's most famous Baobab tree trunk breaks!

2016-08-29 10:19 - Ra-ees Moerat
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Cape Town - The owners of Sunland Farm is quite satisfied after a part of their prized baobab tree, which happens to be world-renowned, crashed to the ground. This happened shortly after one of the farm owners noticed some cracks in the tree's trunk.   

Sunland Farm is home to one of the most prominent baobab trees in South Africa, if not the world.

The owners of the farm have somewhat of a relaxed approach to what happened, an attitude of, 'and there it goes… the fall of one of the world’s greatest baobab trees.'

Heather van Heerden, one of the owners of the farms said it’s simply “nature’s way of renovating”.

Just a few weeks ago after observable cracks appeared in the trunk of the tree, van Heerden stated on social media, “Hey! It seems our tree is opening up finally after the heavy rainfall a few years ago, seriously open plan now.”

Then, just a couple of days ago, those observable cracks resulted in a third of the tree's trunk crashing to the ground!

This is what the Sunland Baobab looked like before shedding a third of its trunk:

Van Heerden says they have decided they will leave the trunk as it fell to allow nature to reshape it, writing on Facebook, "It’s just nature taking its course.”

The tree is about 1700 years old. About one year ago, some of the tree's branches broke off, naturally, after heavy rainfall. The rain was captured in a shell at the top of the tree, which caused a part of the tree to rot... this is what caused the branches to break.

The tree is 22 metres high and holds the record for being the widest of its kind… that is 47 metres in circumference. Moreover, there’s a bar INSIDE the tree, which was created by the family who owns the farm in 1993. They cleared out the hollow centre of the tree’s massive trunk to make space for the bar.

Here is what the tree looks like now, after a part of the trunk broke off: 

  

A photo posted by DeMuiter (@demuiter) on

The estimated lifespan of the baobab tree is currently estimated to be 6000 years. However, this cannot be confirmed as a result of other factors that may influence the lifespan of the tree.

It is natural for the baobab tree to empty out their trunks as it gets older and this is what caused the brittleness of the trunk, which resulted in the tree shedding a part of it… a third, to be exact. 

Here is a short video clip of the aftermath of the tree after a third of its trunk crashed to the ground:


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