Flowering cherry trees bring welcome fragrance and color to spring and, in some instances, fall UK gardens. Their oink, white or rose-colored blossoms range from fragile single blooms to dense, branch-covering clusters. Attractive, sometimes edible fruit or bright autumn foliage follows the blooms on many of these trees. Compact dimensions make several flowering cherry cultivars suitable ornamental choices for small landscapes.
Wild Cherry 'Merton Premier'
Flowering wild cherries (Prunus avium) are spring bloomers with summer fruit and colorful fall leaves. 'Merton Premier' is a wild cherry cultivar standing up to 16 feet high and wide. White, early spring flowers give way to sweet, black fruit. Irresistible to birds, the cherries ripen in June or July. Autumn foliage is orange to rust. Merton Premier requires a simultaneously blooming, different cherry cultivar for cross-pollination, according to BBC Gardening. It performs best in a sunny location with well-drained, consistently moist soil.
Flowering Cherry 'Autumnalis'
Flowering cherry (Prunus x subhirtella) 'Autumnalis' has clusters of blooms in both spring and fall. Beginning in November, the tree produces pink buds that open to semi-double white blooms, taking on hints of pink again as they age. Blooming occurs sporadically from November to March or April, says gardening writer Ursula Buchan of the Telegraph.co.uk website. 'Autumnalis' also has greenish-bronze spring leaves that become yellow or orange in fall. This cold-tolerant tree occasionally reaches 26 feet high. It grows best in moderately fertile soil and full sun with shelter from winter wind.
Flowering Cherry 'Morello'
A self-pollinating tree, flowering cherry (Prunus cerasus) 'Morello' grows from 20 to 30 feet high. It has glossy, green spring leaves and in April or May, clusters of white-stamened, yellow-anthered white blooms. The tree's abundant, deep-red sour cherries are culinary favorites, according to the Natural History Museum. Morello grows in full sun to partial shade and dry, light, well-drained soil. Pruning from mid-spring to mid-fall allows the tree to heal rapidly.
A large tree, rum cherry (Prunus serotina) grows between 50 and 65 feet high, notes the Natural History Museum. Recognizable from the bitter almond fragrance of its peeling, deep-gray bark, the tree has small, red summer fruit that ripens to purple-black. Unsuitable for eating, the cherries make good jelly or jam and flavor various liquors. This is one of the showiest flowering cherries, with up to 6-inch, nodding spikes of fragrant, white April and May blooms. Green spring and summer leaves provide yellow or rose-red fall color. Rum cherry grows in full sun--for best performance--to partial shade. It likes fertile, moist loamy soil.