Winter brings frost – and flowers!

We have now run into a spell of very cold weather, the winter flowering cherry can bring a pink warmth to your garden however.

Prunus subhirtella Autumnalis Rosea produces small, semi-double, pink tinged flowers, emerging from dark pink buds, intermittently from November through to March. This Pink Winter flowering Cherry is a small, rounded tree with spreading branches with slightly pendulous tips. The green leaves emerge in late spring before turning to yellow and orange in the autumn.

Pink Winter flowering Cherry
Prunus subhirtella Autumnalis Rosea, a Pink Winter flowering Cherry.

Prunus subhirtella Autumnalis Rosea won the Award of Merit in 1960 and the Award of garden Merit in 2002 and remains a favourite for planting in parks. These are ideal trees for smaller gardens as the crown is quite loose so not cutting out all the light.

We have now run into a spell of very cold weather which may not suit everyone. However, as far as the nurseryman is concerned a period of low temperatures during the winter months is essential to stop a number of problematic pests from overwintering. If the adult bugs are not finished off by the cold nights, they will continue to multiply for a second year in addition to the eggs they have already laid. Mild winters are often followed by a difficult summer where pests and diseases are concerned.

Won’t some of the plants get damaged by the frost? Very few of the stock we produce is not totally hardy down to about -10 degrees centigrade. Some late spring frosts can cause leaf and bud damage and reduce flowering and therefore fruit production, but generally such damage will disappear as the summer progresses. Typical frost damage is seen as the blackening of leaf edges on plants such as Photinias, Camellias, and Magnolias.

When the Spring arrives, although we have automated irrigation on the nursery, there is nothing like a good wet period to get the plants off to a good start as they are pushing out all that energy. This is particularly so in the nursery fields as a dry spring will cause early cracking on clay soils and some roots may then suffer. There is no doubt recent weather trends have been more severe with high winds causing lots of damage to Nursery stock and the infrastructure. Nothing we can do about the weather where trees and plants are concerned, except battle through from season to season!

Read More:

Bare Root Trees: 2019 planting season
Expert guide to Screening Trees
Top 10 Trees for Winter Interest


Shopping Online

You can buy trees, hedging, screening trees, shrubs and topiary online by browsing our website. If you do not see a plant or size that is suitable for you then please call as we stock a wide variety of plants in our tree nursery. It’s worth noting that many other websites sell other people’s stock (i.e. they act as an agent) so you cannot view the products at their own site. At King & Co, all of our advertised plants are available for viewing at our tree nursery in Rayne, near Braintree, situated just over an hours drive out of London. Our knowledgeable and experienced tree nursery staff is always contactable via phone on 01376 340469 or if you have any questions regarding any of our trees or accessories. If you cannot see what you require on our website, please complete the enquiry form. We will give it our urgent attention and will get back to you shortly with a solution that meets your needs.