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Acme cherries - landscaping-gardening


Flowering cherries

While the concision of their glory has to be acknowledged, cherries actually are the hardy spring-flowering trees for clement climate gardens. I can think of no others, apart from their close Prunus relatives and some of the magnolias that even come close to rivalling high point cherries for sheer credence of bloom and vibrance of colour.

The genus Prunus, to which the cherries, plums, almonds, apricots and peaches belong, includes about 430 species allotment over much of the northern clement regions and has a foothold in South America. Though together with a few evergreen species, such as the well-known red laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), the genus is essentially deciduous and by and large hardy to the frosts liable to occur in most New Zealand gardens.

The genus Prunus is extensively recognised as being alienated into 5 or 6 subgenera, all the same some botanists choose to recognise these as apparent genera. The subgenus cerasus is the one to which the cherries belong. This group includes a wide assortment of species, many of which are not decidedly ornamental. The species which are of most activity to gardeners are the Chinese and Japanese cherries, not only as they tend to be the most attractive, but also since they tend to be convincingly compact, often have beautiful autumn plants as well as bound flora and since centuries of education in oriental gardens have formed countless exquisite cultivars.

The Japanese recognise two main groups of acme cherries: the mountain cherries or yamazakura and the temple or patch cherries, the satozakura. The mountain cherries, which tend to have clear-cut flowers, are chiefly consequent from the fundamental Mountain Red (Prunus serrulata var. spontanea), Prunus subhirtella and Prunus incisa. They are essentially cultured for their early-blooming habit, which is just as well for the reason that their instead delicate demonstrate would be overwhelmed by the lavishness of the plot cherries.

The backyard cherries are the answer of much hybridisation, customarily unrecorded, so we can't be accurately sure of their origins. Prunus serrulata (in its valley form) and Prunus subhirtella also appear basically in their background. The other major influences are Prunus sargentii, Prunus speciosa, Prunus apetala and perhaps the extensive Bird Cherries (Prunus avium and Prunus padus). The answer of these old hybrids and current developments is the wealth of forms that burst into bloom in our gardens every spring.

Regretfully, that byzantine family and those centuries of education and countless cultivars mutual with Western misunderstandings of Japanese names and manifold introductions of the same plants under assorted names has led to large awkwardness with the names of acme cherries.

Most of the all the rage backyard plants are lumped as one under three all-purpose headings:

1. Prunus subhirtella cultivars and hybrids;

2. Sato-zakura hybrids;

3. Hybrids no longer scheduled under close relative species, being as a substitute regarded as just to challenging to classify in that way.

But nevertheless you view them, high point cherries have so much to offer that a diminutive bewilderment over identification and identification shouldn't stand in the way of your plus them in your garden. And now that many of them are free as container-grown plants that can be bought in flower, it's especially just a be important of choosing the plant life you like.

Nevertheless, it's nice to know faithfully which plant you're big business with, so that you can be sure of its accomplishment and size. While most of the better nurseries and backyard centres take care to bring in plants that are true to type, make sure on first acme that your cherries match their label descriptions. Misidentification, or maybe misrepresentation, is common.

Plants Prunus subhirtella cultivars and hybrids

Although the plants of Prunus subhirtella are by and large small and comparatively simple, they act from early iciness well into spring, depending on the cultivar. Not only that, the cultivars themselves are long-flowering, often being in bloom for three weeks to a month. There are many cultivars, but most are akin to, or forms of the two main types programmed below.

'Autumnalis' ( 'Jugatsu Sakura')

This is the most steadfast winter-flowering form. It often starts to bloom in late April to early May and can carry vegetation right all through until mid September. It seldom produces a bulky burst of bloom, fairly irregular clusters of flowers. This is just as well for the reason that the plant life are hurt by heavy frosts. The flora of 'Autumnalis' are white to pale pink break from pink buds; those of 'Autumnalis Rosea' are the same but with a deep pink centre.

'Pendula' ('Ito Sakura')

Prunus autumnalis tends to have crying kindling and 'Pendula' is a cultivar that emphasises this feature. Its vegetation are commonly pale pink and open in late frost to early spring. 'Falling Snow' is a cultivar with pure white flowers, while those of 'Rosea' are deep pink.

Sato-zakura hybrids 'Fugenzo' ( 'Shirofugen' )

'Fugenzo' was one of the first, if not the first, Japanese crimson to be grown in European gardens. It 's origins can be traced back to at least the 15th century. Its flora are white to very pale pink, cavity from pink buds, and when fully open how two conspicuous green leaf-like pistils in the centre of the flower.


