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You are here: > Climate trees  >  climate-trees

Climate trees

Climate trees

What are they, why do we need them and how do we apply them in practice?

More and more, we as a society are starting to feel the effects of climate change. Looking at the climate picture in Western Europe, we notice more and more heat waves, longer drought periods, and when we have thunderstorms they are a lot more severe than before. This in combination with the moderate winter months ensures that our current trees experience stress and are therefore more susceptible to diseases and parasites.

A clear example of these diseases and parasites is the Ips typographus that mainly afflicts our native spruce species. Or the beeches that start to suffer from root rot or sunburning and die from this. Just to name a few. To protect the green lung of the planet, we must therefore strongly focus on alternative tree species that can handle this stress: the so-called climate trees.


What are climate trees?

Climate trees are a selection of trees that can withstand the weather conditions of the future, such as the long periods of drought, the days of 40 + ° C and the wet winter periods. By planting these trees, we are guaranteed to have less plant loss in the coming years.


Why are climate trees important for our future?

The green lung of our planet (collection of trees, shrubs, plants, ...) is responsible for the conservation of ecosystems, oxygen production, combating erosion, keeping the temperature stable, ... so that we as humans also survive. So we have every interest in protecting this green lung. Given that certain tree species do not survive the effects of climate change, we must therefore look for alternatives. Our answer to this is a wide selection of climate trees.


How do we apply climate trees in practice?

By placing the right trees in the right location, we are already greatly increasing the chances of success of the new plantings. In our selection of climate trees, we include the specific requirements per species. For example, there are species that specifically thrive on drier soils and maintain this for a long time. But there are also varieties that can stand wet for a long time and / or that can withstand the heat. We trust the landscape architects and urban planners in this and hope to inspire them to make the right choice for the projects they are committed to.

 

Types of climate trees

Drought resistant trees

Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Skyline’
Koelreuteria paniculata
Quercus cerris

Trees that survive in strong heat

Celtis occidentalis
Koelreuteria paniculata
Quercus cerris

Trees that survive in strong heat

Acer rubrum
Alnus x spaethii ‘Spaeth’
Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Skyline’ (kortstondige overstroming)
Liquidambar styraciflua
Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’
Magnolia kobus (kortstondige overstroming)
(Quercus cerris)

Trees that survive in strong heat

Acer rubrum
Acer x freemanii ‘Autumn Blaze’
Celtis occidentalis
Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Skyline’
Koelreuteria paniculata
Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’
Quercus cerris
Tilia cordata ‘Greenspire’
Heptacodium miconioides
Parrotia persica


Discussion of some climate trees


Acer rubrum

If you are looking for a not too large tree that can withstand some wetness and that has a beautiful autumn coloring, it is good to take a look at the Acer rubrum. This tree with a conical / round crown can withstand flooding for longer periods. That is why we include the tree in the list of climate trees. It has a beautiful orange to red autumn coloring, which guarantees that it catches looks in the fall. Acer rubrum is about 15-20 m high and 8-10 m wide.

We recommend planting this species on a not too calcareous, fertile soil so that it can thrive. If these requirements are met, this tree will have little or no disease. Furthermore, the tree can also withstand air pollution quite well, which means that it can also thrive in an urban environment.


Acer x freemanii "Autumn Blaze"

Like Acer rubrum, Acer x freemanii "Autumn Blaze" is known for its attractive red autumn coloring. This Maple is about 12-15m high and 8-10m wide. The crown of this tree is regularly branched and has a broad pyramidal shape. Characteristics for this species are the fresh green five-lobed leaves with a gray underside.

Acer x freemanii "Autumn Blaze" grows on different soil types as long as they are not too calcareous. This tree tolerates air pollution very well and has little disease problems.


Alnus spaethii

The Alnus spaethii is a medium-sized tree with a broad pyramidal semi-open crown. Due to its tolerance to drought, heat, air pollution, road salt and (sea) wind, this species is very suitable for use in urban areas on the coast.

This tree has few requirements for the soil. It grows on acidic soils, as basic soils and on heavy clay as well as very light sandy soils. Alnus spaethii is also a good host plant for birds, which also proves its ecological usefulness.


Celtis occidentalis

The Celtis occidentalis, also known as the Western nettle tree or Whip tree, is a small to medium-sized tree that stands out for its gray bark with irregular cork strips. The tree has a round semi-open crown with irregularly growing branches. This tree has its origin in North America.

