Common Whitebeam | Sorbus aria | Bareroot Standard Trees

Key Data
Misc Wildlife Value
Area Exposed Windy Areas
Soil Alkaline/Chalky
Type Native, Screening
Also Good Autumn Colour

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12 Month

Order Value

Please CLICK on the required size below (even if only one option is available).

SIZES 1-2 3-910+
6/8 std Bareroot Plenty of Stock£39.95Plenty of Stock£37.95Plenty of Stock£35.95
8/10 std Bareroot Plenty of Stock£49.95Plenty of Stock£47.95Plenty of Stock£45.95

Sizing Guide HelpMore details: Sizing Guide


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Standard Sorbus aria Trees - Whitebeam

The common Whitebeam, Sorbus aria, is a fairly compact, native tree that keeps a nice rounded, upright shape without any attention, spreading a little when they get old. These are the biggest size that you can order: you can also buy smaller, sapling Whitebeam trees.

In early spring the new leaves that burst from the buds have a fuzzy white tomentose covering, giving the tree the appearance of being in flower from a distance. These fine hairs remain on the bottom surface of the leaves, giving the tree its name. Whitebeam leaves are well structured and quite rigid, pointing upwards slightly to expose their undersides, creating a shifting silver lining as the leaves flutter in the breeze - "the sudden-lighted whitebeam", as the poet George Meredith decribed it. The autumn foliage is not the greatest but the berries provide continual interest.

Whitebeams carry flat, circular clusters of creamy white flowers in late spring that mature by the end of summer into glossy green berries. These flush red in September and attract a variety of birds. When the leaves are still green, the berries look very decorative against them and make a good addition to a flower arrangement.

They have grey, fissured bark that has a reddish tinge on new growth. Whitebeam in the wild is usually found on chalky sites and is very drought resistant. Although there are historical records of hungry country folk eating the berries when semi-rotten, we really don't recommend it. A much more useful trait of the Whitebeam tree is its extremely hard wood, which was once the timber of choice for machines like watermills.

Planting Common Whitebeam Sorbus aria

Dry, chalky soil and drained, heavy clay (i.e. on a slope, mound or ridge) are both fine with Whitebeam. It will also cope well with sandstone based terrain. They are fully hardy, happy on the coast and exposed windy sites - all round a very useful tree. Like most trees, it does establish faster on fertile soil, so it is always a good idea to mix in plenty of well rotted manure and or compost when planting. A mature Whitebeam tree will reach about 15 metres, 50 feet and grows pretty fast, reaching its full height in 30-40 years.

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.

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