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Platinum Jubilee Trees

26th May 2022

With the Platinum Jubilee celebrations fast approaching and a tree planting initiative central to marking the first ever monarch to reign for 70 years, are you planning to plant a Jubilee tree? If you need some inspiration for your choice, here are some ideas to work in a range of sites.

Platinum themed trees

Platinum is a silvery-white coloured element that shares similar characteristics to other precious metals. It’s rare, highly valuable and used in jewellery, electrodes and catalytic converters! Trees you might plant to reflect this theme include:

Sorbus aria 'Lutescens' – the silver leaved whitebeam, as the name suggests, is about as platinum-coloured as you can get. It’s fairly late into leaf and needs good drainage, but makes a superb specimen with pale, felted leaves and a domed, symmetrical crown. Looks lovely in an avenue, too, thanks to the tidy shape. Foliage shown in main picture above, along with flowerbuds.

Betula utilis ‘Long Trunk’ – with a glowing, smooth white trunk and handsome weeping foliage, this version of the Himalayan birch is wonderful for winter interest and stays shorter than the non-weeping B. utilis var. jacquemontii.

Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula' – another weeping tree that grows slowly and stays pretty small, the silver-leaved pear is perfect for smaller spaces. You may get some pretty autumn colour some years, but don't expect edible fruits - this is an ornamental type of pear tree! 

Fastigiate trees

In honour of the Platinum Jubilee, Monty Don recently planted a pyramid birch – a fastigiate type of silver birch – in his Long Meadow garden. Fastigiate – or upright trees – are great where you want a narrow shape that points skywards, or where space is tight. Their ascending shape lends them a noble air. We think these are some of the best:

Carpinus betulus ‘Frans Fontaine’fastigiate hornbeam works well in an avenue or as a standalone green sentry that will tolerate all types of soil.

Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ – fancy a flowering cherry tree but don’t have space for a wide canopy? Amanogawa is your go-to choice for cheery pink blossom on a candle flame-shaped figure.

Ginkgo biloba ‘Blagon’ – this rather unusual, narrow form of the ‘living fossil’ maidenhair tree is a conversation piece. Fan-shaped foliage turns an amazing golden yellow in autumn. Alternatively, look at Liquidambar 'Slender Silhouette' for something a bit different with marvellous autumn hues, or Amelanchier 'Rainbow Pillar'.

Regal trees

Clearly, anything with ‘queen’ in the name is going to fit the bill!

Betula utilis ‘Snow Queen’ – this white barked birch is one of the top choices for winter interest and is a very pleasing sort of birch all year round.

Acer platanoides ‘Emerald Queen’ – a fast growing Norway maple with a tidy form, Emerald Queen is bright green in mid-summer, turning yellow-orange in autumn. Pair it with A. ‘Crimson King’ for contrast, if you have space, or look at A. Crimson Sentry for an upright version.

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