Learn About Ornamental Cherry Trees

Get the details on this gorgeous ornamental tree and discover the cherry that will work best in your garden space.

Sargent's Cherry Tree

Sargent's Cherry Tree

Sargent's cherry trees are ideal for small gardens. Despite being compact, it makes an ideal shade tree, spreading as wide as it is tall and casting dense shade below.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Sargent's cherry trees are ideal for small gardens. Despite being compact, it makes an ideal shade tree, spreading as wide as it is tall and casting dense shade below.

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Celebrated for their dazzling spring flowers, many ornamental cherries have a range of other eye-catching features, including decorative bark, autumn leaf color, beautiful structure, and glistening fruits that provide food for birds and other wildlife. They are also available in a range of sizes to suit gardens large and small, making them an option for a variety of outdoor spaces.

Choose from a huge range of flowering cherries for a spectacular display of delicate blooms in your garden each spring. Some types also have coppery-red young foliage, and many display excellent fall color, so when making your selection, look for a cherry that offers more than one season of interest. There is a wide variety of species and types available; be sure to ask suppliers for a compact or dwarf type if you need a tree for a small garden. 

Whatever type of garden you have, an ornamental cherry is guaranteed to boost its spring appeal. Choose from single or double flowers in shades of white or pink. Check the final height and spread of your chosen tree before buying to make sure that it will fit the space you have. Some have a weeping look, such as Prunus ‘Cheal’s Weeping’, which has arching branches laden with double pink flowers, while others, including Prunus ‘Spire’, are more upright, providing a vertical accent. 

There are many compact forms that are suitable for small gardens, such as the pink-flowered Prunus ‘Accolade’, ‘Kanzan’, and ‘Pandora’, or the dainty Prunus ‘Shimidsu-zakura’ with white blooms. 

Ideal as focal points in the center of a yard or paved patio garden, cherries also make eye-catching features in mixed borders. Alternatively, plant a cluster of trees to mirror Japanese gardens during the cherry blossom festivals. Try underplanting with spring bulbs that flower at the same time, such as grape hyacinths and snake’s head fritillaries, and include some late flowers like Japanese anemones to complement the fall leaf color. 

Plant your tree in a sunny site, although some tolerate part shade, and free-draining soil. Many cherries have a beautiful natural style and need little pruning, but if you do cut back your tree, do so in the summer to reduce the risk of silver leaf disease. Cherries to choose from include Prunus aviu, "the wild cherry" and Prunus serrula, "the Tibetan cherry."

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