10 of the best flowering cherry trees for spring in the UK

So many different flowering cherry trees to choose from, but which one’s the best?

April and May are the peak periods for tree blossom, during which time the majority of flowering, ornamental cherry trees will be covered in blousy blooms. But which is best? With so many to choose from, you might want to utilise the coveted Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Award of Garden Merit (AGM) to help you select. We’ve sorted ten of the best AGM ornamental cherries – one of which could come to a garden near you. After all, this is the perfect time in which to plant!

Larger ornamental cherries

Prunus avium 'Plena', Plena, wild cherry, cherry tree, ornamental cherry, flowering cherry, cherry, tree, blossom, spring blossom, flowers, spring, The ornamental strain of the wild cherry, Prunus avium 'Plena' has the most glorious white double flowers in spring. This is a tree that needs space. Got some space to fill? Consider Prunus avium ‘Plena’,  (above) which has double white glorious flowers in mid spring. This is the double-flowered variety of the wild cherry and it is a sight to behold once it wears its white mantle. It’s healthy and easy to grow. Give it space, however, as this tree has the potential to grow up to 20m tall. Prunus padus 'Watereri', Prunus padus, cherry tree, ornamental cherry, flowering cherry, cherry, tree, spring blossom, blossom, flowers, spring, garden, gardening, plant a tree, perfectplants.co.uk, Prunus padus 'Watereri' is also known as the bird cherry. It's a year-round tree for those wanting more than a one-season wonder. Prunus padus 'Watereri' is also known as the bird cherry. It’s not strictly what you might expect from an ornamental cherry, but equally as impressive. This is a medium tree, growing eventually to a height of up to 12m. It produces long plumes of white flowers which are almond-scented and loved by insects.  This is a useful parkland tree with good autumn colour so it has two-season appeal. Also known as Prunus ‘Grandiflora’. Prunus 'Kanzan', Prunus, cherry, cherry tree, flowering cherry, pink blossom, blossom, spring, flowers, tree, garden, gardening, perfectplants.co.uk, RHSAGM, rhs, choose a cherry tree, choose a flowering cherry, Prunus 'Kanzan' has massive pink appeal! Its pink double spring flowers appear in late April when it looks like candyfloss! Prunus 'Kanzan has wonderful deep pink, double flowers in late April (above) and this medium-sized tree can reach a height of up to 10m, with a similar spread. It's a popular choice for those looking for pink, fluffy clouds of blossom! In fact, this can be considered one of the most popular cherries because it is laden with blooms in spring. The bronze foliage appears afterwards and this turns orange in the autumn. A good tree for avenue planting or as a specimen tree.

Medium flowering cherries

Prunus 'Collingwood Ingram', pink blossom, flowering cherry, cherry tree, cherry, tree, blossom, spring flowers, flowers, gardens, gardening, rhsagm, plant a tree, Prunus 'Collingwood Ingram’ has deep pink single flowers which are loved by beneficial garden insects. Prunus 'Collingwood Ingram’ (above) has deep pink single flowers which are displayed in profusion during spring and are great for beneficial garden insects. It is a small to medium tree, growing to about 8m tall and has a neat, proportionate spread of about 4m. This tree forms a columnar, neat shape and it has bronzy spring foliage that also gives great autumn colour. Prunus pendula f. ascendens ‘Rosea’ , Prunus, cherry tree, Rosea, ornamental cherry, blossom tree, spring blossom, blossom, tree, garden, gardening, RHSAGM, Perfectplants.co.uk, Prunus pendula f. ascendens ‘Rosea’ has an upright, vase-shaped form, despite the tree being part of the pendulous range of Prunus.   Reaching a similar height is the graceful, pendulous form of Prunus pendula f. ascendens ‘Rosea’ (above). The branches have the most unusual upright form, despite this tree being part of the pendulous range of Prunus. The vase-shaped tree grows to around 8m with a similar spread.  The single, shell-pink flowers open from red buds in mid spring. Prunus 'Shirofugen', flowering cherry, ornamental cherry, cherry tree, cherry, tree, garden, gardening, blossom, spring blossom, rhsagm, perfectplants.co.uk, A spreading small cherry tree, Prunus 'Shirofugen', has glorious double pink flowers. Some flowering cherry trees spread outwards more than they grow upwards and Prunus 'Shirofugen' (above) is one example of these.  It’s a glorious flowering cherry that matures as a small to medium sized tree. Its maximum height is around 8m, with a spread of 10m. So, it needs space to stretch out its branches. This will enable a great view of the pale pink double blossom. Beautiful. Prunus 'Ukon, ukon, prunus, cherry, tree, cherry tree, prunus cherry, blossom tree, blossom, flowers, white blossom, rhsagm, perfectplants.co.uk, spring, garden, gardening, Prunus 'Ukon' has white, semi-double flowers with glorious magenta centres in spring. Another similarly shaped ornamental cherry is the fabulous Prunus 'Ukon' (above) with its white, semi-double flowers which have glorious magenta centres in spring. The flowering cherry tree grows to a small to medium height of up to 8m, with a spreading shape extending to about 10m.

