Each month I will be recommending a salt- tolerant and hardy tree or shrub selection capable of thriving (not just surviving!) the rigors of the often harsh, maritime climate.
Having successfully established a well-stocked garden in close proximity to the clifftops of the rugged north Cornish coastline, all of the species which will be featured over the coming months are either growing in mine or my neighbours’ gardens.
My street – can be a bit brisk in a force 9 westerly! The view beyond the ridge.
Four Stamen Tamarisk – Tamarix tentrandra
The four stamen tamarisk is a large deciduous shrub, up to 4m tall, with a loose, open habit.
Long dark branches, contrast against the delicate, feathery green foliage, which becomes laden with light pink flowers in May-June, borne in slender racemes on the stems of the previous years growth, forming long, large, persistent panicles. A good selection for bees.
Requiring full sun and tolerant of most soil types (except shallow, chalk soils) this shrub can create an attractive, informal hedge providing effective shelter and screening. The tamarisk thrives in well-drained sandy soils and is an ideal choice for beach-side locations.
As far as maintenance goes, the often ‘leggy’ growth only requires periodic, judicious pruning, to retain a dense habit. Pruning immediately after flowering is necessary to ensure prolific flower production for the following season.
There are other species available, providing slightly different foliage and flower colours , growth habit and timing of flower production:
Tamarix gallica, Tamarix parviflora and Tamarix ramosissima.
With a bit of forethought and planning the creation of a contrasting ‘shelter-belt’ of contrasting stems and foliage with successional flowering is an attractive option, providing an aesthetically pleasing and functional boundary for your property – a Tree-investment!
So if you live west of the Tamar, there is little risk of failure when selecting the Tamarisk for your coastal planting project! To find out more about our services or for help with tree planting in Cornwall please get in touch via our website www.treeinvestment.co.uk