Winter Fashion

Multi-stem Trees & Shrubs - Adding a New Dimension to Design 

Multistem trees and shrubs have been steadily growing in popularity over the last few years. There is more diversity of product on offer than ever before which means that you can really be adventurous with designs. Below are just some of the trees and shrubs that are available as multistems, some of which are recognized favourites and some more unusual ones.

Amelanchier lamarckii


Amelanchier lamarckii (June Berry) is recognized as one of the best multi-stems on the market. It naturally creates a fantastic multi-stemmed form that compliments most garden situations. Beautiful white flowers are produced in spring followed by edible berries in the autumn. Glorious fiery autumnal colours adorn its branches throughout October making Amelanchier lamarckii one of the true highlights of autumn.

A naturally small tree/large shrub, achieving 5-8m in height, Amelanchier lamarckii is a must have for any garden.

Betula utilis var.jacquemontii


Betula 'Jacquemontii' (West Himalayan Birch) is one of the most popular multi-stem trees. Its vivid white bark shines out on a cool winters day and becomes a feature of any winter garden. It can look fantastic when under planted with winter & spring bulbs, especially those that contrast or compliment the bark colour.
Betula 'Jacquemontii' is available in a huge range of sizes.

There are also other species/cultivars of Betula available as multi-stems such as Betula nigra and Betula albosinensis var.septentrionalis. All have their own individual value in a garden such as peeling bark and white or orange/brown trunks.

Photinia x fraseri 'Red Robin'


Photinia x fraseri 'Red Robin' is a versatile plant lending itself to tree forms, traditional shrubs and most impressively, multi-stems. It has a maximum height of around 4m so can be trained and maintained as a real statement piece for a medium to large garden. It responds well to clipping and is happy in full sun or partial shade.

There are a wide variety of multi-stem shrubs available which can give you the design impact of a multi-stem tree but without the height. Many of these are also evergreen, such as Osmanthus x burkwoodii, so provide all year round interest often combined with attractive flowers.

Prunus serrula

November 2015

Along with Betula 'Jacquemontii' Prunus serrula (Betula Bark Cherry) is one of the most sought after multi-stems. Its dramatic red, peeling bark is a beautiful site in winter and, as with Betula 'Jacquemontii', it contrasts well with winter and spring bulbs. Small white flowers appear in spring as the leaves begin to emerge which are followed by small fruits,  cherry-like in nature.

Prunus serrula will reach around 10m in height and spread and so is perfect for small to medium size gardens.

There are also many Prunus species/varieties that make fantastic multi-stems and provide a different appeal to Prunus serrula. Many of these Prunus have abundant flowers in the spring, beautiful autumn foliage and varying leaf colour in the summer. Prunus 'Kanzan, 'Royal Burgundy' and 'Shirotae' are three of the best.