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COTONEASTER CORNUBIA – Red Berried Tree Cotoneaster
One of the few tree species in the large Cotoneaster family, Cotoneaster 'Cornubia' is particularly useful in the garden thanks to being semi-evergreen (at least in milder areas). It holds onto a good smattering of its rich green, long oval leaves throughout the winter, albeit rather sparsely by March.
Cornubia will grow quickly to a maximum of 8m (25ft) but no more, with a wide head. Late spring/early summer sees the emergence of clusters of creamy-white flowers, which develop into abundant red berries in autumn. Meanwhile the foliage takes on hints of bronze, making a beautiful seasonal display.
In addition to being a handsome and useful garden tree, the flowers are great for pollinators and the berries are loved by birds.
Where to grow
Cotoneasters are easy to grow, doing best in ideal conditions of fertile sandy loams, but adapting even to poor soils as long as they are not marshy or waterlogged.
This tree type Cotoneaster is particularly useful as a screening tree in small gardens, especially due to its spreading crown, though it has an upright habit at first.
Did you know?
The Cornubia variety is probably a complex hybrid of Cotoneaster frigidus and Cotoneaster salicifolius, which was raised at Exbury in Hampshire in the 1930s, popular ever since.
- Small - 5-10 metres
- 5-10 metres
Shape / Habit
- All soil types
- Full sun
- Partial shade
Difficulty / Hard to Grow
Evergreen / Deciduous
- Early to Leaf
- Small leaves
- Late to drop leaves
Berries / Fruit Colour
- Garden Tree
- Small garden Tree
- City/Urban Sites
- Used for Pleaching
- Bird Food
- Bee Friendly
- Flower Arranging
- Scented Flowers
Pruning Cotoneaster Cornubia
Cotoneaster cornubia can be left to develop naturally, or the stem can be cleaned up to encourage a bushy crown to develop. Remove congested lateral stems to reduce stress in maturity. It is possible to renovate the tree with hard pruning spread over a couple of years.
It is possible to pleach or wall train Cotoneaster cornubia. Tie in the leader and lateral stems to your framework, removing any that are growing outwards and cannot be easily secured. Repeat this process annually in winter, and when the leader reaches the desired height train this laterally also.
What time of year should I prune? Hard prune in winter. Light pruning can be done after flowering in spring (at the expense of berries).
For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.
The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water. It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree. In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.
One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass. When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree. It is vital that for at least 3 years after planting your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one metre wide completely free of grass.
- Mulch mats are an effective way to stop grass and weeds, although they will require a careful eye to make sure they continue to work. After clearing the ground around the tree, firmly fit the mat by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this. Be careful not to allow the woodchip to touch the stem as it can cause rot.
- Weed killer is very effective, however it is harmful to the environment. Organic weed killers usually do not kill roots. Weed killer needs to be applied each year for the first 3 years, preferably when the tree is dormant, or just once before applying a mulch mat.
- Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem. Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.
If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree. Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm. The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots. Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.
Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.
- 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
- 100/125, 125/150 1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
- 150/175 1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
- 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
- All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.
Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping. These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens. Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.
Protection from Animal Damage
Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees. Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge. Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.
Are the delivery costs the same no matter how many plants I order?
Yes the delivery costs are the same no matter how many plants you have on your order. They are worked out based on your distance from our nursery and can be found here.