Trinity Tree of the Month – Japanese Cherry

Posted on: 27 March 2024

This month we are featuring one of Trinity’s most photographed trees, our famous Japanese Cherry tree, or Prunus ‘Shogetsu.’   Its Latin name means moonlight on the pines, or pine tree, in Japanese.

Trinity Tree of the Month – Japanese Cherry

This tree is also known as oku miyako, or blushing bride, and is considered by many to be one the most beautiful flowering cherry trees. This tree was planted in Trinity’s Rose Garden around 1975 and is a hybrid cultivar of Prunus serrulata.

Currently, this tree measures 12.5 m in height, has a girth of 180 cm and a canopy spread of 16 m. It has an estimated carbon storage of 618 kg. Unfortunately, the canopy spread is not completely even because the roadside must be kept pruned back to facilitate access.

This tree is characterised by its spectacular wide spreading branching habit and the large, semi-double flowers hanging in pendulous clusters on long stalks. The flowers start out as pale-pink when in bud and later open to be pure white.  

At the moment, the Estates and Facilities team are carefully monitoring and managing this tree to ensure its longevity as a fungal infection of Pholiota squarrosa was found at its base. Cherry trees have a life range of 50-70 years, although some live longer. Cherries should generally be pruned in summer to minimise risk from silver leaf diseases, when bacterial cankers are less prevalent and the plant tissues are most resistant.  

We invite you to visit Trinity’s Rose Garden, which is a secluded spot at the centre of campus. It is frequently used as a quiet, reflective space. It is especially associated with the memory of Professor of Botany David A. Webb (1912-1994). This tree comes into flower here in March or April, so keep an eye out for its stunning display of flowers.

Media Contact:

Katie Byrne | Public Affairs and Communications | | +353 1 896 4168