THE MODERN MINT BLOG
Native trees, if you need help deciding what you might like to plant…
1) Native Trees, Evergreen
– Box (Buxus Semperivens)
Dense wood, good in dry conditions, used for topiary.
– Holly (Ilex Aquifolium)
Dark green foliage, beautiful bark and trunk. Prize tree in winter. Male to female mix for berries.
– Yew (Taxus Baccata)
Topiary, trim once in August, thick hedge, grows faster than you think.
– Juniper (Juniperus Communis)
Dry and eat the berries, smell good or bad depending on your taste, slow growing.
– Scots Pine (Pinus Sylvestris)
Conical, red bark, needle leaves.
2) Native Trees, Deciduous
– Hawthorn (Crataegeus Monogyna)
Blossom in May, can eat the haws in Autumn (if eaten with the leaves, it is known as ‘bread and cheese…’)
– Hornbeam (Carpinus Betulus)
Trunk twists with age, great on clay soils, fresh green leaf.
– Elm (Ulmus Glabra)
Not often seen due to disease.
– Alder (Alnus Glutinosa)
Good near water, catkins in spring.
– Whitebeam (Sorbus Aria)
Fruits in autumn, leaves furry and silver below – which you notice when they are blowing in the wind.
– Service Tree (Sorbus Torminalis)
Rich red Autumn colours, smaller tree, fruits were used for brewing beer.
– Poplar (Populus Alba)
White underside of leaf, quick grower.
– Lime (Tilia Cordata, Tilia Platyphyllos)
Scented flowers in July, small, hard fruit.
– Buckthorn (Rhamnus Frangula, Rhamnus Cathartica)
Wet sites, red fruits in autumn, R. Cathartica is a smaller tree.
– Crab Apple (Malus Sylvestris)
Flowers in spring, fruits for jam in autumn, tough trees.
– Hazel (Corylus Avellana)
Fast growing, catkins and nuts.
– Oak (Quercus Rober, Quercus Petrea)
Good for wildlife, long-lived, acorns.
– Maple (Acer campestre)
Fast growing, good autumn colour.
– Birch (Betula Pubescens, Betula Pendula)
Silver and reddish bark, catkins, roots near the surface of the soil.
– Aspen (Populus Tremula)
Fluttering leaves, moist conditions, good autumn colour.
– Spindle (Euonymus Europaeus)
Great in Autumn for fruit and leaf, slightly ugly habit.
– Rowan (Sorbus Aucuparia)
Orange leaf in autumn, great berries!
– Dogwood (Cornus Sanguinea)
Dark red twigs in winter!
– Elder (Sambucus Nigra)
Fast growing, flowers for cordial or champagne, then berries later in the year.
– Ash (Fraxinus Excelsior)
Light airy canopy good for growing bulbs below.
– Cherry (Prunus Padus, Prunus Avium)
Blossom, liable to get diseased – we would rather grow cherry trees for their fruit.
– Blackthorn (Prunus Spinosa)
Massive thorns! Great berries for sloe gin.
– Willow (Salix Caprea, Salix Alba, Salix Fragilis, Salix Triandra, Salix Pentandra)
Moist soils, pollard in spring, shiny foliage.
– Strawberry Tree (Arbutus Unedo)
Red, peeling bark, found in Ireland, deep red fruits.
We hope this list of native trees helps. Although ‘native’ is open to debate… Where Do Camels Belong?: The story and science of invasive species
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Last September when I and topiary artist (and mentor) Charlotte Molesworth ran a weekend of topiary masterclasses we had a visit from the garden writer Non Morris. You can read more about Non and her garden design work and writings here. She has written a lovely article for the February 2022 edition of The English Garden Magazine about her afternoon working with us and learning about topiary – I’m really thrilled by the piece, because she mentions not just a little of the wonderful history of Balmoral Cottage and how the garden grew, but also shares a little of how …
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