Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Tree of the Month - August 2016

Posted: July 28, 2016 at 13:56 pm Author: Dan Crowley

What is tree of the month?

Sorbus ‘John Mitchell’

John Mitchell

Why is it tree of the month?

Notable for its huge round leaves, this whitebeam, Sorbus ‘John Mitchell’ is a not uncommon sight in cultivation and has its origins here at Westonbirt. It was long considered to be a selection of Sorbus thibetica but is in fact something quite different. One of its parents is likely to be a round-leaved form of our native Sorbus aria and the other is as yet unknown, though is likely of Asian origin. The hybrid first arose here (precise date unknown!) and was named for the first curator of Westonbirt, William John Mitchell.

John Mitchell

Where can I find it?

We currently have two trees in the collection (we are keen to grow more!). Our largest stands close to Mitchell Drive (G25 on the map) and a smaller but equally beautiful tree is located close to another of our famous trees, the Holford pines (Pinus x holfordiana), near Holford Ride (E24).