This subtle beauty is Prunus serrula 'Tibetica' or Birch bark cherry or Paperbark cherry and it has perhaps the most stunning bark of any tree. This bark is a glistening, polished mahogany which peels away in bands and possesses a shiny brilliance throughout the year, but is particularly appreciated in winter. If the Birch bark cherry had nothing else to recommend it, the bark alone would be enough reason to find room for this lovely cherry. But in spring it bears small, white flowers followed by pretty red cherries in fall. And the willow-like leaves in spring are attractive all summer long and usually color a bright autumn yellow.
Birch bark cherry was introduced from China in 1908 by the legendary plant-collector Ernest Wilson. It is a fast growing, but small tree, of rounded form with a mature height of about 25 feet. It likes well-drained soil in full sun and prefers cool or short summers, making it suitable for the upper US, lower Canada, the UK and New Zealand. (source: atreeaday.com)
Genus - Prunus
Species - Serrula Tibetica
Common name - Birch Bark Cherry
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 5 - 8
Height - 10m
Spread - 10 m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Shade
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Loam, sand, well drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Germination rate - 83%
Bloom season - Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White
|Germination||1. Soak the seeds in a bowl of cool water overnight. Lay the seeds on a flat surface to dry for several hours.|
2. Stratify seeds in a plastic bag full of moist sand inside the refrigerator for 90 days. Keep the sand barely moist during the cold stratification period.
3. Sow the seeds the following spring once outdoor temperatures rise above 65F (+18C) during the day and 48F (+8C) at night. Or sow indoors in the propagator or pots
4. Prepare a pot for each seed. Fill 8-inch plastic pots with garden soil taken from the bed where the trees will eventually be planted. Sow one seed in each pot at a depth of 1 inch.
5. Water the seeds to a depth of 3 inches after planting them. Maintain moisture at a 3-inch depth during the germination process.
6. Place the pots outdoors in a sheltered spot where they will be exposed to direct sun in the morning and afternoon. Protect the seeds from direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day since the soil will warm too quickly and dry out.
7. Watch for sprouting one month after sowing. Maintain the same light and moisture conditions provided to the seeds during germination until they grow to 4 inches in height.
8. Plant the seedlings into a sunny, sandy bed at least 75 days before the first frost in autumn, or shelter the seedlings in a cold frame until the following spring if it is too late in the year for planting. (info source: eHow.com)