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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton

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By Mrs FM

Unusual & Old
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Alan J Hartley



Tree Project.

Cercis Siliquastrum - Judas Tree.

The Cercis Siliquastrum, or Judas Tree is a slow growing, small tree, or large bush that typically only reaches 8-12 metres, which likes a sunny spot and is drought tolerant. It is as broad as it is high, is often multi stemmed rather than having a single trunk and produces deep pink, or red flowers that appear from the branches and even directly from the trunk, in late Spring. Being a member of the pea family it produces pea like, purple pods after flowering and the pods contain seeds that will produce a new flowering tree after only about 6 years. The attractive heart shaped leaves develop after the flowers and give added attraction by turning yellow in autumn. Trees should be pruned in their dormant winter period, or else immediately after flowering. However, pruning may reduce the number of flowers as Cercis flower on the older wood rather than new shoots. Coming originally from southern Europe and Asia it is now widespread around the world. One variety that is particularly well know in the US is “Cercis Siliquastrum Canadensis,” or the “American Judas Tree.” This is slightly smaller and often called the “Redbud,”
As with many trees there is a legend attached to it concerning its common name of the Judas Tree. Supposedly, the redbud had white flowers before the crucifixion of Christ and after Judas Iscariot hanged himself from one when he understood how he had caused the death of Jesus on the cross, the white flowers turned red.
Another popular variety is a Chinese one called appropriately “Cercis Siliquastrum Chinensis,” and although commonly called “Redbud,” there is also a white flowered variety called “Albida.”
Cercis live to roughly between 50 and 70 years if they don’t get infected by fungi, some of which they are vulnerable to. Verticillium wilt and coral spot as well as canker are some that can badly infect them. It is sometimes possible to prune out infected areas though. They are also prone to scale insects and deer and rabbits will eat young saplings as they are non toxic.



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