Whitebeams are part of the Sorbus family, and closely related to rowans. However whilst rowans usually have highly feathered leaves, whitebeams have regular-shaped leaves - often with attractive veins which are white on the undersides. Like rowans, whitebeams produce clusters of small flowers in late spring, followed by abundant (usually red) fruitlets. The main attraction is the orange and red colours of the autumn foliage, but whitebeams have a stately presence throughout the year.
Whitebeams are very easy to grow, and tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, including chalky soils and exposed situations.
Many of our whitebeam trees are grafted on to Sorbus intermedia rootstocks (also known as Swedish Whitebeam). We also sometimes use Sorbus aucuparia (the common Rowan). This helps give a consistent size and form.
Emiel has long leaves, with silvery-green undersides, turning orange in autumn.
John Mitchell is a popular whitebeam, notable for its large white-green leaves.
Lemon Drop is a small whitebeam tree, with the characteristic white undersides to its leaves. As the name suggests, the fruitlets are bright yellow.
An excellent large garden tree, very hardy, easy to grow, and tolerant of a wide range of soils and conditions. Grey-green leaves turn russet in autumn, with orange berries.