We have now run into a spell of very cold weather, the winter flowering cherry tree can bring a pink warmth to your garden however.
The Winter Flowering Cherry Tree
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.
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 does not block out a great deal of light.
How is the Nursery affected by the winter cold?
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.
What happens in the Spring?
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!