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Tag Archives: Quercus

  • Fabulous autumn colour!

    Foliage colour is one of the highlights of autumn, this year has been one of the best due to the long hot summer and as yet we haven't had the gales to blow the leaves off the trees...

    Whatever size garden - or patio - you have there is a tree that has beautiful autumn colour for you - from the smallest ornamental cherry to the largest oaks.

    Prunus Kojo-no-mai is a small ornamental cherry showing good colour now, it is suitable for a container on a patio and reaches approximately 2m high. In contrast, the wild cherry Prunus avium can grace a woodland clearing or parkland and reach up to 20m.

    In between, for small to medium gardens  - varieties such as Prunus Okame, Prunus Pandora, Prunus Kanzan and Prunus sargentii all have good autumn colour. Prunus Royal Burgundy has deep burgundy foliage in summer which turns bright red in autumn.

    Oaks such as the pin oak Quercus palustris, red oak Quercus rubra, and scarlet oak Quercus coccinea are stunning large trees for autumn colour.

    Many Sorbus (Rowan) trees show great autumn foliage including the yellow berried variety of Sorbus aucuparia - Joseph Rock, upright when young this is a hardy tree for a small garden.

    One of the best trees for autumn colour is Liquidambar styraciflua and its cultivars, including Liquidambar Worplesdon which shows consistently good colour. Liquidambar has a maple shape leaf and the tree is also prunable so we also supply it as a stunning espalier 2m high and 1m wide.

    Less well known is Nyssa sylvatica the Tupelo tree, a large specimen used to great effect in public gardens such as Sheffield Park here in Sussex. Parrotia persica, the Persian Ironwood is another unusual stunning large tree the leaves show an almost rainbow foliage effect in autumn.

    And of course there are many Japanese Maples - Acer palmatum varieties to choose from with a range of red, orange and yellow autumn colour.

    Enjoy the autumn colour this year and do come and visit if you are inspired to plant!

  • 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!


  • Trees for Autumn Interest – Oak Trees (Quercus)

    Autumn can be one of the most visually striking times of the year. Many species truly come into their own around the period, and informed planting choice can produce a lot of interest. As October rounds out we’re working to put out a few more details on some of our favourite autumn trees, and today we’ll be focusing on three particularly beautiful varieties of Quercus, the Oak.

    Quercus rubra | Red Oak

    Firstly, we’d like to take a quick look at Quercus rubra, or the ‘Red Oak’. As the picture below illustrates it’s a highly appropriate name, with the trees displaying stunningly deep colours during the autumn, with orange-red to scarlet leaves depending on the temperature. It’s even refreshingly full during the winter, with browned leaves often hanging on to the tree for an extended period.


    A snapshot of Quercus rubra’s vividly coloured autumn leaves

    Adaptable to a wide range of soils, but preferring sandy loam and well-drained but moist soils, ideally in a sunny site. It’s able to tolerate dry soils and periods of summer drought, but only after being fully established.

    A stately tree reaching an ultimate height of 25 metres and spread of 12, it’s often put to use in large gardens, parks, streets and avenues.

    Quercus palustris | Pin Oak

    Another stately tree, though only reaching an ultimate height of 20 metres, while maintaining an impressive spread of 12 metres. The horizontal branches are a beautiful sight, creating striking silhouettes in the winter.



    Quercus palustris stands out with large, lobed leaves taking on a deep red autumn colour

    Much like the ‘Red Oak’, the ‘Pin Oak’ serves well in large gardens and public areas. You’ll find it suits most soils except chalk, adapting well to moderately dry sites, and even moist-to-wet alluvial soils. Specimens prefer deep, nutrient-rich soils with an acidic to mildly alkaline pH, and will even tolerate areas which stand set in winter.

    Quercus coccinea – ‘Scarlet Oak’

    We don’t have this listed on the site, but feel free to contact us either on-line, on the phone, or in person if you’d like to sample an excellent specimen with many of the positive seen above, along and eye-catching autumn foliage and an extremely hardy character.

     scarlet oak

    A Scarlet Oak displaying autumn foliage |©Jean-Pol Grandmont

    Quercus coccinea shares the dimensions of Q. palustris, with a notable winter silhouette thanks to striking, horizontal branches. During the summer the tree displays bright green leaves with pointed lobes, turning to a dark, scarlet red in autumn (hence the name!).

    Q. coccinea is particularly notable for hardiness. The tree is extremely frost tolerant, and also tolerant of moderately dry soils, drought, and heat. It will happily adapt to a wide range of soils, preferring moist sites with an acid to mildly alkaline pH.

    If you’re still interested in trees for a sizeable garden or public space, we have plenty more large trees online, while our new Plant Finder tool can help pick a tree for a certain site. If you have any additional questions and queries, however, don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’re happy to help with advice on planting choice and technique.

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