Bird Cherry Hedge Plants
Prunus padusHedge Plants
- Native. Bitter but edible fruit.
- Used in mixed country hedges.
- Sizes: Saplings & Standards.
- Max. Height: 10m
- Bareroot Delivery Only: Nov-Mar.
Prunus Padus Hedging
Delivered by Mail Order Direct from our Nursery with a Year Guarantee
Bird Cherry, Prunus padus, is a small tree or large shrub that makes a good country hedging plant for very poor dry soils, as long as there is plenty of sun.
Bird Cherry will reach 10 metres if it grows freely as a tree.
The plants on this page are young saplings, ideal for planting as hedging or in woodland projects. You can also buy larger Bird Cherry trees.
Browse our other varieties of wild and cultivated Cherry Blossom trees, our selection of native hedging, or our full range of hedging plants.
Bird Cherry hedge plants are only delivered bareroot, during winter (Nov-March).
Choosing a size:
When you are ordering Bird Cherry plants for a hedge, we generally recommend that you use plants that are graded at 40/60cm or 60/80cm. They are cheaper than large plants, easier to handle and they will establish well in poor conditions.
Use the larger 120/150cm tall plants if you want a mature hedge quickly or for instant impact as a specimen tree or shrub.
All our hedge plants are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).
Spacing a Bird Cherry hedge:
Plant Bird Cherry hedging at 3 plants per metre, 33cm apart.
You can also plant Bird Cherry at 5 plants per metre in a staggered double row, with 33 cm between each plant along the row and 40cm between the rows.
General description of Bird Cherry plants:
The Bird Cherry is native cherry tree that grows quickly to a final height of about 10 metres. It has cone-shaped strings of scented white flowers in May/June. The dark fruit that ripen in autumn are edible but taste quite bitter; with a good dose of sugar, you can experiment with using them in jams, but we think that it's best to just leave them for the birds. The leaves look great in autumn. Bird Cherry Trees grow almost anywhere except on wet soils. As with all cherries, pruning should be done in summer to reduce the risk of bacterial canker.
Growing Bird Cherry plants:
Bird Cherry is a very hardy plant that thrives on poor, dry soils. It needs full sun and may struggle on shallow chalk, although it is fine for most alkaline sites.
It will not grow well in the shade or on damp sites. It is not suitable for coastal areas and we don't recommend it as a windbreak hedge for exposed areas because the wind will blast it out of shape.
Prepare your site before planting:
Native hedge plants like Bird Cherry are very tough. The only essential preparation is to kill the weeds in a strip a metre wide along the planting site: improving the soil should not be necessary. If your soil is exceptionally poor and dry, then digging in some well rotted manure and/or compost is worthwhile.
Watch our video on how to plant a country hedge for full details. The instruction to cut the plants in half after planting only applies to thorny native hedging and plants in the conservation hedge mix: this isn't necessary for Bird Cherry.
Remember to water establishing plants during dry weather for at least a year after planting.
Hedge Planting Accessories:
Prepare your site for planting by killing the weeds and grass with Neudorff WeedFree Plus.
You can buy a hedge planting pack with sheets of mulch fabric and pegs to hold it down.
If you are planting in an area with rabbit and/or deer, you will need to use a plastic spiral guard for each plant, supported by a bamboo cane.
If your soil quality is poor, we recommend using mycorrhizal "friendly fungi" on the roots of new trees and shrubs.
You can also improve your soil with bonemeal organic fertiliser and Growmore.
After you have planted your Bird Cherry hedge, the most important thing to do is water it in dry weather. You will also need to weed around the plants. Watering should be thorough, so the ground is soaked. Let the soil almost dry out before watering again. Watering & weeding will be necessary for at least a year after planting.
Trimming Country hedge plants:
From the winter after planting onwards, your young hedge should be trimmed lightly once every winter, until it is mature. When it is fully grown, you can clip it at anytime.
Special notes on caring for Bird Cherry hedges:
Bird Cherry is a very tough hedge plant that shouldn't need special attention once it has established. If you didn't use a mulch fabric, it is beneficial to mulch around the base of the hedge each year.
Hygiene & Diseases:
Dead, damaged or diseased wood can be pruned off as soon as it appears.
Disinfect your pruning tools between every cut if there is any sign of disease.
Burn or dispose of any diseased material, do not compost it.