Sargent Cherry (Prunus sargentii)
With attractive bark, good fall foliage color, and delicate pink blooms, Sargent Cherry is highly recommended for the home and urban landscape. Growing at a moderate rate into a 25 to 40-foot-high, upright-spreading to rounded tree, Sargent Cherry makes an ideal shade tree, spreading as wide as it is tall and casting dense shade below. Sargent Cherry works well as a street tree (probably the best of the cherries for street planting) in areas which can accommodate the spreading canopy. It is often grown with several multiple trunks or upright branches originating from the same position on the trunk ascending in a graceful fashion. This structure could be somewhat of a problem in ice-storms. Training to develop well-spaced branches along the trunk may help reduce this problem.
The attractive cinnamon brown bark has a shiny, almost polished appearance with prominent lenticels arranged around the trunk. The three to five-inch-long, shiny, dark green leaves take on various shades of orange, bronze, and red before dropping in late September, often well before other trees which are still green.
In late April or early May the one-inch-wide, pink to deep pink single blooms appear before the new red-tinged leaves unfold. In fact, it is one of the first trees to flower. The small, pea-sized fruits which follow are red, ripening to a dark purple in June and July. The fruits are considered inconspicuous due to their size and color but are easily found by birds who quickly devour them. Sargent Cherry requires little maintenance once established and is quite tolerant of drought and clay soil.
Sargent Cherry Choices
Columnaris has a narrow, upright or columnar silhouette 30 to 40 feet tall by 15 feet wide and is very suitable for tight urban spaces and along streets.