New Season Ornamental Trees Part 2

By Lorraine Spooner

Continuing last week’s theme of ornamental trees, Part 2 of this newsletter details a further selection from the extensive range currently growing on our Nursery. These are available for you to reserve now to be collected or delivered from September, so plan a visit soon, before they are all spoken for and awaiting the move to their lovely new homes.  You can read Part 1 by clicking here.

New Season Ornamental Trees Part 2

With so many features extending interest through the seasons, your preference might be a cascade of spring blossom from a Cherry or Crab Apple, fiery autumn foliage offset by colourful berries from a Rowan, striking white bark from a Himalayan Birch, or simply a silhouette of branches to create a winter backdrop against the setting sun.

If you find it impossible to choose or would like further information on what might best suit your garden conditions, an appointment can be arranged to discuss your requirements; we would then make appropriate recommendations on enriching your garden space by planting more trees.  Contact lorraine@nicholsonsgb.com or libby@nicholsonsgb.com and attach photographs so that we can prepare ideas in advance of your visit.

My tree choices for this week are as follows.

New Season Ornamental Trees Part 2

Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’

The Red Bud catches the eye over many seasons and has justifiably earned its place in the popularity stakes.  Often grown for its beautiful heart-shaped, purple foliage, it is the vivid pink, pea-like flowers clothing the bare, arching branches in early spring that are a sight to behold, setting the scene for the fanfare of autumn colour that will follow, making this a truly multi seasonal specimen for any size of garden.

New Season Ornamental Trees Part 2

Sorbus aria ‘Lutescens’

Introduced to Britain by a French nursery in the mid 19th century, this popular cultivar of the Whitebeam is an undemanding tree with a conical crown, tolerant of a wide range of situations from urban to exposed.  The spring foliage resembles silvery candles sitting on the branches and unfurls to a beautiful shade of grey/green; the clusters of creamy white flowers in May mature to orange/red berries in the autumn.  Best suited to chalk soils, site where it will literally ‘light up’ an area of the garden which is predominantly green.

New Season Ornamental Trees Part 2

Prunus ‘Tai-Haku’

This ancient tree, known as the Great White Cherry, will be instantly recognisable by its flat-topped spreading crown, which can grow wider than the tree’s height.   ‘Tai-Haku’ translates as ‘big white’, and its flowers are indeed twice the size of other flowering cherries, borne in multiple clusters in April.  Best grown as a single specimen in a lawn, it can also be used to create an avenue where the canopies will eventually grow together, creating a magical place under which to take a stroll. After becoming extinct in Japan, we owe our gratitude to Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram for re-introducing the tree back to its native country from a single specimen he spotted in a garden in Sussex, which has allowed this beautiful tree to live on globally for our enjoyment.

New Season Ornamental Trees Part 2

Carpinus betulus ‘Rockhampton Red’

Having all the characteristics of our native Hornbeam, it is the striking display of reliable autumn colour in fiery reds and oranges from late September, instead of the usual yellow of the species, that make this a stand-out cultivar. The canopy is upright at first, before spreading in later maturity; the leaves crisp in the winter months to the rusty brown that we are familiar with and there will be some foliage retention, which will vary from year to year, dependent on the severity of the winter. A fantastic choice for softening an unsightly view.

New Season Ornamental Trees Part 2

Betula utilis ‘Grayswood Ghost’

Any Birch will enhance a garden, but ‘Grayswood Ghost’ will be a year-round asset.  Birch trees look stunning when planted in close groups of three or more due to their slender form, where the dazzling white peeling bark is a feature in its own right, especially when set against a darker backdrop of greens.  In spring the yellow catkins appear amongst fresh, green foliage which takes on deep shades of yellow before falling in autumn to reveal the graceful skeleton of branches.  Tolerant of a wide range of conditions and soil types, if you have the space, then a sinuous curve of birch trees with their leaves rustling in the breeze is a feast for the senses.  Also available and equally as beautiful is Betula utilis ‘Snowqueen’.

New Season Ornamental Trees Part 2

Malus toringo ‘Scarlett’

There are many cultivars to choose from this popular genus, but one of the best of these is Malus toringo ‘Scarlett’, which for me earns the accolade ‘a tree for all seasons’.  The stunning deep pink blossom in April/May provides a contrasting spectacle with the emerging purple foliage, which gradually takes on greener hues through summer before bowing out with tints of orange.  The dainty deep purple crab apples persist long after the foliage has fallen, even into spring, before the cycle begins again.  Malus are the ideal small garden trees, attaining an average 4 metes with a neat rounded canopy, they are also excellent pollinating partners for apples.

New Season Ornamental Trees Part 2

Prunus ‘Kanzan’

Introduced in 1900, ‘Kanzan’ is one of the most widely planted of all the flowering cherries, suitable for avenue planting or as a single specimen. Producing pink-purple double flowers with a crimped edge from March to April, simultaneously with the young bronze foliage, this medium sized tree would suit most garden situations, attaining 6 x 4 metres in maturity. In typical Japanese cherry style, the tree’s growth habit is initially vase shaped and upright before becoming more spreading over time. With burnt orange coloured foliage extending the season into autumn, if you only have space for just one tree, then this is highly recommended.

New Season Ornamental Trees Part 2

Acer rubrum ‘Brandywine’

Maples are renowned for their spectacular autumnal fireworks and ‘Brandywine’ can be relied upon to produce a long-lasting display which some rate as the best of any Red Maple. The palmate foliage emerges pale yellow, darkening to green over the summer months, before beginning its colourful transition in early autumn. Reaching a mature height of 7 metres, it prefers a partially shaded site in neutral to slightly acidic moist soil. The perfect specimen tree for a lawn where the neat, upright shape can be best admired from all viewpoints.

Why not enhance your enjoyment of all Nicholsons has to offer by booking a table at our Yurt Restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or afternoon tea to sample the culinary delights created by our chef, Enrico? Contact theyurt@nicholsonsgb.com

We look forward to welcoming you to Nicholsons Plants very soon.

Sourcing from responsible U.K. growers has never been more important and we are proud to have met the requirements of the Plant Healthy Management Standard; this certification, together with achieving 100% peat free status in our home-grown crops, allows us to focus our energy on a greener future.

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