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The Tibetan Cherry is small deciduous tree with wonderful mahogany red bark, Prunus serrula Tibetica is an almost unique choice for a specimen tree.
It is often called Birch Bark Cherry because of the way that its old bark strips away to reveal shiny new layers.
The narrow, oval leaves do not create very thick shade, so you can plant quite a range of shade tolerant plants around it.
The small white flowers aren't especially visible when they come out in April as the leaves will cover them, though they do attract bees.
The flowers mature into red fruit, which we do not recommend eating; you probably won't get a great deal of them in a British summer anyway.
The leaves turn a clean yellow in autumn and fall away to reveal the tree's skin in all its glory - in the right light, it really does seem to be sculpted from polished copper or bronze but with a richer tone than either.
Prunus serrula Tibetica is not a very big tree and is an excellent choice for a small garden where space and light are limited. The sheer beauty of the bark means that Tibetan Cherry deserves to be the centre of attention.
Birch Bark Cherry will give you the best display if it is planted where it can grow well - fertile, well drained soil and full sun.
The faster it grows, the more often it will shed its old, less bright skin and allow you to feast your eyes on its fresh red bark.
Top tip for getting the best from the bark: never give into the temptation to peel away the bark yourself - this will actually slow down the tree's shedding cycle and there is a risk of infection.
Instead, when the tree starts looking a bit dull, give it a scrub with a non-metallic brush and warm soapy water, or you could use a pressure hose on a very gentle setting.
This will brighten up the older bark without affecting the tree.
Prunus serrula Tibetica was brought to Britain at the turn of the last century by the intrepid Mr Ernest Wilson, who we have to thank for some 2000 Chinese plants that are now regular features of British gardens.
It's not really a Tibetan Cherry at all, hailing instead from Szechwan province in Western China.
Prunus serrula Tibetica will grow to about 10 metres, 30 feet.
Please watch our tree planting video for full planting instructions.
How Standard Trees are Measured:
All the plants in the ornamental trees section are graded as standards, which means that they are measured by their girth in centimetres 1 metre above ground level (basically, their trunk's waist measurement). They aren't measured by their height, which will vary.
So, a 6/8 standard has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8 centimetres and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10 centimetres around.
This measurement makes no difference to the tree's final height. Most standards are between 2 - 3.5 metres tall, but this is just an average. We cannot tell you how tall your trees will be before we deliver them.
All the accessories you need to plant a large tree, i.e. any Ornamental Standard or Bush or Half-Standard fruit tree.
Rootgrow mycorrhizal fungi speeds establishment. Available as: