Columnar Sargent Flowering Cherry

Botanical Name: Prunus sargentii ‘Columnaris’

Alternate Name: Columnar Sargent Cherry, North Japanese Hill Cherry

The Columnar Sargent Flowering Cherry (Prunus sargentii ‘Columnaris’) is one of the hardiest flowering ornamental cherry trees. This cultivar is a beautiful, early blooming cherry with a narrow, columnar or vase-shaped form. It makes a great focal point tree in residential landscapes, growing to a height of 20-30 feet tall and 15-20 feet wide.

This Columnar Sargent Cherry has much to recommend it in every season – flowers in the spring, attractive leaves in the summer, bright color in the fall, and shiny, red bark in the winter to enhance the elegant silhouette.

The leaves are a glossy dark green, although they emerge in the spring with a bronze tint and darken as the growing season advances. Their shape is oblong to elliptical, reaching 5 inches long, and has serrated edges. In the fall, this tree puts on a beautiful display with orange-red leaves.

The flowers are pink and displayed in umbels containing 2 to 4 flowers. The flowers bloom before the leaves grow in. Fruits follow the flowers, and they are small, shiny, dark purple drupes (cherries) which ripen in early summer. They are very bitter but eaten by birds.

Columnar Sargent Flowering Cherry prefers to grow in full sun but dislikes extreme heat and humidity. It is tolerant of drought and clay soil. Birds are attracted to it, and it is suitable for planting in wildlife gardens.


Height: 20-30 ft.

Width: 15-20 ft.

Shape: Columnar, Vase shaped

Flower Color: Pink

Flowering Time: April

Fall Color: Red

Features: Showy spring flowers, attractive fall color, pretty red bark

Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade

Watering: Moderate & Regular

Soil: Prefers rich, acidic, well-drained soil. Tolerates clay and drought.

Growth Rate: Moderate

USDA Zones: 4-7

Uses: Accent tree, street tree, habitat tree, small shade tree, lawn tree

Similar trees: Prunus virginiana ‘Canada Red’ (Canada Red Chokecherry), Prunus serrulata 'Kwanzan' (Kwanzan Cherry), Prunus serrulata 'Amanogawa’ (Japanese Flagpole Flowering Cherry), Prunus serrulata ‘Mt Fuji’ (Mt. Fuji Flowering Cherry), Prunus x incamp 'Okame' (Okame Cherry), Prunus x yedoensis 'Akebono' (Akebono Cherry), Prunus x yedoensis 'Yoshino' (Yoshino Cherry)