How to identify what you have in your garden

22nd May 2019

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Tips and Learning

The blossoms are in full bloom and soon flowers and fruits will start to appear on your trees as they burst into life for the beginning of the most colourful season of them all. But our trees are telling us more than the fact that they alive and happy to be so: their unique flourishes are markers, ways in which you can identify what trees you have in your garden.

Most people think they know what trees they have in their garden, but have you ever asked an expert or looked it up, or were you simply relying on what an estate agent or former homeowner once told you years ago? Would you like to know for sure?

While many species and subspecies of trees can look very similar to one another to the untrained eye, this time of year can give us additional clues to determining a positive ID for your trees.

The main criteria we’ll be going with here are colour, shape and form.

Catkins
There are several trees that flower with these long nobly finger-style blooms. The alder, hazel and oak are the most common. However, you can tell them apart. The hazel flowers with white to pale yellow catkins in February, among the earliest to bloom. A little later in March to April the alder’s fatter, yellow/green catkins grow. And finally, the late bloomer of the bunch is the oak with its slender, golden yellow catkins appearing in May.

Blossom
It really is spring when the roads become all candy-flossed up with whites and pinks of blossom flowers, petals fluttering down like a snowstorm when the wind takes them. If you’ve an apple tree, your blossom will be five-pettled and white with a dash of pink. The rowan blossom is very different, clusters of tiny white flowers with pale yellow centres all bunched together to look like a single unit. Whereas the elder blossom is a creamier white all over and its bunches are far looser so the individual flowers can be seen. Horse chestnut blossom is white with flecks of pink but its standout feature is its long stamen, making them look like eyelashes.

Flowers
While all blossoms are flowers, these just didn’t seem right under that category because they just don’t look like traditional blossom. The ash tree produces a flower that starts out green then looks like it’s exploded into a million purple dots. The sycamore is the tree we all loved as kids because its fruit are those amazing helicopter-like things that spin all the way down. But before they become fruit they start out as flowers, which look like an odd, green cone of mini spindly pods.

If you are still wondering what trees you have in your garden, call us on 0208 292 8992. We’re always happy to pop round or to help with a little advice or assistance.

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