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Cherry Tree Prunus Avium "Plena"

Good morning all, I have come back once again to consult the experienced gardeners! 

I am absolutely in love with this cherry tree, Prunus Avium Plena. I have seen it in a friend's garden and it is the most gorgeous cherry tree ever. I imagine having these beauties dotted around the end of the gardens accompanying the oaks and sweet chestnuts. The oaks and sweet chestnuts are only about 1.5m tall at the moment as they came as baby saplings. I am essentially planning the garden for my grandchildren to enjoy!

I have tried fruit cherry trees such as Morello Cherry and Sunburst but sadly both never took off and died a miserable death. However the wild cherries are having a fabulous time and growing really well. 

The site is on heavy clay with about one foot of top soil. Currently dominated by Rye grass. A ditch (1m in depth) right by the side so hopefully draining wouldn't be too much of a problem. I will have to drag the hose pipe all the way down there to water them, so watering will be an issue during summer holidays when I am away (unless I could set up some kind of watering system). 

I am planning on purchasing some bare roots from Mail Order Trees. Shall I plant the bare roots straight away or shall I try to nurse them in 30 litre pots with John Innes No 3 for a year or two before planting them? 

Looking forward to hearing your opinions. Thank you! 


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,850
    They'll be better off in the ground.
    Don't plant if the soil is frozen or waterlogged though - as it likely is atm.

    I had an apple tree delivered last week just as the cold arrived and the ground is frozen where I am.
    I put it in a 22L pot with some old compost from the tomato bed, watered it then left it behind my greenhouse.
    As soon as the soil thaws, I'll plant it.
    I've got another arriving tomorrow, so I'll do the same with that.
    I'd suggest you do the same.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • You  have some very large trees planted already..the oaks and sweet chestnuts.
    I trust you have a very large garden.

    Prunus avium plena is another large  fab tree.
    The double flowering form of the wild cherry.
    Bare root I would expect them to be delivered very a whip.
    Have you considered buying a larger one in a pot which has a strong trunk and a nice shape to start with?
    Then you can plant it as soon as the ground warms up.

    Pics below show sweet chestnuts.

    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • I think planting trees in the ground as young whips is the best way to plant them as they get to establish a good root system before growing tall enough to get much force from the wind and can form good solid structured trees without the trouble of staking. The trees I have planted as whips over a few years have overtaken some larger trees I planted as older ones which seem to take longer to settle in their new location. Have planted hundreds of whips with no watering and only a small number don't survive so missing a few weeks of watering when away on holiday sounds like it shouldn't be much of a problem unless you have very dry free draining soil which is not usually the case with clay. I think the few I did have fail without watering was due to them being planted close to existing established trees that do dry out the ground with the amount of water they use themselves. If it is a dry summer you could just give them a good soaking before you go. Tree roots naturally stretch long distances into the soil to find water deep down if they need to so I have always felt that regular watering isn't really helping them develop as they naturally would but we seldom get more than a few weeks without rain here.

    Happy gardening!
  • Sounds reassuring thanks everyone. 

    I was most concerned about compatibility of cherry trees in clay. Seems like that shouldn’t be too much of a problem! 
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