Prunus sargentii (20/10/2012, Kew Gardens, London)
Position: Full sun light shade
Flowering period: Spring
Soil: Moist, well drained
Eventual Height: 12m
Eventual Spread: 10m
Hardiness: 4a – 8b
Prunus sargentii is a fast growing, small deciduous spreading tree, with a vase shaped habit. Its dark green leaves are alternate, obovate with serrate margins and up to 12cm long. Its new leaves appear red/ bronze in spring and in autumn before they fall they turn red/ orange/ yellow. Its bark is dark brown with radial raised orange ridges, typical of a lot of the flowering Cherry’s. Its pink flowers are single, up to 4cm across and appear in clusters. Its fruit is a small red/ back cherry. Its roots are spreading and relatively shallow.
Prunus sargentii Leaf (20/10/2012, Kew Gardens, London)
Prunus sargentii, commonly known as the Sargent’s Cherry, Ezo Mountain Cherry, Big Mountain Cherry or North Japanese Hill Cherry, is native to Japan, Korea and Sakhalin. It was introduced into the UK in 1908.
The etymological root of the binomial name Prunus is from the classical Latin name of the plum tree. Sargentii is named after Charles Sprague Sargent (1841 – 1927), an American botanist.
The landscape architect may find Prunus sargentii useful as a small parkland and street tree. It looks great when planted in avenues and provides spring, and autumn interest. The shallow rooting nature of this tree should be considered when planting the tree, as mowers may cut the roots encouraging suckering, creating a maintenance problem. This tree is moderately drought tolerant.
Ecologically, Prunus sargentii fruit is attractive to birds and mammals.
The Royal Horticultural Society has given Prunus sargentii their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.
Prunus sargentii Bark (20/10/2012, Kew Gardens, London)
Prunus sargentii prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will not tolerate wet soils.
Prunus sargentii requires little maintenance. Pruning should be carried out during the summer months to minimise the risk of silver leaf infection.