Whitebeam

This example is in Hither Wood and was planted in 2012.

Latin/Botanical Name: Sorbus aria

Range: Native to Europe including southern England but planted widely in the north

Height: to 25m

Uses: The timber is fine-grained, hard and white. Traditional uses included wood-turning and fine joinery, including chairs, beams, cogs and wheels in machinery. 

Description: A medium sized compact and domed deciduous tree. The bark is smooth grey, becoming ridged with ascending upright branches. The leaves are ovate 6-12cm, dull green and densely white-downy below, margins are toothed. Flowers are produced in May-June in heads of creamy-white flowers, berries are ovoid, red although not as bright or prolific as Rowan Sorbus aucuparia.

Interesting Fact: The berries are known as chess apples in north-west England and are edible when very ripe.