Autumn is a fabulous time of year at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum.
Weather conditions right up to early autumn can influence the time and rate of leaf colouring and you can never guess which trees will provide the year’s ‘star turn’.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy Autumn with a whole host of events this season...
To keep up to date with the colours at Westonbirt, visit our seasonal autumn colour blog.
Will the party come early for leaf-peepers this autumn?
Forestry Commission England has offered its leaf-peeping advice for top trees to monitor for the first signs of autumn. All eyes are on the country’s woods and forests to see how the sustained period of hot, dry weather experienced earlier this summer, or the recent cooler, wetter weather could affect autumn foliage. Read more about the seasonal turn and what this means for our forests on our news release.
Arboretum team head to America in search of ‘autumn bangers’
A team from the Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt, Gloucestershire, will travel to North America this September on a seed collecting expedition. They hope the results of the trip, which has been partly funded by the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum charity, will enhance and improve future autumn colour at the arboretum. To find out more click here.
Highlights to look out for..
Westonbirt is renowned during autumn for its wonderful maple collection, around 2,000 specimens and 300 maple cultivars. They provide an absolutely stunning array of autumn colour with Westonbirt’s Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) being particularly well known for their vibrant colour.
Some of the first trees to start to show autumn colour are the big full moon maples (Acer japonicum) and The Chinese spindle (Euonymus oxyphyllus). We have over 50 specimens of the Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica) which produces lovely autumn colour as well as the hickories, which have pure yellow foliage. If your after an autumn aroma then you will need to find the katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum), which compliments its autumn colour with a smell described as burnt caramel or candyfloss.
We also have lots of unexplored colour here at Westonbirt. Beech Bank near Waste Drive provides beautiful late autumn colour and Concord Glade holds various species which turn a gorgeous shade of tawny orange. The cherry collection in Silk Wood also has wonderful shows of autumn colour, all just off the beaten track.