Ornamental trees are a wide-ranging and highly diverse collection of trees, and they are broadly defined as trees that do not have the primary purpose of bearing fruit. Ornamental trees are so wide-ranging that the exact number of species is not known, but it is estimated that there are over 100,000 different species of non-fruiting trees. There are so many trees that the total number of trees collectively accounts for around a quarter of all plant species. It is thought that trees have existed on the earth for about 370 million years and that over time they evolved to get their distinctively long trunk to compete for sunlight. Trees have also been a pivotal factor in the survival of humans, not only from their ability to filter our air, but also for their other uses, like for burning for fire wood or for making hunting tools out of. However, for the average gardener today, trees are often planted for much more aesthetic reasons.
A selection of Ornamental Trees
Description: 'Azura' is a more compact, bushier and hardier form of Eucalyptus. The evergreen blue-green foliage has a round shape and wonderful Eucalyptus aroma. When trimmed twice a year, it works well in larger pots, grows as a specimen in lawns and borders, or even forms a hedge with it. They also look lovely when displayed in flower arrangements.
Eucalyptus Growing Tips: Will grow in almost any well-drained soil except shallow chalk. Coppice for control and effect, with the best time for pruning being the Spring. Plant in a sunny position or light shade with some cold, drying winds shelter.
Height and Spread (after 20 years): 5m x 2.5m
Leaf Colour: Blue / Green
Flowering month: July
Tree Shape: Upright
Sunlight: Full Sun
Cercis canadensis ‘Merlot’
Description: ‘Merlot’ is an outstanding hybrid of Cercis ‘Texas White’ and Cercis ‘Forest Pansy’ and combines the best features of each of its parents to create a genuinely fantastic tree. The glossy, deep purple-red, cordate or heart-shaped leaves turn to a rich green colour by mid-summer. Bright solid pink flowers are produced on mature plants.
Cercis Growing Tips: Performs best in moderately fertile, well-drained soils. The best flower production occurs in full sun but part shade is best in hot summer climates.
Height and Spread (after 20 years): 4m x 4m
Leaf Colour: Purple
Sunlight: Full Sun/Partial Shade
Betula utilis var. jacquemontii ‘Grayswood Ghost’
Description: Betula utilis var. jacquemontii 'Grayswood Ghost' is a striking form that produces bright white bark and upright branches. The large glossy green leaves appear in the spring alongside the yellowish-brown catkins followed by golden-yellow autumn colours. One of the best white-barked selections available that's perfect for growing as a specimen tree for its excellent winter interest!
History: Propagated from a tree in Grayswood Hill, Surrey. Received an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.
Betula Growing Tips: They will succeed on most soils with certain species happy even in wet sites. Although tolerant of chalk soils, they will not reach a maximum size in these conditions. Best planted in a full sun position.
Height and Spread (after 10 years) : 6m x 4m
Leaf Colour: Green
Do Not Prune
Tree Shape: Standard
Acidic Soil 5.0-6.5