Prunus serrula, or the Tibetan Cherry, is grown for its attractive, red bark. This peels back as it grows, revealing a smooth, tactile, coppery layer underneath. Aside from having the most brilliant bark, these also offer year round interest! With soft dappled canopies throughout the summer, and small white flowers appearing in the spring (although inconspicuous). Small cherries are produced in the autumn which are usually quickly eaten up by birds. These rarely grow to be more than 5-6m tall which makes them perfect for smaller gardens, and they can be pruned to keep smaller.
When planning where you’ll plant one of these, consider where your winter sun shines most. Prunus serrula are best planted so that the sunlight shines from behind it. This will illuminate the peeling bark, giving the effect of this small tree being on fire. Grown as a multi-stem, this effect is intensified by each stem, giving a spectacular performance, especially in the low winter light. For all these reasons, this tree a must have for winter interest in any garden design.
Flowers: Small white flowers just after the leaves appear.
Bark: Red peeling bark, very attractive.
Leaves: Deciduous, slender, elliptical, pale green leaves.
Autumn colour: Yellow
Ultimate height: 6m
Uses: A must have for the winter garden when the peeling bark creates a stunning effect.