Suggestions for a unique ornamental cherry?

Discussion in 'Ornamental Cherries' started by artnerd, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. artnerd

    artnerd Active Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Trying to decide on a replacement specimen tree for an ornamental plum that is in decline and will be removed. Looking for suggestions for an ornamental cherry that is disease and insect resistant in the wet Lower Mainland BC climate, ideally with good fall colour, and hoping for a unique variety. I love a natural tree shape, (will not pollard or prune beyond removing crossing branches if need be), but it can't be too broad a spreader due to proximity to the house (@ 12' to nearest roof edge). Height is not an issue. Site is almost full sun, good air circulation, on amended clay that tends to stay quite wet in winter months. A fast grower would be ideal.

    Considering the following:
    Shirofugen (may be too broad in spread)?
    Okame
    Mt. Fuji
    Sargent Cherry
    Higan Cherry

    I am not terribly knowledgeable about ornamental cherries, (just learning), so any suggestions appreciated, thank you in advance.
     
  2. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    9,280
    Likes Received:
    1,356
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Not to seem negative, but

    Higan - I'm not entirely clear what all this refers to, but the spring cherries generally do not look all that good here. On the other hand, if you could get an 'Accolade' that isn't grafted, maybe it would be healthier than many we see, and the flowers are very pretty. I'm not sure if Star Cherry counts as Higan - it's Prunus subhirtella 'Stellata'. Not all that broad, nice showy flowers.

    'Okame' - just don't. They all look horrible here.

    Mt Fuji, what we call 'Shirotae' want to spread horizontally. About half look beautiful, and the other half get really sick.

    'Shirofugen' - want to spread horizontally, as you suspected.

    Sargent cherry - usually look pretty good, though are not that showy. The 'Rancho' cultivar is grown around here a lot; I've seen some low-grafted ones that are kind of nice. 'Rancho' are very upright, and bronze leaves come out at the same time, which makes them a bit more dull that you'd think the pink single blossoms should be.

    Can you wait five years? Douglas Justice has taken cuttings of some of our more unusual and very interesting trees and is looking to see if we can get them growing on their own roots and out on the market. Maybe it's more than five years - I'm not sure how long it takes.

    In the meantime, here are some I like
    'Tai Haku'- start upright; they do eventually spread out though.

    'Afterglow' - have single pink flowers like 'Somei-yoshino' only pink, not white. The tree shapes aren't all that graceful, but the flowers are really pretty.

    'Snow Goose' - are almost the same as the previously planted 'Umineko'. They start out very upright, don't get too wide. Very white single flowers. Here, I've only seen young ones, and they all look healthy.

    'Ukon' - have yellowish double flowers, are usually healthy.

    'Ichiyo' - I almost forgot my favourite, beautiful double flowers sort of like the late dark pink 'Kanzan' but way prettier lighter pink. Trees are usually healthy. For some reason, almost everywhere I've found these, they were planted as a pair.

    There are photos of 54 types of ornamental cherries grown here in Douglas Justice's Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver, with habit and blossom photos. Available at UBC Shop in the Garden, VanDusen and on the VCBF website.
     
  3. artnerd

    artnerd Active Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Thank you wcutler for your suggestions, much appreciated. After researching these, out of all of them Ichiyo is also my hands down favorite. They remind me of trees I remember fondly from my childhood. I am wondering if they have good fall colour here? I have not been able to find any photos thus far of this tree in autumn. Regardless, it is definitely the front runner.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,565
    Likes Received:
    477
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Wet soil in winter = dead cherry tree. Much more likely to succeed with a flowering crabapple or a serviceberry on damp ground; the locally native crabapple and hawthorn species (both are colorful only in autumn dress) are actually more or less wetland obligates in the wild.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,565
    Likes Received:
    477
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    'Adirondack' is one of the best flowering crabs, and has an upright habit. It is currently a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit Plant.

    http://www.usna.usda.gov/Newintro/adirond1.html

    [Quote not intentional, comments all supposed to be in one post - must have hit Quote tab by mistake}
     

Share This Page