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The scarlet red fruit of the whitebeam is a favourite of garden birds. Compact and domed with lovely blossom and russet autumn leaves this attractive tree can grow to a height of 15m. The bark and twigs are smooth and grey and the shoots are brick red in sunlight but greyish-green in shade. The silver underside of the leaf caught by sunlight shimmers in a gentle breeze. The five-petalled flowers appear in clusters in May, and are pollinated by insects. The leaves are eaten by caterpillars of a number of moths.
Whitebeam timber is fine-grained, hard and white. Traditional uses included wood turning and fine joinery, including chairs, beams, cogs and wheels in machinery.