Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Spring Colour Watch Blog: maple colours to challenge autumn!

Posted: May 17, 2012 at 16:44 pm Author: Katrina Podlewska

Maple loop larch

The current red and pink leaves of some of Westonbirt’s Japanese maples tease of autumn colour – but the sea of bluebells underneath reminds us that it is spring.

Japanese maple bluebellsBluebells Maple loop

Westonbirt Arboretum is known across the world for its autumn colour, particularly of the Japanese maples, but a spring walk here offers a different insight to these trees.

Maple loop - Silk WoodMaple loop - Silk Wood

Take a walk around the Japanese Maple Collection and Maple Loop in Silk Wood and you’ll see a mix of lush green, dark red and bright pink maple foliage. What makes this picture even more stunning is the carpet of bluebells underneath.

Maple loop - Silk WoodMaple loop - Silk Wood

Some of the best maples for spring colour include Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood', a large shrub with deep purple leaves in spring and summer; Acer palmatum ‘Deshojo’, with vivid red spring leaves and Acer palmatum ‘Katsura’ with golden-yellow spring leaves.

Maples have been selectively bred over many hundreds of years specifically to bring out these wide variations in colour. Some have been selected to give a great autumnal show of colour, whilst others have been selected to provide the bright fresh spring display we can see at Westonbirt at the moment.

The other benefit of this great variety is that maples come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, to suit all gardens and tastes. Westonbirt Plant Centre has great choice of acers which you may find hard to resist having seen in the collection - make sure you pop in when you visit.

Useful links

More information about spring at Westonbirt

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