Approximately 12 km from Willowmore, the “Wonderboom” or “Wonder Tree” is found. Here, two trees namely the Ghwarrie tree (Eudea undulate) and a Shepard’s Tree (Boscia Oleolides also called a witgat) grow next to each other.
What makes this “Wonder Tree” unique, is the fact that the Shepard’s Tree has three stems coming up out of the ground. Two of the stems have joined each other, forming an “eye of a needle” and the third stem has grown through the eye, forming the “thread”, thus wonderfully creating a “needle and thread effect”. The Ghwarrie tree merely keeps the Shepard’s tree company. Both of these plants are regarded as shrubs, but due to years of grazing by stock, they are nowadays regarded as trees.
While making the formal road between Aberdeen and Willowmore in about 1906, this unique tree was discovered. At that time, it was already a mature tree. Fairly little attention was given to this unique tree. It was only when this road was tarred in 1961, that the people gave it more attention and really acknowledged the “Wonderboom” as a unique phenomenon and a wonder of nature.
In recent years, the tree was fenced off to protect it from being grazed and from destruction, and many people wondered why the “Wonderboom” was mentioned.
In early 1900, the veldt around Willowmore was put under pressure by small stock grazing. Both the Ghwarrie tree and the Shepard’s tree are tasty. Goats in particular, pruned them umbrella-shaped, thus making the wonder visible. It is very difficult to determine the age of this tree because of its slow growth rate. The “Wonder Tree” can be hundreds of years old.
- 12 km outside Willowmore