Prunus serrula Tibetica - Birch Bark Cherry Tree


Prunus serrula tibetica, or Birch Bark Cherry as it is commonly known, is a tree that is prized for its ornamental red-brown bark. This tree also boasts willow-like leaves and small, cherry-like fruits.

This really is a fantastic tree for year-round interest, as the deep mahogany-coloured bark glistens throughout all seasons. The bark, which peels away in bands with age, makes a really attractive feature in winter as the deep coppery-brown colour stands out in a sleeping winter garden.

This is, of course, a flowering cherry tree, so it does have a blossom is spring: the flowers are small, white in colour and are present in April. The bark is by far the most notable feature of this tree, so this is not the choice if you’re after a profusely flowering tree. The deep green leaves are willow-like and cover the tree in spring, summer, before turning yellow in autumn. Autumn also sees the arrival of the small, cherry-like fruits, which are a great natural bird feeder.  

This handsome tree was the worthy winner of the RHS' Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 2002, but it was first introduced to the UK back in 1908 by Ernest Wilson. Wilson brought the Tibetan cherry tree over from China and it has been a popular choice since its arrival.

This tree needs a sunny spot in the garden for it to really thrive. We would strongly recommend planting it alongside the stunning Betula ‘Snow Queen’, so that the glistening white bark of the ‘Snow Queen’ can contrast beautifully with the deep mahogany sheen of the ‘Tibetica’. This tree also works well when planted as a lawn specimen and, to really set it off in winter, you could add lights to the tree and enjoy the glossy bark being highlighted by the twinkle of the lights.

Common Name: Birch Bark Cherry Tree
Latin Name: Prunus serrula 'Tibetica'
Soil: Tolerates most soil types
Position: Full sun
Flowering period/colour: May/White
Hardiness: Fully hardy
Height/spread in 20 years: 5m x 4m
Special features: Beautiful polished mahogany-like bark.

Here at Mail Order Trees, we want our customers to buy with confidence, which is why we offer a 2 year guarantee on all of our trees. Whilst we do thoroughly inspect all of our trees before dispatch, we do understand that sometimes trees can fail through no fault of your own. If we believe that your tree has failed due to an innate problem with the tree then we will replace it if it has failed within the 2 year period. Please note that the trees will not be covered under the guarantee if they have been neglected in some way, i.e by a lack of watering or by being planted in unsuitable conditions. 
If your tree starts to show signs of failure, for example if the leaves unexpectedly go brown, please contact us as early as possible and we can advise you on a course of action which could prevent eventual failure of the tree. 

In order to assess the problem or the cause of the failure, we require photos to be emailed to us: please send us a picture of the tree overall (including the soil) and a close-up of the problem. Please email

If you have any questions then you can of course call us on 0800 066 5972, but please note that we will always need to see photos of the tree in order to advise a course of action or send out a replacement. 

Here at Mail Order Trees, getting your trees and plants to you quickly and in perfect condition is our top priority. A great feature of our specially designed cardboard boxes is that they are 100% recyclable, which will help to reduce your carbon footprint even further. We have a standard flat rate charge of £7.95 per consignment (including VAT) to England and Wales so the more you buy, the more you save! Prices for Scotland, Grampian, the Highands can be found in the checkout area. Unfortunately we are unable to ship to any other locations aside from these. This means we do not ship to Isle of Wight, Channel Islands, Northern Ireland/Ireland and any Scottish Islands. 

Our current delivery time is up to 7 - 10 working days but as our recent testimonials show, we normally manage to exceed our customer expectations. Please take the time to fill out the special instructions box in the checkout area with the details of a neighbour or safe place that your trees can be left. Every effort will be made to make deliveries in this time or on a date requested by you. Mail-Order-Trees cannot be held responsible for delayed deliveries due to factors beyond our control such as Public Holidays or adverse weather conditions which make it impossible to lift bare-rooted trees. In cases such as these, you will be notified.

We can only deliver to physical addresses and not to PO boxes. A complete address including correct postcode must be provided. Incorrect postcodes cause more delays than omitting the postcode altogether. Mail-Order-Trees cannot be held responsible for orders not received if an incorrect address is provided. It will also be necessary to give us details of where to place items should you be out when the delivery arrives. Mail-Order-Trees cannot be responsible for items lost if we have followed your instructions. A contact telephone number can also be very useful to our courier.


Slot Pots

Slot Pot

We have now started using a new type of pot with many of our trees, and these new containers are called 'slot pots'. This type of pot is much better than the conventional container because it is specifically designed to stop the roots from spiraling in the pot, and thus preventing the tree from becoming pot bound. The slot pots create a healthy root system that is perfect for re-planting, which therefore encourages your newly-planted trees to settle into their new environment.




 The air slots encourage roots to grow in a different way by 'air pruning' them

Healthy Rootsthrough the slots, so when the roots grow outside

of the pot they become dehydrated which results in them producing more of the

finer fibrous roots inside the pot. The increase in the fibrous roots means that

the trees can soak up more water and more nutrients, which encourages growth.




 Another benefit of these pots is that the slots facilitate good drainage all around the pot, and this is particularly important if you wanted to use the pots for hardwood cutting propagation.

We are now using slot pots with the majority of our larger trees and we are gradually replacing all of the conventional pots with the new slot pots.