GARDENING: Room for a tree?

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IF you’ve room for a tree, Betula utilis var. jacquemontii Grayswood Ghost is the best of the Himalayan birches, with pure white bark – a great feature against a yew or holly hedge.

A good medium-sized tree is Betula utilis jaquemontii Silver Shadow, which also has white bark.

Acers, or Japanese maples, have many varieties with interesting bark.

Here’s the best of the best: A. griseum, the paper-bark maple, has bark that peels off the main trunk in thin layers, like scrolls, giving it a ragged texture.

Don’t let the kids pull it off, they’ll ruin the effect!

A. davidii, the snake-bark maple, has purple-green bark with vertical white stripes; A. Sango-kaku, the coral-bark maple does what it says on the tin; A. davidii George Forrest has contrasting light and dark green to brown vertical stripes on its bark.

All these maples have great autumn colour, but don’t like exposed sites, as their leaves easily get scorched by strong winds.

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