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Prunus

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Bushes or ornamental cherry trees are remarkable for their spring flowering and decorative bark. The most spectacular species is Prunus serrula with mahogany-brown wood, whose bark peels off in long horizontal strips that curl up on themselves. Before the toothed leaves, the branches are covered with white or pink flowers, sometimes double. Growing quite quickly, flowering cherries are planted in any good, soft, rich, moist, well-drained garden soil, with compost added at planting. They grow under non-burning sun and sheltered from prevailing winds that can harm flowering. Pruning is limited to removing dead wood and balancing the branches in winter. Protection against diseases and parasites is the same as for fruiting cherries. Prunus can be used as standalone plants, free hedges, or background for flower beds, or in 40cm (16in) pots for dwarf varieties. To achieve a colourful effect almost all year round, associate them with spring and summer bulb flowers. 

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