Whitebeam Sorbus Aria

Description & features

Out of Stock

We are currently either out of stock or have low stock of this product. However, we may be able to fulfil your order. Please click Contact to provide your details and we will get in touch asap with details of when we might have them in stock again.

Contact

Product description

SORBUS ARIA - Whitebeam

Characteristics

Whitebeam is native to Britain being more prevalent in the south on chalk and limestone.  Despite having a green top side, the leaves of Sorbus aria have hundreds of tiny white hairs on the underside that give them a silvery white look. So, when the wind blows through the leaves, the foliage effectively changes colour from green to white and back again.

The flowers emerge in May or June once the leaves have unfolded from their green buds. These white blossoms appear in bunches in the leaves and are pollinated by insects, mainly flies. By September, the fruits have ripened into small, bright red which are readily consumed by birds.

Because of this distinctive appearance, it was often planted as a boundary tree. Tolerant of shade and pollution, the whitebeam is medium sized at 24m (80ft), and grows in a neatly upright fashion. It is attractive throughout the year, from its May bloom until the fruit and golden leaves of autumn appear.

Where to grow

When established, Sorbus aria is a very undemanding tree which will tolerates exposure, windy positions and dry urban situations well. It grows best on lime rich soils, and will thrive on chalk.  All this means it makes a fine ornamental garden, park or street tree.  It however takes some care to establish as it will not tolerate poorly drained positions or waterlogged planting sites.

Did you know?

The common name is Anglo-Saxon. The German word for tree being 'baum', and the white element comes from the appearance of the tree.

 

 

Features

Mature height
Large - 15-20 metres
Spread
5-10 metres
Shape / habit
Round Headed
Growth rate
Slow
Soil type
Chalk/Limestone
Light sandy
Sun levels
Full sun
Difficulty / hard to grow
Hard
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Autumn
Spring
Autumn colour
Yellow
Leaf
Green
Silver/Blue
Foliage
Dense
Large Leaves
Flower colour
White
Flowering month
May
Berries / fruit colour
Red
Native / Naturalised
Native
Moisture levels
Drought tolerant
Other
Good for Windy sites
Good at altitude
Uses
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
City/Urban Sites
Country/Farmland
Encourages wildlife
Bird Food
Bee Friendly

Features

Mature height
Large - 15-20 metres
Spread
5-10 metres
Shape / habit
Round Headed
Growth rate
Slow
Soil type
Chalk/Limestone
Light sandy
Sun levels
Full sun
Difficulty / hard to grow
Hard
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Autumn
Spring
Autumn colour
Yellow
Leaf
Green
Silver/Blue
Foliage
Dense
Large Leaves
Flower colour
White
Flowering month
May
Berries / fruit colour
Red
Native / Naturalised
Native
Moisture levels
Drought tolerant
Other
Good for Windy sites
Good at altitude
Uses
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
City/Urban Sites
Country/Farmland
Encourages wildlife
Bird Food
Bee Friendly

Aftercare

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.

Watering

The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.

Staking

If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.

Ties

Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


Comments

By Christine Knights on 15/03/2016

I’ve lost a lot of trees in my garden to the dreaded Honey fungus and would like to replant with resistant trees. I believe the Sorbus Area is quite resistant. Could you recomend this or any other species?
Many thanks.

By Joanna Vassie on 04/05/2016

Do you happen to have a sorbus aria pot grown?

By Simon on 18/05/2016

Hello Christine,

Sorry to hear you’ve been affected by honey fungus. I’ve heard that Sorbus aria is resistant, so this is one option. Other possibilities for small-medium trees would be the hawthorn, the handkerchief tree, holly and Cryptomeria japonica. Larger options include alder, hornbeam, Parrotia, Paulownia and turkey oak. There’s useful information on the RHS website here: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/pdfs/honey-fungus-host-list. Hope that gives you some ideas!

By Simon on 20/05/2016

Hello Joanna,

We usually stock the varieties Sorbus aria Majestica and Sorbus aria Lutescens in containers, see https://www.chewvalleytrees.co.uk/products/detail/sorbus-aria-majestica/1 and https://www.chewvalleytrees.co.uk/products/detail/sorbus-aria-lutescens/1

Reviews, Comments and Questions

Your data will be used to display your comment, get in touch if you'd like to edit/remove it. You can find out more details in our Privacy Policy.