Liquidambar 'Lane Roberts'

by Pippa Greenwood

My partner found the corpse. Snapped at the base in recent winds, still, hauntingly dressed in its stunning foliage...

Pippa GreenwoodThe autumn colour has been fabulous this year. Just the other weekend, my daughter and I were collecting some beautiful autumn leaves for a large-scale gluing session. It's a shame there have been so few sunny days for the colours to look their absolute best.

When we moved into our house we planted several beautiful liquidambar trees. More than twelve years later, some are virtually stately. Liquidambar 'Lane Roberts' is the one to choose for the deepest red-purple foliage. We bought one, plus a peachy orange 'Worplesdon' and several of the red-orange-gold regular L. styraciflua.

But now my 'Lane Roberts' is horizontal. My partner found the corpse. Snapped right at the base in recent winds, still, hauntingly dressed in its stunning foliage.

I'll be out this weekend to do a full post-mortem, but after a brief inspection it looks like there may have been something constricting it at the base of the trunk. Or could it have been a graft failure? Not wanting to waste such a beautiful specimen, we took an armful of branches into school for the littlest kids to make some autumn collages with. Somehow it made me feel better to use part of it for a good cause.

I'm gutted, as it was a stunning tree. Could we have done something to prevent its untimely demise? Could I have spotted and removed whatever was constricting it at the base? R.I.P Liquidambar 'Lane Roberts' you'll be sorely missed!

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Gardeners' World Web User 06/04/2010 at 19:59

It is nice to know this. Thanks for the time and effort. It is well appreciated. More to come.

Gardeners' World Web User 28/11/2011 at 18:37

Pippa I am looking for a liquidmaber for our garden but would like the smaller variety if there is one could you reccomend one that will not grow to huge. Many thanks