Tree Of The Week

Cherry trees are starting to brighten our landscape with their blossoms. These carmine-pink early bloomers on Thayer Street might be the Okame flowering cherry (Prunus ‘Okame’). I am willing to be corrected on this — new cultivars are being introduced all the time. From Weston Nurseries:

This is a relatively low maintenance tree . . . It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments.

These trees certainly seem to be doing well in this high traffic area outside Blue State Coffee.

‘Okame’ is an interspecific cross out of England. From botanists Meyer and Lewandowski:

‘Okame’ was produced in England early this century by Captain Collingwood Ingram, a famed cherry collector [ahem] and hybridizer.

They add that it thrives in the Arnold Arboretum and is reliable hardy in Zone 5.

Your best bet with flowering trees and shrubs is to buy them in bloom and then you can be sure it’s the one you want.


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