Mike Glover, Managing Director at Barcham, has been working with trees his entire working life and we have tried to pin him down on what are his favourites!
“When asked on what my top 5 favourite trees are I thought how can I answer that question?! So much hinges on location, soil and aspect but I based my choices by thinking on what I have in my small garden at home….
Liquidambar styraciflua Worplesdon: This fantastic ‘maple like’ tree is vibrant in summer but starts to produce knockout autumn colour by the end of September that is held on the tree all the way until December most years. The inner foliage to the canopy turns a buttercup yellow whereas the outermost leaves gently turn to claret red. Out of the entire tree genus, I find it hard to beat this tree for sustained autumn colour!
Betula albosinensis Fascination: What a birch! A great ascending habit and bark that graduates from brown to pink and finally to white as the stems mature. When the bark peels, the underside of the peeling is a brown / orange to add to the effect. In spring it has a great catkin display and its foliage is a vibrant dark green in the summer and a buttercup yellow in the autumn.
Lagerstroemia indica Rosea: Simply gorgeous! The bark is a polished patchwork of brown textures and the autumn colour is magnificent. Some years reward you with a profuse array of papery red flowers late on in September / October. I keep mine as a pollard to encourage foliage and flower as well as keeping to a sculptured shape that is so pleasing to the eye. This tree has to be in free draining soil with a good amount of sunlight hitting the tree in the summer. It likes it hot and sheltered!
Magnolia loebneri Leonard Messel: Grown as a bush rather than a tree this great spring flowering multi stemmed tree is the first thing to brighten up the garden after winter. Pink in bud, the flowers open with long dainty petals that are nearly white by the end of their showing. Autumn sees the foliage turn yellow before dropping to reveal velvet cased flower bud waiting ready for the following spring to start all over again. We also supply these as single stemmed trees.
Pyrus calleryana Chanticleer: What an all-rounder! A profuse early spring flowerer of single white pear blossom gives way to lush foliage that can keep on the tree all the way to December in some years before turning to yellow / orange and sometimes red before falling. Most deciduous trees are six months with foliage and six without but this variety is nine months with and only 3 without making it a great screening tree with a lot of ornamental interest thrown in.
“I could go on but I’ve been restricted to 5!”
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