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Sorbus aria 'Lutescens'Sorbus aria 'Lutescens'Potted 150/175 10 Litre Lutescens Whitebeam Tree

Lutescens Whitebeam, Large Trees

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The details

Delivered in Large Sizes
  • Native. Silver young foliage.
  • Golden yellow mature foliage, Red berries.
  • Sizes: Standards only.
  • Max. Height: 15m
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit
  • Bareroot Delivery: Nov-Mar.
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£ 74.99

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Sorbus aria Lutescens: Bareroot Whitebeam Trees in Standard Sizes

Sorbus aria Lutescens is a hardy, native, medium-sized, deciduous Whitebeam tree that has a naturally upright and rounded canopy.

The young foliage has grey hairs: gorgeous in strong sunlight, shining like silver. These remain on the underside while the upper side matures through yellow (which distinguishes it from the species) to green by midsummer - sometimes the hairs stay on the leaf longer than normal, maintaining that lovely frosted appearance.
It produces panicles or flattened clusters of simple yellowy-white flowers in late spring, which become green berries that ripen into a shiny red by September and are much loved by birds.

It will reach a height of about 12-15 metres.

Browse our other Sorbus varieties, our large trees, or our full range of trees.

Delivery season: Whitebeam trees are delivered bareroot during late autumn and winter, approximately November-March inclusive.
Choosing a size: Small trees are cheaper, easier to handle and more forgiving of less than ideal aftercare, so they are best for a big planting project. If instant impact is your priority, or if you are only buying a few plants for use in a place where it is convenient to water them well in their first year, then you may as well use bigger ones. All our bareroot trees are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).


  • Height: 12-15m
  • Soil: Any well drained soil, loves chalk
  • Use: Avenue, urban, parkland
  • Lovely silvery-grey young leaves
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit
  • RHS Plants for Pollinators
  • Bareroot delivery only: November-March

Growing Sorbus aria Lutescens

Any well drained soil: thrives best on chalk, but is also fine on sandy, mildly acidic soil. Suitable for large containers designed for trees. Full sun or partial shade. Tolerant of pollution but dislikes paving close to its base. Drought resistant, thrives on the coast and wind blasted sites.

Whitebeams are good avenue and driveway trees, where it's best to use one variety, but if you are going to plant several Sorbus aria in a group, mixing in some Lutescens will create a more varied, natural looking stand.

Did You Know?

Its timber is extremely hard and surprisingly light, it also has a lovely two-tone effect with reddish heartwood and white outer rings that look great when used in doors and table tops or when turned.

The cultivar name on its own, Lutescens, is a Latin word to do with swamps (lutum is mud, and lutēscō is to get muddy), but the word here is probably a grammatical "re-Latinisation" of the English word lutescent, from the Latin luteus, yellow, in reference to the upper side of the leaves in Spring.

Standard trees are measured by their girth in centimetres 1 metre above ground level: their trunk's waist measurement. Unlike sapling trees and hedge plants, standards aren't measured by their height, which will vary quite a bit both between and within species.
So, a 6/8cm standard tree has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8cm and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10cm around. This measurement makes no difference to the tree's final height.
On average, standard trees are 2-3.5 metres tall when they arrive, but we cannot tell you precisely how tall your trees will be before we deliver them.

Planting Instructions

Notes on planting Sorbus aria Lutescens:
As long as the soil is well drained and reasonably fertile, Sorbus Lutescens will love it. That includes chalk, heavy clay and sandstone. You can plant it on the coast, exposed ridges and frosty dips, in partial shade or beside a road.

Prepare your site before planting:
It is good to dig over the site where you plant a tree several months in advance. Kill the weeds first: for tough weeds like nettles, brambles and ground elder, you will usually need a glyphosate-based weed-killer to get rid of them. When you dig the soil over, remove stones and other rubbish and mix in well-rotted compost or manure down to the depth of about 2 spades.

Watch our video on how to plant a tree for full instructions.
Remember to water establishing trees during dry weather for at least a year after planting.

Tree Planting accessories:
You can buy a tree planting pack with a wooden stake & rubber tie to support the tree and a mulch mat with pegs to protect the soil around the base of your tree from weeds and drying out. We suggest that you use mycorrhizal "friendly fungi" on the roots of all newly planted large trees. If you do then no need to improve your soil with bonemeal organic fertiliser and Growmore&nbsfertilizer adding well rotted organic matter is never a bad thing...