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2. The Burslem Cherry
My second post is about a rare and striking ornamental cherry in The Potteries.
Welcome to The Street Tree! This is the second in a series of pithy illustrated posts about great individual trees from Britain and Ireland. I’ll be posting at least one a week over the coming months.
Delightful Burslem Park opened in 1894 to designs by TH Mawson, whose credits include Hanley Park, also in Stoke-on-Trent, Bellevue Gardens in Newport and the Pergola at Hampstead Heath. In Burslem, a strange tree grows next to the bowling green in the shape of a beautiful, and rather rare ‘Albi-Plena’ cherry which distinguishes itself with long branches from which stubby twigs grow giving it a unique prehistoric look. It is one of the later flowering cherries, in April it is fleetingly covered in white flowers. Visit in a few weeks to catch it at its best.
‘Albi-plena’ ornamental cherry
Prunus serrulata 'Albi-Plena'
Where to find it
One of the most distinctive ornamental cherries out of the flowering season owing to its spreading form and odd spur-like twigs which are particularly noticeable before the flowers and leaves appear. Masses of white flowers burst from pale pink buds late in the season at the same time as the first green leaves appear. Although one of the earliest ornamental cherries to be introduced to these shores, it is now very rare, just a handful of old trees seem to exist in parks and old gardens.