With impeccable timing, Harry has selected Prunus Serrula – Paperbark Cherry, to be his tree of the week.
We say impeccable timing because this wonderful tree has just begun its Autumn show. The willow-like foliage is moving from the mid-green of summer to an Autumnal yellow, as it eases us into the cooler weather with a warming display that pretty much says ‘go stock up on hot chocolate and retrieve the winter blankets’.
While appreciated, this signal is not the most outstanding feature of the Paperbark Cherry. That accolade is reserved for its trunk. The rich, mahogany-brown colour is shiny and wonderfully carved with flaking lines of bark, like an old leather recliner full of welcoming comfort and stories.
After Autumn and the subsequent bareness of winer, the Paperbark Cherry comes alive in spring, with reinvigorating white flowers emerging in clusters. These are followed by small, oval cherry fruit in Summer. They are not for eating though, at least not by us humans.
The deciduous Prunus serrula will grow to 6 x 5 metres.