HUES WHO OF TREES
WHATEVER SIZE SPACE YOU HAVE, THERE IS A TREE THAT WORKS FOR YOU, SO GET INSPIRED ON AN AUTUMN FOREST STROLL
WOODLAND walks are one of the most wonderful things about autumn. Spectacular hues of golds, reds and ambers flush through the leaves. And strolling beneath a tree canopy can do you the world of good.
Research shows that walking through a natural space boosts your memory, increases productivity, reduces blood pressure and stress, and increases positive emotions. A walk in an urban area can have completely the opposite effect.
So we should get close to nature for our own health and happiness – and for that of our children too.
To get recommendations of winning woodland walks near you, take a look at the Woodland Trust website at woodlandtrust.org.uk
Put in your post code to find your nearest one.
The Woodland Trust is a marvellous organisation that aims to conserve and restore ancient woodland.
It plants new woods in the UK full of native species, which support local wildlife and have a positive impact on the nation’s health.
It even gives out free trees to schools and community groups. This year, the trust has been running a fantastic national campaign to find the tree of the year – one with a fantastic history.
Some of the trees that have been nominated date back hundreds of years and have seen so much change in the landscape during their incredible lifetimes.
We really should embrace trees and have them in our own gardens. You could plant and name a tree on your child’s birthday, plant a tree in memory of someone special, or plant one just because it makes you happy.
There are lots you can plant in your own garden. Here are my favourite ones for different sized spaces.
If you don’t have a big garden, don’t worry. There are plenty of trees suitable for smaller plots.
Salix caprea ‘Kilmarnock’ – Kilmarnock willow – is a marvellous dwarf tree that grows up to head height. It has an umbrella of weeping pendula branches that drape down from the top of the tree all the way to the ground.
Early in the year, it has clear stems covered in beautiful silver catkins. It looks like snow is crumbling from the tree with little silver gems turning sulphur yellow right before it leafs up.
Throughout summer, the tree produces gorgeous green leaves. It is perfect for growing in borders or even large containers.
Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ is a delightful pencil cherry that is tall and thin. It doesn’t spread out too much, so if spread is your worry, this would be the perfect choice. Its copious leaves produce beautiful shades of colour throughout autumn and, as a flowering cherry, it has spectacular displays of spring flowers too – a flush of pink buds that open up into fabulous white blossom.
Acer palmatum – Japanese maple – is a very popular choice these days and produces spectacular summer and autumn colour.
Absolutely ideal for pots, these are especially suited to smaller gardens where they can be used as a feature piece on the patio. Moving on, there is a lot to choose from if you are in need of a medium-sized tree. But I have to give a special shout-out to apples.
There are bush apples or smaller half-standard apples that will go in any sized plot. If there are apple trees in neighbouring gardens, that is fantastic as they will pollinate your apples and help your tree produce fruit.
If there are none nearby you can buy a variety such as ‘Laxton’s Superb’. These pollinate themselves and ensure a bumper crop.
Don’t forget with apples, it is not all about the fruit. Spectacular pink and white blossoms are also produced. Apple blossoms in spring time are a marvellous thing.
For bigger trees, Acer drummondii – Norway maple – is a tough one to beat. Its leaves have a lovely margin of cream on the edges and a lime-green centre. You can also get varieties that have bright red foliage, such as ‘Royal Red’ and ‘Goldworth Purple’.
For truly stunning autumn colour, Liquidambar styraciflua – sweet gum– has multi-coloured leaves in autumn, which make a real statement in a large garden.
So embrace autumn and enjoy nature by taking a walk in a wood. You may be inspired to plant your own tree.
Sweet gum glow
Colourful trees make the season
Get reddy with a Japanese maple