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Tag Archives: Crataegus

  • Trees for shade

    In hot weather we welcome the benefits of trees for shade.

    Tilia - Limes for shade

    In many cities parks are popular for all the right reasons - playtime, exercise or just sitting and watching the world go by - and trees enhance the park landscape.

    We reap the benefits of inspired tree planters of years ago. London's Plane trees in Hyde Park and Manchester's Poplars in St. John's Garden have survived polluted conditions to offer cooling effects in summer, improve the air quality and help reduce traffic noise. Street trees improve the look of the built environment making cities a more pleasant place to live and work.

    Large trees such as limes (Tilia species), Norway Maples (Acer platanoides species), Oaks (Quercus) and Planes (Platanus x hispanica) are some of the  obvious examples of trees that offer shade - trees that grow to 15m and more and have dense canopies.

    Medium sized trees include Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), Sweet Gum (Liquidambar), Alder (Alnus), and Field Maple (Acer campestre).

    Smaller trees that have dense canopies such as hawthorns (Crataegus) are useful for shade aswell as June berry (Amelanchiers) and Cotoneaster. Trees that can be pruned to restrict their size in small gardens include Indian bean tree (Catalpa) and the silver willow leaved weaping pear Pyrus salicifolia Pendula.

    Gardens small and large benefit from some shade in the summer, and if the garden is too small for a tree there are other options to get 'green infrastructure'. Vines can be trained over pergolas for example and Wisteria can be grown on a stem with a pruned 'crown'.

    It is not the best time for planting in the heat of the summer, but it is a great time to enjoy the benefits of trees!

    We hope you are enjoying the summer and don't forget to continue to water newly planted trees, shrubs and climbers in the hot weather!

     

  • Autumn just gets better

    Two trees that keep their leaves well into November (and sometimes December!) are Crataegus lavellei and Pyrus Chanticleer.

    Crataegus lavalleiToday the sun shone (briefly) on Crataegus lavellei showing off the glossy orange berries and deep green leaves.  This little known hawthorn is hardy, tolerates most soils and grows to around 7m. It makes it a perfect tree for providing privacy at this time of year.

    Pyrus Chanticleer fthPyrus Chanticleer - an ornamental pear - also keeps its leaves well into autumn and then shows autumn tints of yellow to orange/red. This tree tolerates heavy soils and windy sites - even coastal sites. In spring it is covered with creamy white flowers - a real stunner!  In stock now are trees 4m high which make quite an impact.

  • Trees and shrubs for windy sites - Crataegus – Hawthorns

    Commonly called Hawthorns in Britain, Crataegus is originally a Greek name, Krataigos, which refers to the strength of the hawthorn’s hard wood.

    There are many varieties of Crataegus, featuring broad as well as lobed leaves. Aside from the native hawthorn, which produces thick hedges, there are also ornamental varieties of crataegus that can make for some lovely garden trees, due to the variety of flower colour on show – some feature good autumn colour too.

    One of the hardiest native trees is the Crataegus monogyna (or the common hawthorn), which is often seen wind pruned and durable; coping in exposed sites where other plants would suffer. Hawthorns are also notable for being able to tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, as long as the soil is not in drastically poor condition.

    Naturally, if left to grow as a tree, the hawthorn can reach heights of up to 6m (depending on the site). This, along with its dense branching pattern, means that hawthorn trees are generally good for screening.

    Traditionally used for hedging, either just as a single species or mixed with other plants, it is thorny and bushy enough to be made stock proof.

    The flowers of the crataegus monogyna in May/June are an important source of nectar for insects and the red berries (or haws), an important food source for birds and small mammals in autumn and winter.

    Finally, Hawthorns can regenerate effectively when cut back to the ground.

    Examples of Ornamental Hawthorns:

    Crataegus laevigata ‘Paul’s Scarlet’

    A small round headed tree that can ultimately grow to up 4-8m in height, with scarlet pink flowers in spring and small round haws in autumn.

    crataegus pauls scarlet 400

    Crataegus alba Plena

    A similar round-headed tree like the Paul’s Scarlet, but with double white flowers which age to pink.

    crat mono 400

    Crataegus prunifolia Splendens

    A small round headed tree ultimately 5-7m in height, broad glossy leaves which turn, gold, orange and red in autumn at the same time as the plentiful berries that ripen to bright red. Good for screening. A real gem.

    crataegus prunifolia splendens 400

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