Autumn: What a fantastic time of year for trees!

Generally it is the summer and spring months that bring us the most cheer in terms of trees and plants. The fresh and lush greens of new foliage and glorious floral display exciting everyone into thinking about getting out into the garden again as the dulldrums of winter draws to its end.

Yet for trees, it is not just spring and summer that brings attraction, the autumn is equally as beautiful and whilst it signifies the beginning of the winter for some, it also heralds the start of the planting season for us! The start of our main periods of both production for next season and indeed the busiest time of year for despatching of trees for planting.

Whilst many trees give a vague attempt at producing some colour before limping into winter, there are a stalwart few species that produce a fantastic display year in, year out. Of these old reliables, our favourite here at Barcham has to be Liquidambar styraciflua Worplesdon, and whilst I do not think that any photograph can do the beauty of this autumn colour any justice at all, I think you will agree that it is stunning. See the pic on the right of a double row of these trees. They somewhat remind me of a “Fab” lolly effect, whereby the top of the tree reaches a deep crimson purple, giving rise to a whole array of shades, rght to yellows towards the bottom of the tree. It is truly a magnificent sight and often needs to be seen to truly be appreciated.

This autumn we have been lucky with the mild weather and bright, sunny days which has made for some great photographs of the nursery. Trees that are still holding onto their leaves look super against the back drop of a setting sun and bright blue sky. The bottom photograph is of a Malus evereste, which are still pretty much in full leaf! This one is also showing some plump and luscious fruit, with the foliage only showing minimal signs that it is about to fall for winter.

The onset of winter for trees is brought about by a combination in the the day length and the extreme of the change between day and night temperature. this November has been exceptionally mild, with temperatures of recent nights only just dipping below 10°C. This is strange for the trees and as such we have seen some huge differences in how the trees across the nursery are dealing with autumn time. Some have lost their leaves completely, some showing glorious autumn colour and others, such as the Malus varieties, are still in full leaf! No doubt as we continue to march through November, December will take its tol and finish off the final of the persisting deciduous trees and give rise to the might of the evergreens over the winter! It is then their time to shine.

Here’s to some cooler weather and even more perfect tree planting and lifting conditions in the very near future!

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