Pocket Handkerchief Trees

General Info RHS AGM
Shade Partial Shade
Area Frost Pockets, Scotland & The North
Soil Acidic, Alkaline/Chalky
Colour White/Cream

Davidia involucrata

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  Buy 2 or more bareroot trees and save

SIZES 1 2+
120/150 cm - Potted Out of Stock - Unavailable this year £45.54Out of Stock - Unavailable this year£42.54Out of Stock - Unavailable this year£41.94
  Prices include VAT(where applicable)



Pocket Handkerchief Tree needs...
  • Tree Guards for Standards and established Trees

    Tree Guard, Heavy Duty

    From £4.02

  • Treated Tree Stakes

    Stakes, Tree Planting

    From £5.76

  • Rootgrow Root Stimulant


    From £6.00

  • Tree Planting pack - mulch mat, pegs, stake and tie

    Tree Planting Pack

    From £10.19

Davidia involucrata Young Trees

Davidia involucrata also known as the Pocket Handkerchief Tree and less commonly as the Dove Tree or the Ghost Tree, is a slow-growing medium-sized deciduous tree with fresh green foliage. Its flowers are small and insignificant, usually less than 1" across. The glory of Davidia is these are framed by a remarkable pair of white/cream coloured bracts which can be up to 8-9" long. These give it its common names. This is one of the more unusual trees in our range of trees for small gardens

Given sufficient room, it makes a wonderful specimen tree. It is straight growing, spreads well from the base giving it a "flame" shape and carries glossy, mid-dark green leaves that are perfumed when young. It works well planted away from other trees as its shape is pleasing and uniform so it makes an excellent feature or even a small parkland tree. If space is at a premium, however, it is very happy in a mixed tree planting where its healthy green foliage looks good all summer and its bracts add a feature for a few weeks in (depending on which part of the country you live) April through to June. In addition, it has bark that flakes away giving it a pleasing appearance in winter. The Pocket Handkerchief tree is self-fertile and sets seed readily. However, trees grown from seed can easily take 10-15 years before they first show their bracts.

The Pocket Handkerchief Tree in full "bract" is a remarkable sight in late spring, looking for all the world as if it is covered in ladies handkerchiefs. Although its final height can be as much as 20 metres (somewhat less in the UK where it may reach 12 metres), it is slow growing and takes about 50 years to reach full size. The Dove Tree is Chinese in origin. Its seed was collected and brought back to the UK by Ernest Wilson who was on a collecting trip for Kew Gardens in 1901. Probably the finest specimens in the UK is at Kew in London and in the gardens (open to the public) at Hergest Croft on the Welsh borders.

Davidia involucrata grows best in moist, fertile soil. Like many trees that originate from China, it prefers good drainage. It will tolerate alkaline soil but does not like solid chalk. It has no bad habits being largely pest and disease free and it is not poisonous to grazing animals. From personal experience, the fruit tastes disgusting to humans.

  • Small Box

    Small boxes

    (Orders containing seedlings or rooted cuttings)


    including VAT per order

  • Small box

    (All barerooted plants under 1.2 metres in height. Please note: all trees are charged at the trees and hedging rate.)


    including VAT per order

  • Medium box

    (Any pots up to
    and incl. 7.5L)


    including VAT per order

  • Trees & Hedging

    (For all orders of trees of any size, and all bareroot plants 1.2 metres and over in height)


    including VAT per order

  • Pallets

    (For all orders of root balls,
    and large orders, a pallet
    price will be automatically
    applied at checkout)


    including VAT per order

*Delivery to mainland Britain & the Isle of Wight ONLY. Surcharges to the Isle of Wight and some areas of Scotland apply.

Bareroot planting is best done between November and April
Bareroot and potted - what's the difference?

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