About Historic Tree Garden

Few people know that there are orange trees in Bloemfontein.

A surprise for those who, for years, were fed the classic one-liner about the Orange Free State (the former name of today’s Free State province) - “there are no oranges, nothing is for free and it’s in one **** of a state” (if you haven’t heard this, take it from one whose father-in-law grew up in the Free State!).

Did you know? A walk along President Brand Street is a highlight of any visit to Bloemfontein. In front of the 3rd Raadsaal (NALN) you’ll find the historic Tree Garden.

Along President Brand Street (Bloemfontein’s ‘historical mile’) you will find classic sandstone buildings that surprise with their grandeur - the 3rd Raadsaal (originally Government Building and today the National Afrikaans Literary Museum and Research Centre, or NALN), the 4th Raadsaal (now the Free State Provincial Legislature) and today’s Old Presidency Museum.

It began when President Brand planted a couple of trees on the 25th Anniversary of the Republic (the Orange Free State was, at one time, ruled independently by the Boers) and, as further dignitaries followed suit over the years, an historical tree garden slowly emerged. There are hawthorn shrubs, Deodar fir trees and five orange trees (although the orange trees are in the main courtyard, not in front of the building).

By the end of the Republic, the Orange Free State’s coat of arms featured an orange tree, despite starting out as a ‘freedom tree’. Historians claim that one possible reason for the orange tree is that the London-based printers confused the trees (assuming that ‘orange’ referred to the tree and not to William V of Orange, the Dutch monarch after whom the state was actually named).

The other theory is that it was the artist, HR Hochapfel, who painted the Republic’s coat of arms for the museum who confused the ‘fertility tree’ for a fruit-bearing symbol of fertility and productivity.

With renovations to the NALN building in 2002, one of the orange trees in the courtyard died and three of the original five were removed later in 2007. Since then the trees have been replaced with newer versions, in a tree planting ceremony 100 years after the originals were planted.

Where to find it: In front of the National Afrikaans Literary Museum and Research Centre (NALN) in President Brand Street, Bloemfontein.

Need to Know

WhereHistoric Tree Garden, President Brand Street, Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Bloemfontein Accommodation, Free State


Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.


If this is your attraction, you can let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies, by email. We regret, we do not have any other information, please contact the provider if you have questions.

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options in Bloemfontein

Things to do in the area

Accommodation convenient to Historic Tree Garden

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Free State Accommodation / Motheo Region Accommodation / Bloemfontein Accommodation

Bloemfontein as a destination

Want to stay overnight?


When would you like to stay?
Choose dates

Number of Guests

Why book with SA-Venues.com
  • Your card is safe with us; strictest card verification in the industry and we don't store card numbers.
  • No airy fairy service fees; you save!
  • We care. Service with integrity.
  • Multiple payment methods:
    credit card, SID instant EFT, bank transfer.
  • All Bloemfontein property owners / managers are verified (our experience protects you from online fraud).
  • Secure your booking
Our Payment Protection Guarantee only applies if your deposit payment is made via SA-Venues.com
South Africa. Explore. Experience. Stay

SA-Venues.com® has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.

Never miss a deal

Subscribe for the latest special offers and travel inspiration.

And, we'll send you a R200 voucher to use on your next booking.