Continuing from the August Blog concerning trees suitable for planting in London gardens, this month I would like to introduce a small tree which has all year-round appeal and is ideal for tempting birds and insects into your garden. A single tree can be home to over ninety insect species and the colourful autumn fruit provides much needed food for birds in the autumn, as well as a source of tasty crab apple jelly.
The lovely pink and white blossom is a real feature in the spring and the many different varieties provide for good choices suitable for small urban gardens in London, such as those in Wandsworth or in potentially larger spaces in Wimbledon and Kingston.
Malus sylvestris is native to the UK, but there are many exotic and hybrid species.
Crab apples are hardy and grow in most soils, and do best in full sun. One of the best ornamental crabs is Malus ‘John Downie’, a spreading tree that grows up to 8 metres tall and has slightly elongated, red-flushed orange crab apples in the autumn.
Malus ‘Red Sentinel’ has clusters of cherry-sized red fruits. Purple-leaved varieties such as M. ‘Royalty’ and M. x purpurea ‘Lemoinei’ can be used to contrast with the greens of other trees in summer.
For the smaller garden M.’ Gorgeous’ is an excellent choice with bright red fruits and a compact habit.
If you have trees in your London garden and have any concerns about it or if you would like to have one or more expertly planted, Take A Bough Tree Care would be delighted to offer free, expert advice on any aspect of tree care and work in the following areas – the London Boroughs of Wandsworth, Lambeth, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Merton and Kingston as well as the towns of Battersea, Clapham, Chelsea, Balham, Fulham, Putney, Earlsfield, Southfields, Wimbledon, Kingston, Stockwell, Roehampton and Streatham and. Elmbridge Borough which includes Esher, Claygate and Surbiton.