"The highlight of the gardening year" as Wolfson's young Judas Tree flowers

Judas Tree by Will Greenfield

When Wolfson's beloved Judas Tree fell last year, there were questions as to whether the remaining sapling would survive. A year on, the young tree is flowering. 

Judas Tree by Will Greenfield

Wolfson's Gardens team have been keeping close watch on the sapling, making sure that it has had every chance to thrive. The main stem of the tree now reaches to over two meters, with small growth still coming from the base. 

A Judas Tree (cercis siliquastrum) is one of the few remarkable trees to grow flowers from its trunk: a natural phenomenon known as "cauliflory", a botanical term referring to plants that flower or fruit from their main stems or woody trunks, rather than from new growth and shoots. "It's thought," says Wolfson's Head Gardener Oscar Holgate, "that certain trees developed this ability in order to allow them to be pollinated by animals that climb the trunks of trees."

And Oscar has high hopes for the success of the tree. 

"Our judas tree is good for drought tolerant regions, so we hope it will carry on doing well through any challenging dry weather we may see. People ask if I will stake the tree as it currently leans towards East Court, but staking is the last resort to helping a tree. We need it to create its own strength and other branching to help its stability."

Will Greenfield, Senior Gardener, says that the Judas Tree's flowering is the "highlight of the gardening year." And it's hard to disagree - as Front Court blooms pink and bright once again.

Photo by Will Greenfield

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