The plant of the week this week is a beautiful small tree that’s in full flower at the moment and really looking at its best at this time of the year. It is a form of the Midlands Hawthorn and was discovered in 1858 in the garden of mr Boyd, Waltham Cross, growing on the double pink form (possibly ‘Punicea Flora Plena). From there it was progated by the famous nurseryman William Paul and then show in the 1866 international horticultural exhibition.
It is a slow growing tree, getting up to 8m in hieght in about 50yrs, with attractive leaves that turn yellow in the autumn months as well as small bright red seeds in the autumn months. It is indeed a native of the uk and Europe, where it is now mainly found in old woodland. In the garden, it is happy in light shade to full sun and again will be happy in most soils as long as it’s not too wet!
Care wise, it needs little pruning, more thining out the branch network within the plant, removing crossing branches and any dead wood. Pest and disease wise, it can be effected by the horrible fire blight and the odd bit of leave spots, caperpilliers epsically the sawfly love eating the leaves on the tree, with gall mites and aphids also being problematic at times. That said it is still a very good tree for a small garden,
In can be found growing in most botanical gardens as well as widely planted as a roadside tree. Again may good tree nursery will be able to stock the tree both bareroot and containerised plants. www.majestictrees.co.uk and www.landford-trees.co.uk are both suppliers.