Garden News

Deciduous Trees & Their Flowers - 22 May 2017

At this time of year it's worth looking closely at deciduous trees, including our native trees, which are producing the flowers which later turn into seeds, nuts or fruit. Most are not flamboyant and some are scarcely noticeable.

Oak catkinsOak female flowerOak trees produce male flowers as dangling catkins which appear at the same time as the new leaves start to develop. The female flowers are on the same tree as the male and appear on the tip of the shoot, but are tiny and inconspicuous with red stigmas.

Autumn fruit: acorns.

 

 

 

Hazel catkin female flowerHazel catkins (left) are well-known and are the male flower. The female flower is again a very inconspicuous little red flower which opens more or less as the catkins are shedding their pollen.

Autumn fruit: nuts.

Ash flowersAsh trees (right) have flowers without petals or sepals, which open in April before the leaves.

Autumn fruit: ash keys

 

 

 

 

Holly flowersHolly (left), an evergreen tree, has flowers which appear in bunches in the leaf axils, quite crowded together. they are purplish white and the male and female flowers occur on different trees.

 Autumn fruit: red berries.

 

 

Japanese maple flowersMaples (Acer family) right, have flowers which hang down in  long-stalked bunches before the leaves appear, and are much more obvious than any of those mentioned above.

If you start looking closely at the trees in the spring you might be surprised by what you see.

‘A truly fantastic day out. My wife and I were bowled over by the amazing spring colours of rhododendrons and azaleas and there was literally colour everywhere. There are beautiful areas to walk through as well as places to sit. We took a picnic in the hope of being able to sit by one of the ponds and were not disappointed – the reflections were as spectacular as the real thing! The next thing we want to do is return in the autumn to see the colours change as it must be beautiful’

David Parker, Christchurch

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