Pleached Cornelian Cherry, Pleached European Cornel, Pleached Cornelian Cherry Dogwood

Pleached Cornus mas (Cornaceae)

pleached cornelian cherry cornus mas
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Pleached Cornus mas, also known as the Cornelian Cherry or Dogwood produces a beautiful early blossom in February/March which completely covers the tree in small yellow flowers. This slow growing tree has glossy green leaves which turn orange to red in the autumn. Just imagine a line of these trees in full bloom.

  • Deciduous
  • Hi and Low pleached options
  • Also available as block on stem, box head trees, multistem, tall standard
  • Stem girth from 12-14cm up to 20-25cm, occasionally bigger available but they need booking in advance
  • Various stem heights and frame sizes available
  • Trained on frame in pleached form for 1-6 years
  • Available as freshly pleached trees while stocks last
  • Available in pots and containers, cocoa rootball or rootball
  • Nationwide delivery service by articulated lorry, smaller vehicle by prior arrangement
acer parasol trees in the nursery

Here are some examples of trees currently available. Click any image to enlarge or to send an enquiry about that specific plant.


Cornelian Cherry, European Cornel, Cornelian Cherry Dogwood – Cornus mas (Cornaceae)

The name Cornelian Cherry is rather misleading. This flowering shrub or small compact tree is not a cherry but part of the Dogwood family, specifically Cornaceae. Popular as an ornamental plant due to its compact nature and year-round interest, this 5-6m tall plant responds extremely well to being managed in a formal manner as pleached trees, arches, multi stem roof/umbrella trees, hedge plants, columns and blocks on stem. It is native to scrub and open woodland in Central and Southeastern Europe and also parts of Southwestern Asia. Prior to 1548 there are no know records of this tree in the UK, but it is claimed by 1551 William Turner heard of one at Hampton Court Palace. It is now natralised and found in gardens across the United Kingdom.

An early bloomer, in February/March it produces an abundance of small yellow flowers with four yellow petals, in clusters of up to 25. They burst to life, covering the reddish-brown branches and greenish twigs. Dark green glossy leaves measure 10cm long and 2-4cm wide, shoot to life shortly after this fabulous floral display, producing a dark, dense, ovate to round canopy. Short stalked, pendulous, shiny red, edible berries with a single seed, up to 2cm long, ripen on the plant in mid to late summer. The fruits are not widely used in the UK but in Eastern Europe, once the fruit have fallen to the ground and ripened further, turning a dark ruby red/bright orange, they are collected and used in jam/preserves, distilling vodka, added to cold drinks and even used for traditional medicine.

This tree tolerates shady sites reasonably well (much like Carpinus), but it doesn’t like to have its root plate covered by hard landscaping, so it needs to be positioned accordingly. It doesn’t tolerate soil compaction, but it does tolerate most soil conditions. The climatic conditions experience in the British Isles are ideally suited to this tree. It shows good wind and frost resistance and provides food for birds. Available as clear stem trees, feathered trees, hedge plants, specimen shrub, columns, archways, block on stem, Hi & Low pleached trees, multi-stem roof trees and multi-stem umbrella. Available as rootball plants in the winter months, potted stock available while stocks last and cocoa rootball can be arranged for delivery throughout summer period by prior arrangement.

Planting advice for Pleached trees, Freshly Pleached trees, Espalier trees and Freshly Espaliered trees.

An important consideration when planting pleached or espalier trees in a straightfreshly pleached trees ready to be planted line is the slope of the ground. Pleached or Espalier trees look their best when they are planted on flat or gently sloping ground. Doing so will line up the frames and stems and creating effect of one continuous line when viewed at all angles. Even on a gradual slope this effect can be achieved. However, with a slope of more than 10-12 degrees, it may be necessary to step the trees/frames when planting (the frames on freshly pleached trees can be manipulated to account for a sharper slope of perhaps 15 degree if necessary).

To create a good visual effect, it is important to line up the stems and frames (unless you are planting them in a circle or semi-circle). To start off the planting holes should measure roughly double the width of the rootball or pot….

Read our full planting guide here

How are Pleached Trees made?

freshly pleaching trees on framePleached trees or screen trees start life as a seedling or cutting, much like any other tree, being repotted or replanted a number of times in their formative years. They grow happily on the nursery with hundreds or even thousands of other trees. When the time is right, highly skilled nurserymen and woman go out into the field amongst the trees with tags in hand and pick the very best trees for pleaching. The criteria for choosing the best trees for training includes, selecting those with the straightest stems, healthy root stock and appropriately spreading and uninform crowns. Once tagged and lifted the trees are loaded onto trailers and sent to potting sheds for training. Read our full guide to pleaching trees here

Delivery varies depending on:lifting large plants over a house

  • How many trees you require
  • If you want us to plant them
  • Accessibility of the site
  • If any need sourcing
  • The seasonal ability to lift or plant specific species

    Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements.

We Have Many More Pleached Species Available

Read more about pleached trees or click on a particular species below.


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