Object of the Week: The Japanese Katsura tree in the quarry gardens of Northumberland's Belsay Hall

By Ben Miller | 14 October 2015

This week we bring you an unusual, sugary-smelling Japanese tree making a brief appearance this autumn

A photo of Jo Harrigan, the head gardener at Belsay Hall, sitting by a tree with a pink Katsura tree
Jo Harrigan, the Head Gardener at Belsay Hall, Gardens and Castle, admires the burnt sugar smell of the Katsura tree© Helen Jobson / English Heritage
This unusual, yellow-to-copper tree comes from Japan and is just one of the many trees at Belsay Hall, in Northumberland, signalling the start of autumn in colourful style.

There are three Katsura trees in the gardens. It gives off an evocative candy floss scent for a short period of time in the only quarry garden in the north of England.

A photo of Jo Harrigan, the head gardener at Belsay Hall, sitting by a tree with a pink Katsura tree
The tree only appears at Belsay for a brief period of time© Helen Jobson / English Heritage
The hues are spectacular elsewhere at Belsay at this time of year – visitors can see the brilliant white bark of Betula utilis Var. jacquemontii at the quarry entrance, and the red-leafed Euonymus provide rich colour underneath a massive towering Beech.

Aralia also gives colour along the fern walk, opening to the meadow area surrounded by magnificent specimens of Persian Ironwood with Cornus kousa. The unique Katsura has stiff competition.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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