Prunus 'Shirotae'
Common Name: Mount Fuji cherry
Type: Tree
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 25.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Street Tree, Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Good Fall

Culture

Easily grown in moist, moderately fertile, well-drained loams in full sun. Tolerates light shade, but best flowering is in full sun. Prune after flowering if necessary but generally requires little pruning.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Prunus is a genus of about 200 species of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs found in north temperate areas, the Andes of South American and in mountainous areas of Southeast Asia. Some are grown for their showy flowers, colorful foliage and/or attractive bark; and others for fruit, which includes cherry, plum, apricot, nectarine and peach.

Genus name from Latin means plum or cherry tree.

‘Shirotae’ (synonymous with ‘Mount Fuji’) is a flat-topped, deciduous flowering cherry that typically grows to 15-20’ tall. It is a medium-sized tree with horizontally spreading branching that often dips close to the ground. Mildly fragrant semi-double white flowers (to 2” wide) with 5-11 petals bloom in profuse clusters in spring (March-April) when new growth is emerging. Ovate to elliptic leaves (to 5” long) with aristate teeth emerge pale green tinged with bronze in spring, turn dark green by summer and finally display attractive shades of orange and red in fall. No fruits are produced by this cultivar. ‘Shirotae’ translates as snow white in reference to flower color.

Problems

Susceptible to a large number of insect and disease pests. Potential diseases include leaf spot, die back, leaf curl, powdery mildew, root rot and fireblight. Potential insects include aphids, scale, borers, leafhoppers, caterpillars, tent caterpillars and Japanese beetles. Spider mites may also be troublesome.

Garden Uses

Small flowering tree for the landscape. Good lawn specimen. May be planted in small groups.