We British have always had a love affair with trees. We climb them, fall out of them, build treehouses in them, picnic under them, play hide and seek behind them. We’ve even been known to give ’em a good old hug (mostly when we think no one’s looking mind).
But maybe of late we’ve taken them for granted. We’ve been kind of busy, you know, whizzing past them in the car, bus or train, with no time to think about how they enhance the dullest landscape.
Now’s the time to change all this. We at Do Not Disturb want you to find your inner tree-huggers and branch out into a more nature-loving nation. Teaming up with Charlie Dimmock and Mark Harley of TreeId, a brilliant app which helps you identify different species, we’ve picked our top six sexy trees.
6: The Awesome Oak
Vital statistics shape: stout with heavy twisted branches, dense crown; height: 35m; leaf: distinctive rounded lobes.
Symbol of strength and quintessentially British, this is the sexy heart-throb of trees. Tall, dark and handsome, with strong, thick branches providing cover for damsels beneath.
Charlie says: ‘I love that oaks can live for hundreds of years, their rugged trunks are wonderful, and look just the way a child draws a tree!’
5: The Heavenly Hornbeam
Vital statistics shape: medium-sized with short trunk, rounded crown; height: 25m; leaf: pointed oval with serrated edge, smooth top, hairy underneath.
Perhaps the Marilyn Monroe of the tree world, the beautiful, curvaceous shape of the Hornbeam has caused many a heart to flutter, but beneath the pretty foliage are very strong branches.
Charlie says: ‘This tree is so attractive with its smooth silvery bark and vibrant yellow-orange foliage in the autumn. A stunning tree for your garden.’
4: The Lovely Lime
Vital statistics shape: narrow with an open crown; height: 20m; leaf: heart-shaped with a pointed tip and serrated edges.
Tall and slender, the lime is the lady of the manor. At home in the grandest settings, her fragrance has had admirers swooning for centuries.
Charlie says: ‘I love it when these tall upright trees are used to create elegant avenues up driveways leading to stately homes.’
3: The Beefy Beach
Vital statistics shape: tall rounded crown, with a dense canopy; height: 35m; leaf: glossy, thick oval single leaves.
The superhero of the forest. Tall, solid and dependable, his smooth silver bark stands out from the crowd, and his thick trunks look like muscly.
Charlie says: ‘The silvery trunks create a cathedral effect, while light shining through the leaves looks like a stained-glass window.’
2: The Wonderful Willow
Vital statistics shape: from short and spreading to columnar; height: 20m; leaf: narrow leaves to 8cm, silver hairs on underside.
The beautiful willow is a hopeless romantic. The symbol of lost love and tears, she gazes out over our rivers and lakes and her long glossy mane dangles in the cool water.
Charlie says: ‘The willow conjures up images of lazy, hot summer afternoons, picnicking in their cool shade or messing about on the water. But they also look good in the centre of a lawn, branches swaying languidly.’
1: The Champion Cherry
Vital statistics shape: pyramidical; height: 20m; leaf: oval and pointed with serrated edges.
‘Loveliest of trees/ the cherry now/ is hung with blooms/ along the bough…’ The poet AE Housman summed it up; for sheer beauty and radiance, the cherry is the clear winner. She signals the start of a happy-ever- after summer.
Charlie says: ‘The sex appeal of the cherry comes from the full-on and spectacular display of flowers. And with the slightest breeze there is a “confetti” of petals…very romantic!’
Which are your favourite trees? Visit us on Facebook and join the debate!