©BSNHS 2014

A native tree occurring in southern Britain mainly in hedgerows and woodland edges

growing on calcareous soils.

Medium size tree with dense rounded crown, twigs are brown on the upper surface and usually green below, and when young twigs are covered in fine hairs. Alternate buds are rounded green with white hairs at the tips. Ovate leaves are simple, finely toothed covered with dense fine hairs on underside giving the tree a pale green appearance when leaves first emerge.

Leaves are often galled by eriophyoid mite Eriophyes arianus.

Clusters of white flowers with five petals open in May, pollinated by insects, resulting fruits are rounded turning red by September being readily eaten by fieldfares and redwings.

Whitebeams have low number of associated insects, apart from aphids and gall mites, one fairly common micro moth, Argyresthia sorbiella which feeds on on the shoots and flower buds.

Whitebeam berries

February Tree of the Month - Whitebeam Sorbus aria Rosaceae