News. Highlights from Dumfries House’s new arboretum

13th of August, 2018

The Dumfries House arboretum is a sight to behold. Connecting the estate’s Avenue Bridge to the walled garden, this vast 10-acre site is home to 500 trees and a plethora of unique species. At the centre of the dense green space lies a woodland shelter that was built over the span of 10 weeks by students of the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. “The arboretum was created from an existing overgrown woodland area, which was cleared,” says Brian Corr, Head of Gardens at Dumfries House Gardens and Estate. “All the trees are fed each year with a slow-release fertiliser. The base of the trees are kept weed free and irrigated during summer months if dry, and pests and diseases are monitored.”

We explore five stunning rare species to be found at the arboretum.

Korean fir

Also known as Abies Koreana, this tree is part of the pine family and was discovered by eminent plant collector Ernest Wilson. It is a slow-growing species that produces striking vertical ascending violet cones as the tree begins fruiting. Native to South Korea, this tree can reach a height of 12 metres.

Crimson King

This Norway maple, otherwise known as Acer Platanoides, is a large tree that boasts deep crimson leaves that turn red, brown then orange as the autumn months approach. A medium-sized deciduous tree, this maple is known to grow up to a height of around 12 metres, spreading to about eight metres in width.

Indian horse-chestnut

Aesculus Indica is native to the north-western Himalayas and was introduced to the British Isles in the 17th century. It can reach up to 30m in height with white flowers that appear in July, which often have a yellow colouring at the base.

Monarch birch

Native to northern Japan, Betula Maximowicziana is the largest-leaved birch, growing up to 14m high (and 30m in its native habitat). It’s fast growing with an orange-brown trunk with leaves that turn yellow in autumn.

Persian Ironwood

Coming from Iran, Parrotia Persica has a single small trunk and flaking bark as it ages. In autumn, it develops striking red leaves in the spring, before developing a green hue in summer. In autumn, as they fall off the tree, the leaves develop their final colour of red, yellow and orange.

Words: Rebecca Parker

Photography: Simon Brown