With the arrival of Spring, comes blossom on the early flowering Ornamental Cherries. One outstanding variety that springs to mind is Prunus yedoensis 'Áwanui'. Developed by Keith Adams from New Plymouth, this tree is a real stunner. Early September it has a mass of soft pink blossom on bare branches. Standing underneath these trees when they are mature and looking through the branches in flower to a blue sky is an incredible sight. Fresh green leaves follow when the flowering is finished. Prunus 'Awanui' grows over time into an upright spreading tree with a layered branch structure. It is easy to grow but needs space to appreciate its true beauty, fabulous for a large lawn or to line a driveway.
Flowering Cherries are tolerant of most soils but will be happiest in deeply-worked, well-drained soil. They will not tolerate 'wet feet' so if you have a heavy clay soil that stays moist for long periods, you will need to work it well by adding compost and gypsum to ensure good drainage, so your tree stays healthy. They are remarkably wind-tolerant, but strong wind can damage or blow off the delicate blossoms, so a more sheltered spot will enable longer, better flowering. Keep an eye out for any shoots that grow below the graft and rub them off as this is the rootstock growing.