"The Tree Of Meeting" was planted about 300 years ago, and still stands today in Pacaltsdorp.
I drove down York Street in George towards Pacaltsdorp to look for this old tree.Just as you pass the York-circle, you find the George Tourism Office on the left-hand side. I decided to stop and see what information they have on old historical trees.
Ludrich Barnard, a Tourism Administrative Official, paged through a history book and read some interesting facts about trees that were planted in the George area in the early 1800's.
Just as you go pass the Pacaltsdorp sign, you turn left and drive pass what looks like a church or community centre. The tree is right opposite the Pacaltsdorp Post-Office, in Missionstreet.
The tree and an old stone building next to it, are completely fenced around. I inquired about the tree at the Post Office and was told you could only enter when accompanied by a guide. From where I stood, I had a clear view. The big Essenwood tree towers high into the sky and looks neat with trimming marks visible on some branches. An information board indicates that the stone building is used as a service center for the aged and an information centre.
I had a conversation with someone from the community. He told me that the stone building was originally home to some of the very first missionaries in the 1800’s. There was no church building yet and church services were conducted under the big Essenwood tree in Missionstreet.
From there the name "Tree Of Meeting".
The help of Nature Conservation was called in recently to treat and help save this historical tree, as it is dying.