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Prunus serrulata

For sale by Bluebell Nursery

This grower is sure of this plant identification.

An unusual cherry, Prunus serrula is renowned for its polished, mahogany brown bark which is evident even on young specimens and very smooth to the touch. It has narrow, willow-like, dark green leaves unlike any other cherry and casts only light shade. In spring each year sporadic white flowers appear on the branches.

A wonderful garden tree which gives a jaw-dropping winter display!

Supplied Size: 5L container (100 - 150 cm tall))

Copyright 2013 © Bluebell Arboretum & Nursery

Prunus serrulata | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
Prunus serrulata | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
Prunus serrulata | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
Pot SizeTotal Price
5 litres

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Grower Notes

Position: Full sun or partial shade.
Soil: Any fertile soil.
Hardiness: Hardy.
Flowering Period: May.
Flower Colour: White
Rate of Growth: Moderate.
Habit: Prunus serrula grows to be a small or eventually a medium sized tree with a rounded crown once established.
Height: 10 m (32 ft)
Spread: 10 m (32 ft)

Notes: Prunus are known for their vigorous root systems and should not be planted over drains or close to house foundations. This plant was formerly called Prunus tibetica.

This species was introduced to Britain in 1908 by Ernest Wilson from a collection in Western Szechuan, and in 1913 George Forrest introduced another clone from Yunnan. It flourishes in the Tibetan border areas with Western China.

Happy in sandy or clay soils, either acid or chalky the Tibetan cherry will flourish in all parts of Britain. Although the flowers and autumn colours are not as spectacular as other cherries, this beautiful small tree quickly develops lovely, tactile, mahogany coloured polished bark for which it has become famous.

Like the beautiful white barked Himalayan Birches, it benefits from an annual scrub and hose down with clean water. This occasional treatment can transform specimens in urban areas where they may gradually become soiled with grime.

The Tibetan prayer flags shown in the photo are attached to the branches of a Prunus serrula in our own gardens. They are hung in huge numbers throughout Tibet on trees, rocks and houses. Occasionally even yaks have prayer flags attached to them!

The Tibetan word for prayer flag is Lung ta which literally translates as 'wind horse'. The prayers written on the flags drift up to Buddha. Blue flags signify the sky, white flags represent air, red flags are for fire, green flags for water and yellow flags for earth.

Extract from an information poster in our arboretum

Plant Finder: about Prunus serrulata

Common names

Cherry, Japanese flowering cherry, Oriental cherry


Prunus serrulata (Cherry). This is a beautiful deciduous flowering tree. It will requires fast draining, well aerated soil and will perform poorly in heavy clay soils. Give them full sun and water during the summer. The flowers are fragrant and the double blooms are white and appear in spring. The leaves are long and narrow about 3-5 inches long.


You should plant in moist, well-drained soil in full sun. Remember to protect from strong winds.

Interest and use


Italics = data drawn from parent genus or species

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Prunus serrulata | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65 | Copyright Greenplantswap 2020
  • LightPart shade
  • HardinessFully hardy (min -15°C)
  • SoilHeavy, Light, Medium
  • Soil pH6.0 to 7.0
  • WaterMoist

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Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
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