The Yorkshire Arboretum

Castle Howard Arboretum
Ornamental turret in the high walls surrounding the arboretum

High walls with turrets

The Yorkshire Arboretum is at Castle Howard near Malton in North Yorkshire, and has 120 acres of specimen trees planted in what used to be the old deer park. Nowadays the old 10 foot tall walls (attempt to) keep deer out, whereas in the past they would have kept the deer in.

There is a cafe and visitor centre at the entrance to the grounds. There is a Yorkshire Arboretum website.

Acer griseum
Acer griseum growing well at the Yorkshire Arboretum

Acer Griseum

Acer Griseum
The Paper Bark Maple

A native of Central China, and introduced to Britain in 1901 by Ernest Henry Wilson.

Acer griseum
A close up of the peeling papery bark of the acer griseum

Acer griseum bark

Beautiful papery bark peeling and catching the sunlight. I have a younger version in my garden, growing and thickening its branches each year.

Himalayan birch
The attractive white peeling bark of the Himalayan birch

Betula utilis

Betula utilis
Himalayan birch

A stand of these stunning white paper bark trees is at the top of the arboretum, and can be quite spectacular in winter when the leaves around have fallen, leaving a stark contrast with the white of these trunks.

Apparently the bark was used as writing paper, and still is for sacred texts.

sweet chestnut
The old but graceful arms of a sweet chestnut


Castanea Sativa
Sweet chestnut

There are some very large specimens of sweet chestnut trees growing at the top of the arboretum. These must be at least a couple of hundred years old.

sweet chestnut
A large, old sweet chestnut in the grounds of the Yorkshire Arboretum

Sweet chestnut

Knarled, stunted, massive girth, covered in burrs, they are full of character and form.

chestnut burr
Multi sprouting large burr - what a wonderful bowl it will make one day!

Chestnut burr

chestnut bole
A bole on an old chestnut, from some severe pruning in the past

Chestnut bole

The woodturner in me cannot help wondering what delights could be made from such stands of timber

Carpinus betulus
Common Hornbeam
Old hornbeam
A dead hornbeam left standing as a wildlife habitat

Dead hornbeam

Standing dead timber is an important and rare habitat, supporting many specialised fungi and insects, as well as providing cavities for birds and bats. The tree is beilieved to have been over 200 years old, unusually large for a Hornbeam. Logs and woodchip in the enclosure also provide nutrients for fungi and other decomposers.

This sculptural dead tree has been left standing, surrounded by a "dead hedge", which forms a barrier but also provides an environmentally friendly way of disposing of debris and brashings collected during arboretum management work.

Dwarf purple beech
A dwarf version of the purple beech

Purple beech

Fagus sylvatica purpurea nana
Dwarf purple beech

This purple beech is a smaller version of the giants often seen in the countryside and in the grounds of stately homes. It will probably grow to around fifteen feet high.

Malus kirghisorum
A crab apple from Kazakhstan

Malus kirghisorum

malus kirghisorum
Blossom in May on this large crab apple

Khirgiz apple

Malus Kirghisorum
Khirgiz apple

An apple, or crab apple, native to Kazakhstan, here in full blossom near the dew pond at the Arboretum. The tag on this one (all trees in the arboretum have aluminium tags with species details, dates and catalogue numbers) says 1981.

nothofagus antarctica
One of a group of large southern beeches


Nothofagus antarctica
Southern beech

A group of Southern beeches stand near the cruck house. Native to Chile, it was introduced to Britain in the 1830s. It is found in the highest, coldest and very wet mountain ranges from Molina in the north down to Cape Horn on Tierra del Fuego. It has small, heart-shaped leaves, which produce attactive colours in winter.

Scots pine
Looking up to the heights of a Scots pine

Scots pine

Pinus Sylvestris
Scots Pine

It is hard to take a photo of the very tall and slender Scots Pine, its height would require standing at some distance to get it all in to the photo. So here is one looking up the trunk to the top.

This tree stands near the visitor centre, and I suspect it has been there long before the park became an arboretum.

Sessile oak
A fine specimen of a sessile oak standing proud near the vistors' centre

Sessile oak

Quercus petraeas
Sessile oak or Durmast oak

This oak is generally a taller, straighter and finer looking tree than the English oak, but seldom achieves the knarled, picturesque qualities that characterise English oaks of advanced years. The sessile oak is more tolerant of cooler and moister conditions, being found at up to 500m in Britain, and is predominant in the west and north

Chinese oak leaf
The evergreen leaves of the Chinese oak

Chinese oak leaves

Oak leaves
Quercus semecarpifolia

An evergreen oak from China, rarely seen in Britain. It has lustrous green, leathery leaves with a conspicuous midrib, and they are ofen clothed in golden felt beneath when young. The species ranges across the Himalayas from Afghanistan to Western China.

English oak leaves
Young English oak leaves highlighted by spring sunshine

English oak leaves

Quercus robur

Delicate young leaves of the native English oak, highlighted in the spring sunshine. This tree is dedicated to the memory of Jean Grand, 1925 - 2010, with one of many similar memorial plaques seen across the arboretum.

Zelkova serrata
Japanese elm - zelkova serrata

Japanese elm

Zelkova serrata
Japanese Elm

A widely spreading fan of branches make this tree wider than it is tall. Very attractive with the sunlight breaking through the long branches. Introduced to Britain in 1861, slightly susceptible to Dutch Elm disease.