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16 October 2014
Gardener's Corner

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Autumn 2003
Terrific Trees

Prunus avium
(Wild Cherry)

Prunus avium, better known as wild cherry, is perhaps one of our most attractive native woodland trees. Wild cherry is often found in old hedgerows and in mixed deciduous woodland, usually at the wood’s edge. According to the Woodland Trust, this species will make a wonderful addition to any wildlife garden. However, when planning your planting do give some thought to space, this beautiful tree can grow up to 25 metres.

Wild Cherry Wild cherry will definitely bring a brilliant splash of colour to your garden. Reddish-brown bark, beautiful spring blossom and rich autumn tones are all on offer.

The tree’s light green leaves are oval shaped with a toothed edge. In autumn they’ll give your garden a warm glow, turning a rich red colour before finally dropping. The following spring, usually April, brings showy clusters of pretty white flowers, which attract a whole range of insects. The tree’s fruit – the familiar cherries - are round and are initially yellow-red in colour before ripening to dark red in July. The edible cherries can be bitter in taste and have less flesh than their cultivated relations. However, if you do have plans for their consumption, you will need to be quick! Birds are keen contenders for the wild cherries and can be quick to strip the ripe fruit from the trees. In return for a satisfying meal, a bird will kindly make its contribution to nature by scattering the seeds in its droppings - potential wild cherry trees of the future.

Cherries grow well on any reasonably fertile soil. However, they won’t tolerate waterlogged soil or total shade, preferring a sunny position. Strong winds can quickly destroy the show of spring blossom; so do think carefully about your planting location.

Wild CherryInsects and birds will give you top marks for introducing a wild cherry to your garden. And it’s sure to attract an admiring glance from the neighbours. Beautiful spring blossom, bright summer fruits and warm autumn leaves – what better way to bring a touch of natural beauty to your home.

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