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Window on Westonbirt

Want to know what’s looking good right now? Have a peek through our Window on Westonbirt to discover what to watch out for on your next visit...

Box elder, Acer negundo subsp. californicum


Acer negundo subsp. californicum


Acer negundo, the Box elder, on Circular Drive has beautiful long tassels of reddish flowers which stand out clearly against the still leafless branches.

Unlike most other maples, this species is dioecious: each tree is only one gender. In order to reproduce there must be a male and female tree in the same area.  The males are certainly doing their bit to attract pollinators at the moment!

Prunus ‘Hillieri’


Westonbirt Arboretum Prunus 'Hillieri' Spring


The soft pink cloud of flowers in spring is almost always followed by an early splash of autumn colour here. It is a Sargent’s cherry hybrid, raised in the Hillier nursery before 1928. The other parent is thought to be the Yoshino cherry, Prunus yedoensis. It can be seen in Savill Glade, location 17E.


Balkan maple, Acer hyrcanum 


Acer hyrcanum in spring at Westonbirt Arboretum


 Though we normally associate them with autumn, many of our acers are also interesting in spring when their new flowers and leaves emerge.

Acer hyrcanum, the Balkan Maple, grabs attention with a show of vibrant green along Willesley Drive towards the Tree-top walkway. It’s a huge tree but the (male) flowers are extremely delicate, gathered in bunches at the end of a stem.


Head into the Welcome Building as you enter the arboretum to discover what’s looking great on our Window on Westonbirt Board.

You can find all of the plants listed here using the Westonbirt Map, available for free at the Welcome Building - just ask our wonderful Welcome Desk Volundeers for a copy! 

Looking ahead? Find out what the rest of spring has to offer at the National Arboretum

Last updated: 17th April 2018

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.