Plant Profile: Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’

We all love the site of blossoms, even if the weather is still cool, you know we’ve turned that winter corner when you see the pale buds starting to pop!

I’m sentimental about this little tree because ornamental flowering plums lined the streets of Kenthurst where I grew up, as it did many streets through many towns of temperate Australia.


Sadly it has been slowly replaced as a street tree probably due to fashion, which is a shame because it really fits the bill – small, easily fitting under power lines and therefore not requiring the contract butchers chop every few years, tough, able to withstand summer temperatures consistently in the high thirty’s with minimal care, and of course beautiful with late winter or early spring blossoms clustered on bare branches, followed by dark burgundy foliage.

It’s important to prune these trees when young to develop a lovely vase shape. Remove crossing branches and tired timber as they mature. Though they will survive on neglect once established, they will prosper and look more beautiful if given annual compost and a weekly drink.

Happy Spring Everybody!