Celtis occidentalis is considered a climate tree because it has few soil requirements and can survive well on dry soil. Even in winter it has little trouble because it can handle temperatures down to -34 ° C perfectly. This and the fact that it can tolerate hard surfaces make Celtis occidentalis a good tree to apply in both urban and rural areas.

Celtis occidentalis is also a good bee and butterfly tree.


Gleditsia triacanthos "Skyline"

A very interesting species among the climate trees is this thornless false honey locust. This tree is in our list for its resistance to long periods of drought, surfacing, short-term flooding, road salt and air pollution. This cultivar can therefore be placed very well in the urban environment, and even on roof gardens. In open ground it can grow up to 20 meters high and grow 8-10 meters wide with a semi-open, ovate crown.

In addition to its resistance to all kinds of climatic conditions, this tree is also a great host for bees, making it highly recommended to use in most public works.


Heptacodium miconioides

This beautiful deciduous shrub is on our list for its tolerance to air pollution and sea breezes. This ornamental shrub is about 3 to 4 m high and 2-3 m wide. The Heptacodium requires a location in the sun / partial shade and grows on any acidic, calcareous, neutral, nutritious and well-drained soil.

Heptacodium miconioides is notable for its striking sweet-smelling, pink-red flowers. This species is also a very good butterfly plant.


Koelreuteria paniculata

The Koelreuteria paniculata is a smaller tree species. It becomes about 6-8 m high and 3-4 m wide, so it can also be used in the smaller private garden. It stands out for its somewhat "bloated" legumes. That is why it is also called the bladder tree or lantern tree. This tree is in the climate tree list because of its high resistance to air pollution, heat, long periods of drought and wind (no sea wind). Koelreuteria paniculata grows in almost any soil in full sun. Provided that the soil is not too wet. This tree is very disease resistant.


Liquidambar styraciflua

Liquidambar styraciflua (amber tree) this tall deciduous tree with its broad pyramidal shape gets its name from the gum resin (amber) that is extracted from its bark. The leaves are dark green, palmate with 5 to 7 lobes, pointed and incised and fabulously change to orange, dark carmine-red, to almost purple in autumn. Horned spiky fruits appear on long stems in September.

The Liquidambar likes a sunny spot, neutral to acidic soil. The tree can withstand wet feet, can withstand the freezing cold and is very resistant to diseases. Due to its superficial roots, it is less resistant to road salt and wind. In addition, the ordinary Liquidambar styraciflua is also sensitive to ozone pollution.


Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’

A species that can withstand our sometimes unpredictable climate very well is this Liquidambar styraciflua "Worplesdon". This cultivar is particularly resistant to the cold, heavy rainfall and flooding. Air pollution is also no problem, so that the 'Worplesdon' can also be used in the urban environment.

The tree is mainly used in avenue plantations, squares, parks, cemeteries and large gardens. It is characterized by its orange-red autumn coloring and palmate lobed leaves. The tree grows with a straight straight trunk, with a narrow pyramidal crown. Liquidambar styraciflua "Worplesdon" is about 12 to 15 meters high.


Magnolia kobus

Magnolia kobus is a tree 8-12 m high with a broad ovoid, semi-open to closed crown. The leaf is upright ovate, green and 6-15 cm in size. The leaves turn yellow in autumn. After winter, before the leaves develop back, the Magnolia kobus flowers profusely with white flowers with a diameter of about 10 cm.
Magnolia cobus can withstand hard surfaces and can withstand short floods. This tree has no further requirements towards the bottom.


Parrotia persica

The Parrotia persica is a special ornamental shrub / tree from the witch hazel family. This plant turns beautifully red / yellow / orange in autumn and blooms from January to March with small, hamamelis-like red flowers on the bare wood. Parrotia grows over 4 to 8m high and 4 to 8m wide over time.
The reason this ornamental shrub is on our list is because it is air pollution tolerant, good disease resistant and thrives on practically any well-drained, fertile soil. In addition, this shrub is also very good disease resistant and very low maintenance. This makes this shrub perfect for use in public green areas and private gardens.

Quercus cerris 

The Quercus cerris, or Turkish oak, is an Oak species that occurs naturally in southwest Asia and southern and central Europe. The tree grows to a height of 20-25m and has a dark gray, rough shallow grooved bark. The crown structure is semi-open oval and about 10-15m wide. Quercus cerris is a climate tree because it does not make demands on the soil, can withstand hard surfaces and is (sea) wind tolerant. Due to its tolerance to air pollution and its disease resistance, this species is ideally applicable in the urban environment. This tree is also a good host / food plant for small mammals.







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