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ENH-665 Prunus caroliniana 'Monus': Bright 'N TightTM Cherry-Laurel1 Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson2 1. This document is ENH-665, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2006. Visit the EDIS Web Site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. 2. Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; Dennis G. Watson, associate professor, Agricultural Engineering Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville FL 32611. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Larry Arrington, Dean Introduction A dependable, easily grown, North American native, Cherry-Laurel is densely foliated with glossy, dark green, evergreen leaves and can probably reach 40 feet in height with a 25-foot spread, though it is often seen smaller when grown in the open. Cherry-Laurel will create a very dense screen or hedge with regular pruning but is also attractive when allowed to grow naturally into its upright oval, dense form. This cultivar is more compact and denser than the species. Properly trained to a central leader, the plant could make a good small to medium-sized street tree. The tree usually maintains a good central leader and small-diameter, strong lateral branches following one or two proper prunings before the tree is 8 to 10 years old. The species was widely planted in Texas until the severe drought of the early 1950s weakened them. Many of these weakened trees eventually died from borers. Figure 1. Middle-aged Prunus caroliniana 'Monus': Bright 'N TightTM Cherry-Laurel General Information Scientific name: Prunus caroliniana Pronunciation: PROO-nus kair-oh-lin-ee-AY-nuh
Prunus caroliniana 'Monus': Bright 'N TightTM Cherry-Laurel 2 Common name(s): Bright 'N TightTM Cherry-Laurel, Bright 'N TightTM Carolina Laurelcherry Family: Rosaceae USDA hardiness zones: 8A through 10A (Fig. 2) Origin: native to North America Invasive potential: weedy native Uses: urban tolerant; street without sidewalk; deck or patio; screen; hedge; container or planter; reclamation; trained as a standard; sidewalk cutout (tree pit); tree lawn 3-4 feet wide; tree lawn 4-6 feet wide; tree lawn > 6 ft wide; highway median Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the tree Figure 2. Range Description Height: 25 to 35 feet Spread: 15 to 25 feet Crown uniformity: symmetrical Crown shape: oval, round Crown density: dense Growth rate: moderate Texture: medium Foliage Leaf arrangement: alternate (Fig. 3) Leaf type: simple Leaf margin: entire, serrulate Leaf shape: oblong, lanceolate, elliptic (oval) Leaf venation: pinnate, brachidodrome Leaf type and persistence: broadleaf evergreen, evergreen, fragrant Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches
Prunus caroliniana 'Monus': Bright 'N TightTM Cherry-Laurel 3 Leaf color: green Fall color: no color change Fall characteristic: not showy Flower Flower color: white/cream/gray Flower characteristics: showy Fruit Fruit shape: round Fruit length: less than .5 inch Fruit covering: fleshy Fruit color: black Fruit characteristics: attracts birds; not showy; fruit/leaves a litter problem Trunk and Branches Trunk/bark/branches: branches don't droop; not showy; typically one trunk; thorns Pruning requirement: little required Breakage: resistant Current year twig color: brown Current year twig thickness: thin Wood specific gravity: unknown Culture Light requirement: full sun, partial sun or partial shade, shade tolerant Soil tolerances: sand; loam; clay; acidic; slightly alkaline; well-drained Drought tolerance: high Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate Other Roots: not a problem Winter interest: no Outstanding tree: no Ozone sensitivity: unknown Verticillium wilt susceptibility: susceptible Pest resistance: resistant to pests/diseases Figure 3. Foliage Figure 4. Fruit
Prunus caroliniana 'Monus': Bright 'N TightTM Cherry-Laurel 4 Use and Management In springtime, tiny, creamy-white showy flowers appear in dense, fragrant clusters and are followed by small, shiny, black cherries, which are quite attractive to wildlife. The flowers attract lots of bees. The great quantity of fruit may create a litter problem if the trees are located near a patio or walkway but the fruit is small and washes away quickly. The quick growth and ease of maintenance makes Cherry-Laurel ideal for naturalizing and for low maintenance gardens except that hundreds of seedlings can be found beneath the crown each year from germinating seeds. Of course, this would not be a problem in a street tree planting or in an area such as a lawn or highway median which is mowed regularly. Though the crushed leaves and green twigs of Cherry-Laurel give off a delicious maraschino cherry fragrance, they are quite bitter and possibly poisonous. Root systems are often quite shallow but usually they are not aggressive and do not cause problems. Preferring ample moisture while young, Cherry-Laurel is otherwise well-suited to sun or shade locations on any average, well-drained soil. Once established, it is saltand drought-tolerant, requiring little or no irrigation. Over-irrigating can cause chlorosis and decline. Do not plant in wet, soggy areas. The tree adapts well to soils with high pH. Clay soil is fine as long as water doesn't stand after it rains. The cultivar 'Compacta' has a very dense, compact habit of growth, to about 20 feet tall. Propagation is by cuttings. Pests This tree's pests include mites, borers, and caterpillars. Borers are troublesome on stressed trees. Diseases Leaf spot, fire-blight, and stem canker are diseases of this tree. It is difficult to grow in containers due to root rot and over-irrigation.