• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Prunus avium

wild cherry

wild cherry

© RHS 1999

  • Other common names wild cherry
    gean

    bird cherry
    Cheshire merry tree
    crab cherry
    hagberry
    mazzard
    merry tree
    Suffolk merries
    sweet cherry

    see more
  • Family Rosaceae

  • Genus Prunus can be deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs with showy flowers in spring, and often good autumn foliage colour. Some have edible fruit in autumn, and a few species have ornamental bark

  • Details P. avium is a medium-sized deciduous tree with nodding clusters of pure white flowers 2.5cm wide in late spring, followed by small, shiny red-purple cherries; leaves turn orange and red in autumn

  • Plant range Europe to Asia Minor, Caucasus, W Siberia

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H6

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or North-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered

Soil

  • Sand

    Sand

  • Clay

    Clay

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Loam

    Loam

  • MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained

  • SoilSand, Clay, Chalk, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height Higher than 12 metres

  • Ultimate spread wider than 8 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 20-50 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in moderately fertile soil in full sun

Propagation Propagate by chip budding or grafting, although softwood cuttings in early summer with bottom heat can be successful. Can be propagated by seed - see trees and shrubs from seed

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1. Prune in mid-summer if silver leaf is a problem

Pests May get aphids, caterpillars, leaf-mining moths and bullfinches

Diseases May be affected by silver leaf, bacterial canker and blossom wilt

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