What’s the first tree into leaf?

19 Feb 2016

It has been such a mild winter at Barcham this year the stock is more advances than usual. Hamamelis Arnold Promise and Hamamelis Jelena have both flowered and our Prunus Autumnalis Rosea has a smattering of early blossom before it goes at full tilt in April. Prunus Okame is in full flower and is the earliest to give its spring show.

 

 

For trees breaking dormancy there are three standout candidates for the first one into leaf: Betula ermanii Prunus maackii Amber Beauty and Pyrus calleryana Chanticleer. I have a large Ermins Birch in my garden and it is always in full leaf by the end of March, a good three weeks ahead of other Birch varieties and it is unaffected by late frosts. When a tree is early to leaf it corresponds that it is early to fall and this is certainly true of Betula ermanii which turns yellow in late September onwards before shedding its leaves completely in October when most other genus are still going strong. On the other hand, Pyrus calleryana Chanticleer is one of the last trees to lose its leaves making it a good candidate for screening as the cost can be a lot lower than evergreen varieties.

 

For most trees, leafing up later is a defence mechanism to prevent young tender leaves getting scotched by late frosts. The young foliage on Oak and Ash will go black if it suffers this fate. They recover over time but nature is not wasteful and this is why Quercus and Fraxinus are the last two genus to leaf up at Barcham in the spring.

For those of you planning events in the garden it is often possible to pick a variety that is performing on the month you most want it to. Give us a call on 01353 720950 for more details on this of e mail us on info@barchamtrees.co.uk

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