A member of the Whitebeam family with a more brightly coloured leaf, Sorbus aria Aurea is a deciduous tree with broad yellow leaves. Like normal Whitebeam, Sorbus aria Aurea has fine, furry white hairs enveloping the new growth that emerges from the tips of the tree's branches and remains on the underside of the mature foliage. The upper side of a Sorbus aria Aurea tree's leaf is a much more vivid colour than a Whitebeam leaf, a lemon and lime green that is fully visible from May onwards. As the tree's leaves flicker in the wind, the two sides of each leaf create contrasting ripples of colour. Just as with all Whitebeam, Sorbus aria Aurea is covered in clusters of small white flowers in mid-summer which in turn become scarlet berries. Both the flowers and the berries attract wildlife.
In autumn, the two-tone leaves mellow into a burnished bronze and the red berries glow clearly amongst them. Golden Whitebeam gives another kind of foliage display in spring when the low, early morning sunlight first shines through the tree, making the leaves of the freshly opening buds blaze like melting copper. Later in the day, the sun shines on the tree and the hairy young leaves reflect silver light that gives the tree's branches a gleaming, frosted appearance.The wood is very hard and Whitebeams are still commonly used for sturdy handmade furniture; in the past, all sorts of heavy machinery including watermills would use wood from one of these trees.
The Sorbus family likes alkaline, lime-rich soils and does well in extremely chalky soil. It will cheerfully reach 16 metres, 50 feet, high and is a champion tree for wind blasted sites by the sea. Whitebeams also thrive on polluted sites, making them popular roadside and avenue trees.
Please watch our tree planting video for full planting instructions.
How Standard Trees are Measured:
All the plants in the ornamental trees section are graded as standards, which means that they are measured by their girth in centimetres 1 metre above ground level (basically, their trunk's waist measurement). They aren't measured by their height, which will vary.
So, a 6/8 standard has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8 centimetres and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10 centimetres around.
This measurement makes no difference to the tree's final height. Most standards are between 2 - 3.5 metres tall, but this is just an average. We cannot tell you how tall your trees will be before we deliver them.