How to choose a specimen tree

How to choose a specimen tree

Here at Arundel Arboretum, we have a comprehensive range of evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs. They range in height from 1’ – 20’ depending upon variety. These include an extensive range of specimen trees.

Specimen trees are usually those that create an impact or focal point in a garden design. It might not be the size of the tree that makes it stand out. It could be its gnarled bark, stunning flowers, graceful arching branches or a standard tree planted for screening that really makes a statement. Specimen trees are generally planted as a standalone tree. However, trees can be planted in a group to create a feature. An example of this is Betula utilis var. Jacquemontii. With their stunning white bark, they will look amazing.

Once you have decided to plant a specimen tree in your garden, our experienced staff will be able to help you choose the right one for you. Some things to consider include:

  • What type of tree would you like? Deciduous or evergreen? If your specimen tree is for screening, then it is probably worth considering an evergreen so that you have year-round privacy

  • Height and spread – this is a major factor to consider. Your garden must be able to cope with the plant’s eventual height and spread! Also, consider access to your chosen site – can your tree fit through a gate for example

  • Consider what you want from your tree. Would you like spring blossom, fiery autumn colours, interesting bark, berries for wildlife

  • Also, consider your soil. We will be able to help you choose a specimen tree that will thrive in your conditions

Here are a few ideas of specimen trees to consider:

Betula utilis var. jacquemontii

Betula utilis var. jacquemontii is a very popular deciduous tree. This is due to its architectural shape and brilliant white bark on its trunk and larger branches. The multi-stem variety is very effective. They are often planted in groups of three for a stunning effect. Betula utilis var. jacquemontii has ovate shaped leaves, which turn yellow in the autumn. In early spring, the male yellow-brown catkins appear and these can be up to 12cm long. Betula utilis var. jacquemontii has an eventual height of 12m+ and width of 4-8m. It prefers moist, well-drained soil. It can be planted in full sun or partial shade, in an exposed or sheltered position.

Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’

Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’ is a very popular form of Liquidambar as it is more suitable for the average garden. It has rich autumn colours of mostly orange and red. An added feature in the winter is the cork that develops on the wood of the tree. Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’ can be planted in full sun or partial shade in a sheltered or exposed position. It should be planted in well-drained, moist soil. This deciduous tree has an eventual height of 12m+ and a spread of 8m+.

Quercus ilex

Quercus ilex is a large, evergreen majestic tree. Its leathery leaves are dark glossy green above, and grayish downy beneath. Quercus ilex can take pruning and will grow in full sun or partial shade. This tree is used a lot for screening in either a bush or standard form. It is also a salt tolerant tree, so is ideal in coastal conditions. The finely cracked bark is black. It has an eventual height of 12m+ and a spread of 8m+.

We look forward to welcoming you to Arundel Arboretum where our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be able to assist with your purchase of a specimen tree. The photographs are only an indication of the stock we currently have.


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