Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive

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This is one of a series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens compiled by the Friends group. The tree tag number relates to the BCC black tree maintenance tags, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Family: Fagaceae
Quercus cerris L. 'Argentovariegata'
Variegated Turkish oak

54o 34.958N
5o 56.080W

This is a variegated form of the Turkish oak. In common with other variegated trees the variegated form of Turkish oak is likely to be rather slower growing than the species. Variegation can be caused by a genetic defect or sometimes by virus infection. As virus-caused variegation tends to produce a more blotchy effect, it is likely that the cause in this case in genetic. Variegations are not passed on in seed so trees such as this are propagated by cuttings or by grafting. There are two colours of variegation on our tree, yellowish green and almost white. The tree displays a number of twigs with reversion to non-variegated leaves. The green leaves are much larger than the variegated leaves and less toothed. We originally listed this tree as Quercus robur 'Argentomarginata' and are grateful to Allen Coombs of Trees of the World Online for pointing out that it is a form of Q. cerris. The young tree in Belfast Botanic Gardens is close to the Ulster Museum steps and grows among a number of mature oaks.

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2012. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

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