Another in the line of unusual County Kerry natives, the lovely Strawberry Tree (Latin name Arbutus Unedo) has much to commend it all year round. Most of the Strawberry Trees grown in the UK are more likely to be medium sized shrubs rather than specimen trees.
The strawberry tree is slow growing so it works well in smaller gardens. It is an evergreen shrub with attractive green foliage offset against an unusual reddish brown bark. The Strawberry Tree produces little white flowers and strawberry shaped fruits, which are red when ripe and very attractive to look at. These fruit are relatively large, about the size of an average strawberry in fact.
We are very often asked whether these fruit are edible. The answer is yes they are. They do not have a strong flavour however and can be quite bland. Perhaps it’s best to leave them to the birds, who find them delicious.
The flowers which appear in autumn and early winter are sweetly scented and provide pollen for bees and other pollinating insects at a time of the year when nectar can be scarce.
Arbutus Trees are UK hardy. You can plant them in full sun or partial shade, ideally with shelter from strong winds. Younger plants may need protection in extra harsher winters until they are more mature and hardier.
The Arbutus is a low maintenance shrub, naturally developing an attractive shape when left to its own devises so pruning is not necessary.
These plants have a nice bushy shape and are approximately 1 metre tall (excluding the pot). You can buy these plants online – we offer UK wide delivery.