'Taihaku' , also known as the great white cherry, has white flora up to 5cm across. It grows to at least 8m tall with a wider allotment and its vegetation open at the same time as its effigy plant life expands, creation a agreeable contrast. Accepted wisdom to have been lost to cultivation, this cultivar was identified in Sussex backyard from an old Japanese print.


Although 'Ukon' mean yellowish, this cultivar has very distinctive pale green plants and is one of the few inimitable cherries. Its plant life develops purplish tones in autumn. The bizarre flower colour contrasts well with the likes of 'Sekiyama'.

'Amanogawa' ('Erecta')

'Amanogawa' grows to about 6m tall, but only about 1. 5m wide, and has pale pink definite plants with a freesia-like scent. It blooms in mid-spring and in autumn the flora develops arresting blond and red tones.

'Shogetsu' ('Shugetsu', 'Shimidsu-zakura')

'Shogetsu' vegetation late and produces hanging clusters of white, bend plants that open from pink buds. The flower clusters are up to 15cm long, which makes a tree in full bloom an arresting sight, in particular allowing for that 'Shogetsu' is not a large tree and that its dirge habit means it can be enclosed in bloom right down to the ground.

'Sekiyama' ('Kanzan')

Certainly among the most common cherries and most often sold under the name 'Kanzan', 'Sekiyama' has a more or less narrow, upright advance habit when young but in the end develops into a distribution 12m tall tree. Its flowers, which are pink and very fully double, are conceded in pendulous clusters of five blooms. They open from reddish-pink buds. The plants has a affront red tint.

'Ariake' ('Dawn', 'Candida')

This cultivar grows to about 6m tall and plants in bound as the flora develops. The young grass are a deep effigy shade that contrasts well with white to very pale pink flowers.

'Kiku-shidare' ('Shidare Sakura')

'Kiku-shidare' is comparable in flower to 'Sekiyama', but it has a howling augmentation habit. It is a small tree and is often smothered in bloom from the peak undergrowth down to near base level. The plants can each have up to 50 petals.

'Pink Perfection'

'Pink Perfection' was introduced in 1935 by the celebrated English garden center Waterer Sons and Crisp. It is a probable 'Sekiyama' × 'Shogetsu' cross and has plant life that show characteristics of both parents; the clustered blooms of 'Shogetsu' and the pink of 'Sekiyama'. The flora are very fully alter ego and the young plant life is coppery.


'Kofugen' has beautiful semi-weeping undergrowth and a equitably compact advance habit. Its plant life are not certainly lone but semi-double, despite the fact that the two whorls of petals are flat instead than ruffled, so the achieve is not that easy to see.

'Shirotae' ('Mt. Fuji')

This delightful tree has a dispersion augmentation habit that in the best specimens shows manifestly tiered branches. Its flowers, which are white and semi-double on mature plants, start to open beforehand the flora expands. They are pleasantly scented.


Although perhaps a Prunus × sieboldii cultivar, 'Takasago' is now more far and wide planned under the satozakura cherries. It bears clusters of semi-double pink vegetation with bronze-red new foliage.

'Ojochin' ('Senriko')

This tree, instead squat when young, but in the end 7m tall bears free white plants in such excess as to give the brand of bend in half blooms. Breach from pink buds, the plants are up to 5cm in diameter and among the later to bloom. 'Ojochin' means large lantern, which aptly describes the shape of the flowers.

Other hybrids, species and their cultivars 'Accolade'

One of the most accepted of all patch cherries, 'Accolade' is a Prunus sargentii × Prunus subhirtella amalgam that develops into a flat-topped small tree. In bounce it is smothered in pendulous clusters of large, brilliant pink, semi-double flowers.

Yoshino red (Prunus × yedoensis)

Well-known as an chance tree, this Prunus subhirtella × Prunus speciosa crossbreed is smothered in white to very pale pink blooms in bound already or as the new plants develop. When the plant life are spent they form drifts of fallen petals about the base of the tree. There are more than a few cultivars, such as the pink-flowered 'Akebono', the pale pink 'Awanui' and a crying form ('Shidare Yoshino' or 'Pendula').

Taiwan pink (Prunus campanulata)

The Taiwan pink is valued for its early-flowering habit and fiery autumn foliage. The flowers, which are as a rule a vivid deep pink, are heavy with nectar and very common with birds. Taiwan crimson is considerably frost tender, despite the fact that once recognized it grows well in most coastal areas.


Introduced in 1947 by the British authorization Collingwood Ingram, 'Okame' is a amalgam concerning the Taiwan pink and the Fuji pink (Prunus incisa). It is as a rule quite hardy, all the same this appears to be variable, and it plants a lot in early spring. The blooms open in late chill to early bound ahead of the plant life develops and are a brilliant soft pink. 'Pink Cloud' is a akin although more compact crimson raised by Felix Jury.

