Most people think of cherries in the spring with their profusion of blossom, but in fact many species provide attractive features at other times of the year.
Some cherries display surprising good autumn colour while others have ornamental bark that adds to the arboretum’s winter treescape.
Westonbirt Arboretum's cherry collection in Silk Wood is a joy to explore and you'll find other examples across the arboretum - take a look at the Westonbirt Interactive Map to find specific locations.
Sargent’s cherry, Prunus sargentii
In late March or early April, the pink blossom of Sargent's Cherry is one of the highlights of spring. The leaves open a beautiful shade of bronze and provide early autumn colour. The finest and oldest tree can be seen on the edge of Broad Drive. It has been propped to prevent it falling over and prolong its life.
Prunus serrulata 'Tai haku'
The 'great white cherry', is the boldest and largest white flowered variety of Japanese ornamental cherry. It has wide spreading branches covered with large white flowers from late March into late April.
A lovely example grows on the grassed area outside the shop.
Mt Fuji cherry, Prunus 'Shirotae'
Like ‘Taihaku’, this is one of the ornamental cherries in the so-called Sato Zakura group. They are mainly of uncertain hybrid origin and the result of centuries of selective breeding in Japan. This is a spreading, low-crowned tree with arching branches that sometimes reach the ground. It flowers in April when the branches are covered with the long-stalked clusters of large white almost fully double blooms. There are fine examples in Cherry Glade in Silk Wood.
Prunus avium 'Plena'
This cultivated variety (cultivar) of our native common cherry or gean has large double flowers. The arboretum has the UK champion growing on Michell Drive. Its branches are decked with dense rows of brilliant white blooms for much of May, while in autumn the foliage turns vivid yellow, orange and red.