Archive for the ‘Tree Team and Propagation’ Category

November Tree of the Month

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

What is tree of the month?

Monterey cypress

Cupressus macrocarpa

 

Why is it tree of the month?

Restricted in the wild to Monterey County in California, Monterey cypress is well known in cultivation and is one of the most widely planted conifers in the world (Monterey pine, Pinus radiata, from the same area is another). Its original introduction is a little curious, when in 1838 an envelope of seeds turned up on a desk at Kew without explanation. A number of introductions have been made since, including in 2010, when colleagues from Bedgebury collected seeds from which young plants here now grow.

Where can I find it?

Our largest specimen grows along Main Drive. It is also illustrated in Westonbirt Arboretum’s Tree Spotter’s Guide! The young specimens that were collected as seed in 2010, are among the most vigorous trees in the collection and can be found in both the Old Arboretum and Silk Wood. Find the plant using the Westonbirt map.

October Tree of the Month

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

 

 

What is Tree of the Month?

Bitter ash

Picrasma quassioides

Why is it Tree of the Month?

Related to the tree of heaven, Ailanthus altissima, the bitter ash is slightly better behaved, as it doesn’t appear to sucker; whereas the tree of heaven most definitely does!

Attaining only modest stature, it is a fantastic autumn sight as the leaves turn an excellent yellow, contrasting nicely with the fruit that at this time of year are red, turning almost black. It really is a cracking little tree!

Where can I find it?

Examples are dotted around the collected, with a notable group of 3 close to Ted’s Fright in Silk Wood.

Find the plant using the Westonbirt map.

September Tree of the Month

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

What is it?

Euonymus oxyphyllus 

Why is it Tree of the Month?

A sign that autumn is well on the way is the fantastic colour of this spindle from east Asia. As well as having deep red foliage, the richly coloured fruit is most attractive. Introduced in 1895, examples at Westonbirt have long been renowned as some of the best for their seasonal colour.

Where is it?

The mighty fine group at the end of Morley Ride is an early autumn showstopper. Other specimens of this and other notable Euonymus species are dotted around the collection.

August Tree of the Month

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

What is Tree of the Month?

Aralia elata – Japanese Angelica Tree

Japanese Angelica Tree

Why is it Tree of the Month?

Also known as ‘Devil’s Walking Stick’, for its viciously spiny bark.

Walking stick’ is particularly apt for our two trees on Main Drive (19.0446), as they have literally moved! The original plant was growing a few yards from where the two are now and was removed some years ago, having rotted at the base. Soon after, two suckers from the original plant emerged and have been growing well ever since! They have some of the biggest leaves in the collection, which are twice pinnate and sometimes over a metre long. The ivy-like inflorescences are absolutely loved by insects.

Japanese Angelica Tree

Where can I find it?

As well as our walking plant, young examples collected in Japan in 2011 are growing well close to Loop Walk in the Old Arboretum. We hope they will continue to move up rather than elsewhere! Find the plant using the Westonbirt map.

 

July Tree of the Month

Friday, June 30th, 2017

 

What is tree of the month?

Chinese yellowwood

Cladrastis sinensis     

Why is it tree of the month?        

The Chinese yellowwood in flower is as beautiful a summer sight as any. The pinky-white flowers, held in panicles, appear in late July, complementing the attractive pinnate leaves that emerge incredibly late.

The species was introduced from China by Ernest Wilson in 1901 and is one of many genera that are represented in both eastern Asia and eastern North America.

Where can I find it?

Our largest tree grows on Holford Ride in the Old Arboretum (06.0038), with younger trees grown from seed of this tree are found in 2050 Glade close to Loop Walk (04.1199; 04.1210). Find the plant using the Westonbirt map.

 

June Tree of the Month

Monday, June 5th, 2017

What is tree of the month?

Tulip Tree – Liriodendron tulipifera

Why is it tree of the month?

The short-lived, tulip-like flowers are always worth seeking out in Summer. Greenish-yellow in colour, they are not always the easiest to spot against the leaves as they are often held high up in the crown. The only other member of the Magnolia family (Magnoliaceae) aside from Magnolia, the genus is considered to be primitive and contains only one other species, the Chinese tulip tree, Liriodendron chinense. A hybrid of the two also exists.

A specimen with flowers at eye level grows on the Downs restoration site, close to the restaurant (29.0246). The species is also a component of Jackson Avenue in the Old Arboretum. Young, wild sourced trees that are yet to flower are dotted throughout the collection.

Where can I find it?

Two examples of the Chinese tulip tree can be seen at Westonbirt. One, close to Loop Walk (08.0398) and a young, recently planted individual close to Mitchell Drive (09.0742). A sole hybrid grows vigorously on Broad Drive (56.0664). The occasional flower can be spotted high up! Find the plant using the Westonbirt map.

 

May Tree of the Month

Friday, April 28th, 2017

What is tree of the month?

Whitebeam

Sorbus dunnii

Why is it tree of the month?

One of the most spectacular whitebeams in foliage, with leaves that have distinctly white (hence the name) undersides and near gold veins. They flush a bronzey red on the upper surface, before quickly turning green. Native to parts of China, it is extremely rare in cultivation, with plants that are growing elsewhere in cultivation all deriving from our oldest tree here at Westonbirt.

This itself is a grafted plant that was also propagated from a grafted plant that derived from the introduction of the species some 35 years ago. Are you still with us?!

Where can I find it?
Here at Westonbirt, we have 3 plants, all in Silk Wood. One is on Waste Drive (tree no. 45.1024), one on Barn Walk (tree no. 42.0634) and another on Willesley Drive (tree no. 30.0703). Find the plant using the Westonbirt map.

April Tree of the Month

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

What is tree of the month?

Amelanchier asiatica

Tree of the month

Why is it tree of the month

One of the joys of spring is Amelanchier asiatica, a small tree that flowers beautifully. It is native to parts of China, Korea and Japan. Our sole specimen was grown from seed collected in the latter and was planted here in 1995.

Where can I find it?

You can find it on Main Drive in the Old Arboretum. Tree #16.0453. Find the plant using the Westonbirt map.

Tree of the Month March 2017

Monday, February 27th, 2017

What is the Tree of the Month?

Prunus hirtipes

Prunus hirtipes
Why is it tree of the month?

Although its beautiful pale pink flowers are short-lived, they are not to be missed. Produced in abundance, they are a welcome sight as winter turns to spring.

The tree was introduced by the great Ernest Wilson in 1907, who collected it in China, where it is native. Like many trees from that part of the world, it grows happily at Westonbirt, and the young plants are particularly vigorous!

 
Where can I find it?

The Prunus hirtipes can be found in several spots around Westonbirt: Shop Window, the Cherry Collection and on Waste Drive. Find the plant using the Westonbirt map.

Prunus hirtipes

 

Tree of the Month: February 2017

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

What is the Tree of the Month?

Rhododendron moupinense

Rhododendron moupinense

 

Why is it tree of the month?

One of the first rhododendrons to flower at Westonbirt, Rhododendron moupinense is a shrub native to western Sichuan in China, where it often grows as an epiphyte. The parent of our plant was just 30cm tall when seed was collected from it, though our plant is considerably taller than that now and also has rather attractive bark.  Flower colour of the species is somewhat variable, though our plant is distinctly white in this respect. The colour show provided by our other rhododendrons is not so far away…

 

Where can I find it?

Our sole specimen can be seen growing well just inside Spring Gate in the Old Arboretum. You can locate specimens using the Westonbirt Map.

 

Rhododendron moupinense