Diminutive ornamental cherries

Need something a little smaller? There are many people who have small gardens or even courtyards and there's no reason why they shouldn't enjoy a blossom-fest too! Prunus 'Shogetsu', blushing bride, prunus, cherry tree, flowering cherry, ornamental cherry, spring blossom, blossom tree, flowers, spring, prunus, cherry, tree, gardens, gardening, rhsagm, It's easy to see why this flowering cherry has the name of 'Blushing Bride'! More correctly, Prunus 'Shogetsu', is highly popular because of the blousy flowers, white blushed with pink. Consider Prunus ‘Shogetsu’ (above) which is also called ‘Blushing Bride’ because of its wonderful white double flowers which are blushed with pink. It grows to a height of around 5m, with a wider spread of up to 8m. It could create a rather charming canopy in a courtyard. Always consider the root growth, however. Raised beds provide an option for those without much space. Prunus 'Yoshino', Yoshino, Yoshino cherry, cherry tree, flowering cherry, ornamental cherry, blossom tree, blossom, flowers, weeping tree, weeping, pendulous, cherry, prunus, tree, spring flowers, garden, gardening, rhsagm, perfectplants.co.uk, Prunus ‘Yoshino’ is often called the Yoshino cherry and also the weeping Yoshino. It's a rather fine, weeping tree with single white or very pale pink flowers. Then there’s Prunus ‘Yoshino’ (above), often called the Yoshino cherry and also the weeping Yoshino. It's a pendulous, weeping tree with single white or very pale pink flowers.  This small tree reaches a height of up to 5m. Ideal for a small space, you could even put a seat underneath in readiness for a shady retreat in summer! Prunus 'Pendula Rubra', Rubra, weeping cherry, small tree, cherry, cherry tree, prunus, flowering cherry, ornamental cherry, garden, gardening, rhsagm, weeping, pendulus, plant a tree, spring blossom, pink, blossom, blossom tree, perfectplants.co.uk, The small, weeping cherry, Prunus 'Pendula Rubra', has drooping branches and it reaches a maximum height of only 4m, with a similar spread. Ideal for even a courtyard and some people even manage to grow these trees in large pots. Smaller still is the tiny 'Pendula Rubra' (above), a drooping, flowering cherry which is diminutive in size, reaching a maximum height of only 4m, with a similar spread. Ideal for even a courtyard and some people even manage to grow these trees in large pots. The size can be contained with careful pruning. It produces lovely, single, deep pink flowers in spring which are a delight to insects as well as to the eye. DON'T DELAY! Plant your spring blossom tree now and you might still be able to enjoy the fluffy spring show! You can view even more flowering cherries here: Perfectplants.co.uk