Himalayan hill crimson (Prunus cerasoides)

This species is moderately frost tender, chiefly when young, but is a exquisite tree where it grows well. Not only does it construct pink plant life in winter, when hardly else is in bloom, it has alluring hooped bark and the bizarre habit of shedding its plant life in late summer then producing new foliage ahead of winter. The assortment rubea has deeper pink plant life in spring.

Cyclamen red (Prunus cyclamina)

Flowering on bare stems in early spring, the cyclamen pink is a hardy small to medium-sized tree from crucial China. The flowers, which are rose pink, are followed by figurine new augmentation that retains its colour for some weeks ahead of greening. The trees fall late in autumn and often colour well.

Sargent's pink (Prunus sargentii)

This large and very hardy Japanese species is in all probability best known as one of the parents of the very all the rage cross 'Accolade'. It can grow to as much as 18m tall and will endure at least -25°C. Its 3 to 4cm wide, brilliant pink flora are complemented by red-brown bark.

Kurile crimson (Prunus nipponica var. kurilensis)

Usually barely more than a large shrub, this Japanese pink can reach 6m tall under ideal conditions. The flowers, which are soft pink and open from early spring, are backed by red sepals that hang on for a while after the flora have fallen, thus prolonging the bounce colour.

Prunus × sieboldii

This amalgam has given rise to a number of common cultivars. The creative cross is a slow-growing small tree with semi-double 3 to 4. 5cm wide plants in spring. The new stems are often very glossy.


Flowering cherries are basically easy plants that boom in more or less any well-drained soil. For the best demonstrate of flora they need to see at least half-day sun and if cushy from the wind, the blooms and the autumn plants will last far longer than if exposed to the full blast of the elements.

Cherries are often seen developing as lawn specimens, but they can be planted in shrubberies, boundaries or small groves. By choosing a choice that flora in succession, it's likely to have bloom from mid-winter to early summer.

Cherries are artless companions for azaleas and rhododendrons, and can be used to attractive achieve as shade trees for the minor varieties of these or to shelter a anthology of forest perennials such as primroses and hostas. Japanese maples also blend well with cherries and they can amalgamate to make a brilliant ceremony of autumn foliage.


Flowering cherries seldom need major pruning once established. Young trees can be lightly trimmed to build a gratifying shape and mature plant may be kept compact by tipping the branches, or else just delete any enthusiastic water shoots and suckers that burgeon from the rootstock. Make sure that any pruning is done in summer to foil infecting the trees with silver leaf mold (Chondrostereum purpureum). Even though this disease is at hand all through the year, cherries are most dead set against to it in summer.

Pests and diseases

Apart from the previously mentioned silver leaf, there isn't exceedingly very much that goes wrong with blossoming cherries that can't be tolerated. Sawfly larvae (peach or pear slug) from time to time cause destruction to the foliage, and older plants at times be ill with from dieback in their older branches, but these are seldom critical problems. The dieback is every now and then the conclusion of Armillaria, so it may be advisable to addition some of the now cheerfully accessible Trichoderma dowels into the trunks of any older cherries to check the conundrum developing.


Virtually all of the fancier high point cherries sold for backyard use are budded or grafted, commonly onto Prunus avium stocks. Even though few home gardeners endeavor them, these processes are not difficult. Maturing especially, is direct and is approved out in accurately the same way as maturing roses.

Species, together with the average Prunus avium stock, can be raised from seed or from softwood cuttings taken in bounce or early summer. The seed must be disinterested from the fruit by drenched for few days until all the flesh has fallen away. It is commonly best to simulate iciness environment by frightening the seed for a few weeks ahead of sowing.

Graft height

When import blossoming cherries you may be faced with a abundance of graft height. Which you decide on by and large depends on the cultivar and the type of advance best apposite to your garden. With expression of grief cherries desire the chief graft feasible (usually 8ft [2. 4m]), to allow the ceiling distance end to end of peak branch. Upright cultivars like 'Sekiyama' are best grafted near bring down level so that their erect habit has a accidental to arise properly, while graft height in not that critical with bushier trees.

The critical thing to remember, acutely with high grafted plants, is that the main stem will not gain much height from the grafting point. The stems of a crying cultivar may grow up already arching down, thus adding up some height, but if you elect too low a graft that won' t make much difference. Low-grafted expression of grief cherries are, however, ideal for large tubs where they can be kept trimmed to shrub-like proportions.

I am a patch book biographer and horticultural photographer based in Christchurch, New Zealand. I run a stock photo collection called Country, Farm and Patch (http://www. cfgphoto. com). This condition may be re-published provided this in sequence is in print with it and is evidently visible.


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