White karee, Wit karee (Searsia pendulina)
The Searsia pendulina, commonly known as the White or Wit karee is a evergreen, frost-hardy, very fast growing tree, usually with more than one trunk. It occurs naturally along the Orange River and some of its tributaries. The White/Wit karee can reach a height up to 10m, usually with a spread of about 5m. The tree is wind and drought resistant and has a pleasing slightly drooping effect, somewhat similar to the weeping willow.
The tree has been widely introduced as a ‘pavement and garden tree’, grows fast and flourishes in full sun. It makes an excellent shade tree and is ideal for establishing a protective canopy for frost sensitive shade loving plants and displays as a soft green colour tree with fine leaves. It attracts birds with its berry-like fruits and game animals such as kudu, roan antelope and sable browse the leaves of the tree which can serve as an important food source for them in time of drought. Be aware that the White karee is not a tree to park a car underneath and not suited to plant too close to your house due to a very fine powder which can stain your car. It has an aggressive root system and can be used near paving and tarred surfaces.