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Drought Tolerant Trees in the UK

In the UK, temperatures have fluctuated over recent years; however, trends reported by the Met Office suggest that climates are ultimately becoming warmer, with prolonged warm spells and rising average temperatures. If you have been considering which tree species are compatible with climate adaptation and dry conditions, the dedicated team at Deepdale Trees is available to assist with your considerations.

Please consider that within the UK, regional variations exist. For example, areas such as the southeast of England are more prone to drought, while other regions such as Scotland, receive higher rainfall, therefore are less susceptible to dry spells. Our team will discuss these variations with you and ensure you select the perfect tree for your garden and landscaping projects.

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1. Maidenhair Tree

Commonly known as the Maidenhair Tree, the Ginkgo biloba has recently been well established in the UK. Historically rooted in Asian cultures, the Maidenhair Tree is naturally drought resistant due to its deep root system. The tree is a natural wonder, with its unique fan-shaped leaves turning a vibrant golden-yellow in the autumn.

2. Callery Pear

The Callery Pear or Pyrus calleryana, is known for its natural beauty and is used to embellish many gardens and landscapes across the UK. The tree produces an abundance of small, white flowers in large clusters. After flowering, the tree grows small brown fruits, attracting an impressive display of wildlife and enhance your green spaces. Once established, the Callery Pear can withstand prolonged dry periods and survive the UK’s hotter summers.

3. Montpelier Maple

The Acer monspessulanum or Montpelier maple tree, a variety of the Acer species, is known for its drought tolerance as it has a deep root system allowing it to access water from deeper soil layers. Additionally, the leaves of the Acer monspessulanum have tiny openings on them (called Stomata) that allow for gas exchange. In drought conditions this allows the tree to regulate the openings more effectively, reducing water loss whilst still allowing for photosynthesis.

4. Pride of India

The Pride of India tree, also known as the Koelreuteria paniculata or Golden Rain tree is an elegant deciduous tree. Mostly known for its prolific display of flowers this tree is particularly striking with warm hues of gold and copper within its foilage. The Koelreuteria paniculata is easy to care for and fares well in a range of soils as long as there is good drainage. Thriving in both exposed and sheltered spots this tree is resistant of city pollution and drought conditions.

5. Japanese Zelkova

Native to Japan, Taiwan and eastern China, the Japanese Zelkova tree is a large deciduous tree which has neatly serrate leaves and inconspicuous flowers and fruit. A highly drought resistant and strong tree, it is perfect for architectural or low maintenance locations. The Zelkova has dark green leaves that turn a striking shade of bronze, dark red and yellow in Autumn. Thriving best in either full sun or partial shade the Japanese Zelkova is a reliable choice.

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