My three favourite trees

Cockspur Thorn – Crataegus lavallei & Crataegus lavallei Carrieri

A small handsome tree but tough as old boots!

Whatever the time of year, this pretty Hawthorn ticks all the boxes, whether you are looking for a specimen small garden tree to add a touch of grace and seasonal interest or if you are looking a tough tree that will tolerate the harshest of conditions look no further that the Cockspur Thorn. We offer this variety of Crataegus as a clear stem full standard tree, leaf will start to emerge from the bud late April/May broadly ovate in shape it gives the appearance of an apple leaf, it is attractively glossy deep green in colour it makes for an beautiful dark backdrop to showcase the masses of creamy white flowers that will appear in May. The flowers are larger than those of our native Thorn but still are excellent source of nectar for the bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Crataegus lavallei could be considered as semi-evergreen, the foliage is very long-lasting and may remain on the tree well into winter, it is not uncommon to see this tree in full green leaf in late November/December if planted in sheltered positions. In autumn, expect an abundance of decorative red/orange berries that remain long on the tree ideal for song birds to feast upon in mid-winter, again the berries contrasting with the dark green leaf offering a seasonal ‘Christmassy’ feeling when all other plants and trees have lost their leaves.
Crataegus lavaelleii Carrieri has been cultivated to produce a dense, compact head which makes it a great candidate for screening and privacy purposes as the tree may be planted relatively close together to create a ‘mini’ raised hedge above a standard garden fence. Easy to maintain and responds well to pruning this fantastically robust little Hawthorn tree is tough enough to be planted in exposed, coastal, urban or landscape where soil conditions are poor, it can be planting in restricted areas or for instant impact plant in clusters in large planting schemes to encourage natural bird and bee-life.

Cornelian Cherry – Cornus mas

Bring some gold to mid winter.

A stunning variety of Dogwood, quite often overlooked in general planting schemes which is a shame as this wonderful Cornus has so much to offer! Here at Barcham we grow this as either feathered, half standard or as full standard, whichever way you choose Cornus mas will make a real statement in late winter when the golden/yellow flowers erupts from the twigs in a riotous profusion, lifting the whole garden from its wintering slumber and reminding us, Spring is just around the corner. Team Cornus Mas with Himalayan Birch (Betula utilis Jacquemontii) and under-plant with snowdrops, aconites, primroses and hellebores to create a wonderful winter garden of your own.

The typical ‘Dogwood’ leaf appears in April, drooping in large clusters from short stems, the foliage is bright fresh green in summer and gives ways to a spectacular display of scarlet red maturing to deep burgundy and purple in Autumn. This little tree has one more surprise up its sleeve, it is not called the Cornelian Cherry for nothing – an abundance of Cherry-like fruits are produced in late summer; bright red in colour and sweet to the taste when ripe. Unlike the acid-loving American and Chinese Dogwoods, Cornus mas can be planted on well drained neutral soils including clay mix. Whether you plant Cornus mas as an architectural specimen or a small garden tree it will provide seasonal interest and exciting features and a whole year through. Can you think of another tree that is packed full of surprises and offers such great value for money? Let’s not over-look this little gem any longer, we can be provide Cornus mas in containers for year round planting at a good size for instant impact.

Ornamental Crabapple – Malus Evereste

A Crab with a bit more pinch!

Do you have a small planting space? A dull corner of the garden? A tree of interest that will encourage bees, butterflies and birdlife? If the answer is no; Well then, look no further than Malus Evereste, when this ornamental Crabapple flowers it will take your breath away! It is simply beautiful. From May, masses of pale pink buds give way to profusion of white blossom with a blush pink hue, quite persistent if the weather is favourable. The flower contrasts with the fresh green leaf to prolong the floral season after the Cherries have gone over. The ‘marble’ sized crab-apples (fruits) smother the twigs and stems in early autumn, a display of golden orbs with orange/red hues adorn the canopy and contrast with the golden yellow tints of the autumn leaf, the fruits hold well and are quite often devoured by hungry birds as the season progresses.
Malus Evereste matures to a broadly oval habit with a slight ascending branch structure so makes it very useful for urban planting schemes either as specimen, orchard and verge or avenue planting. Here at Barcham Trees we also offer Malus Evereste as a Pleached tree, which in effect looks quite stunning in Spring blossom and autumn fruit.

Like most Crab-apples this cultivation will flourish happily on well-drained soil including clay, a good performer, resistant to Apple Scab along with most other infectious pest and diseases that affects apples.


Posted by jules.baird

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