It is coming into the time of year for many beautiful flowering cherry trees (Prunus) to add a delightful, delicate focus to your garden. They are very versatile trees offering fresh spring colour when they are in full bloom. Many consider that the flowering cherry tree offers the most attractive blossom of all trees.
Most flowering cherry trees are particularly hardy and disease resistant. They can also tolerate poor soil conditions, including clay and some chalk soils. Many varieties originate from China and Japan, but they grow happily in the UK and are easy to grow making them a popular choice.
Many people will purchase a flowering cherry tree for the attractive spring blossom, but numerous varieties of flowering cherry will have autumn interest too. Their leaves will change to beautiful yellows, reds and golds before the leaves fall off.
There is a considerable choice of shape and size with flowering cherry trees. These range from weeping, upright or spreading varieties to large and small trees, suitable for all gardens, especially small gardens when space is a premium.
Flowering cherry tree blossom can range from dark pink, pale pink and white. Flowers can be single, semi-double or double flowers.
Three varieties you could consider are:
Prunus serrulata ‘Amanogawa’ / Flagpole Cherry
Prunus serrulata ‘Amanogawa’ is a small columnar tree. This variety is ideal for a small garden. It has clusters of large fragrant single or semi-double shell pink flowers. The leaves are bronze turning green into summer and turning yellow in autumn. This tree is often used for small spaces. Prunus serrulata ‘Amanogawa’ is an ideal tree for urban areas, because it is tolerant of pollution. It does not however, like wet soils or shallow chalk. Prunus serrulata ‘Amanogawa’ can be planted in a sunny, exposed position.
Prunus ‘Tai Haku’ / Great White Cherry
Prunus ‘Tai Haku’ is a medium to large tree. It has pink buds that are followed by very large white, dazzling flowers. Prunus ‘Tai Haku’ has rich coppery-red young leaves which turn green in summer eventually turning a vibrant yellow/orange in autumn. This variety is often known as the Great White Cherry and has an attractive rounded habit. It does not do well in wet soils or shallow chalk. It is also pollution tolerant, so again it is good in urban areas. You can plant Prunus ‘Tai Haku’ in a sunny position, and it will cope with being unprotected.
Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis Rosea’ / Winter flowering Cherry
Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis Rosea’ is a small tree with semi-double pale pink flowers from November to March on bare branches. The flowers are followed by small fruits, which are good for birds. Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis Rosea’ has green foliage which turns shades of orange/yellow in the autumn. It is ideal for small gardens and is pollution tolerant, so is another tree suitable for urban areas. It will thrive in most conditions, but does not like wet soil or shallow chalk. Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis Rosea’ can be planted in a sunny location, with little or no protection.