0 Shrubs and trees

Shrubs and trees for landscaping

By Laurence Gale

Another new feature for Pitchcare members will be informative articles on shrubs and trees. Many Pitchcare members are often responsible for managing ornamental shrub beds and tree areas around their facilities, for example entrances to the golf club and school grounds.

The best time to be planting tree and shrub material is from late September through to March when there is plenty of moisture in the ground. Planting during the spring and summer may result in having to irrigate, often a time consuming activity. Ground staff and managers should always be looking to plant new material each year, generally to gap up and replace any dead and damaged shrubs and trees. However there may be a need to design and develop a new landscape feature which may involve planting a mixture of trees and shrubs. Choice of material is important, and will be dependant on a number of factors.

What is it you are trying to achieve with this new landscape feature? What is its function? Is it to provide colour, a screen to hide unwanted views, a wind break, or to stimulate a safe and secure environment. The choice of material is vast, with shrubs and trees offering diverse forms of shape, size and colour. It is also important to understand that many of these trees and shrubs will require some form of maintenance after planting, with formative pruning and feeding being required to enable them to establish.

The choice of plant material will also be dependant on soil type, proximity to drains, mains services and buildings. For example planting trees near to buildings, the roots of the tree may and can cause disruption and subsidence to foundations and walls. Good advice is to keep tree planting away from buildings.

During the year Pitchcare will feature and give information about a wide range of trees and shrubs, describing their form, suitability and maintenance requirements. There are a number of web sites that give information about trees, but one of the main established sites is the Arboriculture Association www.trees.org.uk

Spring sees an abundance of colour with many trees and shrubs breaking into flower especially the early flowering cherry trees. This feature article will introduce you to the variety of Japanese flowering cherry trees.

When planting cherry trees it is important to choose a location that has an open sunny aspect with deep, well-drained soil. Avoid low areas where cold air settles to prevent blossoms from being killed by frost. Refrain from planting near buildings and areas that are shaded by other trees. Ensure the tree is kept healthy by providing necessary nutrients, applying a slow release fertiliser to the ground prior and after planting.

It may be necessary to prune cherry trees to maintain their form and shape and remove dead, damaged and diseased wood.

Cherry trees can be pruned moderately to let in light and to thin out branches, this can improve air circulation help prevent disease. Cherry trees are usually pruned in summer to reduce the attack of a disease called Silver Leaf.

Cherry trees provide a range of colour and form with many varieties available and suitable to the United Kingdom's climate. Listed below are a few of my favourite varieties that can be used to provide a splendid showing of spring colour.

Scientific name




General information Cultivars of Japanese flowering cherry trees grow to 20 to 35 feet tall. Leaves are red or green depending on variety, and change to lovely red- bronze colours in the autumn. The profuse, fragrant spring flowers can be single or double, white or a shade of pink, the fruit is dark purple. Japanese flowering cherry is short-lived and can be beset by many insect and disease problems. Oriental flowering cherries bloom from late March or early April through mid-May.
Weeping Cherry trees Weeping cherry trees are very popular as they are quite spectacular when flowering, forming a throng of flowers in the spring.

Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula' produce pink to white flowers in profusion, if grown in full sun and well-drained soil. This weeping cherry tree attains a height of 6m-9m (20'-30') and a spread 4m-6m (15'-25').

Medium size cherry trees Prunus serrulata 'Kwanza Japanese flowering cherry, or Kwanzan cherry grows 4m-6m (15'-25'). Its white to pink blooms will be most impressive when the tree is grown in full sun with good drainage. cherry-kwanza1.jpg
Small cherry trees Prunus x hillieri 'Spire'
As its name suggests, this cherry has an upright conical shape, and being narrow is excellent for small gardens, and as a street tree. Medium-sized single flowers create a soft pink cloud; autumn foliage is attractive.
Columnar (upright) habit flowering cherry trees Prunus 'Amanogawa' Still the best columnar Japanese cherry and the most popular. Its long, erect stems can reach 6m to 9m (20ft to 30ft) in time and are crowded in April or May with large, fragrant, semi-double pale pink blossoms. Prefers well drained soil in sun or shade It is suitable for most soils. amanogawa_f.jpg
Large cherry trees Prunus 'Shirotae'
The name of this double-flowered cherry means "snow white"; it is sometimes also referred to as 'Mount Fuji'. Buds have a pinkish tint; clusters of dazzling white flowers are fragrant. These wide-spreading trees grow to 7m (25 feet).
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