Great White Japanese Cherry, Large Trees
- Great White Cherry.
- Short, spreading tree.
- Huge white blossom. Good scent.
- RHS Award of Garden Merit
- Max. Height: 8m
Prunus serrulata Tai-haku: Bareroot Great White Cherry Trees in Standard Sizes
Tai-haku is known as the Great White Cherry tree. It is a medium sized, spreading tree with large, fragrant, pure white blossom that appears on younger trees than most other cherry blossoms. It grows vigorously and is low maintenance. This is a good sized tree with a flat canopy and spreading branches. The large, white, scented flowers are up to 6cm across and absolutely cover the tree in April, just as the new, coppery coloured leaves are peeking out. Many gardeners consider it to be the best white flowering cherry tree. The dark bark is an attractive feature in winter, especially on a snowy day.
Young trees are upright and goblet shaped, but old trees will often be wider than they are tall, to about 7 by 7 metres, with a canopy that is both uneven and elegant, like the profile of a rolling mountain.
Delivery season: Ornamental cherry trees are delivered bareroot during late autumn and winter, approximately November-March inclusive.
Choosing a size: Small trees are cheaper, easier to handle and more forgiving of less than ideal aftercare, so they are best for a big planting project. If instant impact is your priority, or if you are only buying a few plants for use in a place where it is convenient to water them well in their first year, then you may as well use bigger ones. All our bareroot trees are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).
- Height: To 7-9m
- Soil: Any decently well drained
- Use: Specimen, small garden, urban
- Colour: Snow-white flowers in April-May
- RHS Award of Garden Merit
- Bareroot delivery only: November-March
Growing Prunus Tai-haku
Suitable for any well drained soil, and tolerant of urban pollution, it can handle light shade without affecting the flowers much, but as with most ornamental flowering trees it will give you the most value in full sun.
A little formative pruning to remove ingrowing branches in its early years will help it to develop an attractive form.
Did You Know?
We think that Tai-haku is an honorary native tree. It was extinct in Japan and thought to be lost to the world, until Captain Collingwood Ingram identified one specimen in Sussex in 1923. Every Taihaku alive in the world today comes from that single plant, and it was re-introduced to Japan in 1932. This tree has most deservedly won the RHS Award of Garden Merit.
The main photo is shown with the kind permission of the talented Jasper Tupman.
Standard trees are measured by their girth in centimetres 1 metre above ground level: their trunk's waist measurement. Unlike sapling trees and hedge plants, standards aren't measured by their height, which will vary quite a bit both between and within species.
So, a 6/8cm standard tree has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8cm and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10cm around. This measurement makes no difference to the tree's final height.
On average, standard trees are 2-3.5 metres tall when they arrive, but we cannot tell you precisely how tall your trees will be before we deliver them.
Notes on planting Prunus Taihaku cherry trees:
Prunus Tai haku trees prefer fertile, moist soil with good drainage. They like heavy clay, as long as the site doesn't become waterlogged in winter. They are good to grow on chalky soil.
Although they are tolerant of shade, we really recommend them for full sun. Cherry trees in the shade tend to become spindly and won't flower very well.
We don't recommend them for exposed, windy sites, where they will be blown out of shape by the wind.
Although your trees are hardy, late spring frosts can ruin their flower display. Avoid planting cherry blossom trees in frost pockets or North facing sites in colder areas.
Prepare your site before planting:
It is good to dig over the site where you plant a tree several months in advance. Kill the weeds first: for tough weeds like nettles, brambles and ground elder, you will usually need a weed-killer to get rid of them. When you dig the soil over, remove stones and other rubbish and mix in well rotted compost or manure down to the depth of about 2 spades.
Watch our video on how to plant a tree for full instructions.
Remember to water establishing trees during dry weather for at least a year after planting.
Tree Planting accessories:
Prepare your site for planting by killing the weeds and grass with Neudorff WeedFree Plus.
You can buy a tree planting pack with a wooden stake & rubber tie to support the tree and a mulch mat with pegs to protect the soil around the base of your tree from weeds and drying out.
We suggest that you use mycorrhizal "friendly fungi" on the roots of all newly planted large trees: if your soil quality is poor, we strongly recommend it.
You can also improve your soil with bonemeal organic fertiliser and Growmore.