One of the oldest trees in Cape Town’s historical Company’s Garden has been crowned a Champion Tree by the National Department of Environment.

Towering at almost 27 meters, the majestic Ficus Elastica, or Rubber Tree, stands guard at the northern entrance of the country’s oldest garden.

The Champion Tree Project started in 2003 and is a national initiative that identifies, protects and promotes exceptionally big and impressive trees in South Africa.

Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services, Zahid Badroodien, says in terms of the National Forests Act, a Champion Tree may not be destroyed in any way.

“The City’s Recreation and Parks Department is delighted about the accolade. It is only through recognition, education and awareness that we will be better prepared to care for our trees which plays such an important role in our built environment. The recognition and acknowledgment means a lot as Champion Trees are now enjoying protected status. Trees carry a lot of history and the ones in the company’s garden are a unique variety that forms part of Africa’s forest and tree heritage. “