Archive for June, 2017

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.

 

Back ‘app’ and running

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

As part of Westonbirt’s continuing mission to ‘connect people with trees’, we like to try new things to engage with our audiences here at the Arboretum.

TreeQuest App

The Westonbirt Project allowed us to test new technological boundaries and after consultation with a wide range of visitors and our fabulous youth forum, Team WB, a mobile app was created! It offers the opportunity to discover new species, awesome facts and areas of the arboretum that you may not have even set foot in before.
The app launched in August 2015, and has received positive reviews. However, some negative comments came about due to some technical issues with our beacons. These ‘beacons’ are small white boxes positioned in 50 trees around the site. They ‘talk’ to the app via Bluetooth and tell the app to alert you when you are near a tree. Unfortunately, the beacons themselves appeared to stop working, which in effect made the app unusable…
Not to be discouraged by such things, we have continued to work to resolve this – working closely with our developers, who in turn have worked tirelessly with the beacon manufacturers to come up with a solution.

You will now see little grey boxes around the arboretum which are our new, robust, ‘belt and braces’ beacons! They are more conspicuous at the moment, but bear with us as we work to position them in to best way possible to allow users of mobile technology to connect with their surroundings whilst also allowing for those who wishing to be ‘tech-free’ to still enjoy our wonderful tree collection.

 

If you fancy having a go at the app head to the App Store or Google Play Store, create your own quest and explore the arboretum in a new and exciting way!