Persian Ironwood Parrotia Persica

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Product Description

PARROTIA PERSICA – Persian Ironwood


Persian Ironwood originates from what used to be called Persia, now modern day Iran. As its name suggests, the wood it produces is almost indestructible. In its native habitat it can grow up to 12m (40ft) in height but in Britain it is often kept as a large bush. Even fully grown specimens retain something of a bush-like quality as they are often as wide as they are tall, and almost pyramidal in shape.

It is mainly planted for its autumn colour. As soon as the glossy green leaves begin to change colour a range of hues appear. Rich crimsons, brilliant yellows and warm ambers form a spectacular autumn sight.

Where to grow

Parrotia persica prefers a rich, fertile soil that does not dry out. Grow in a well-drained or moist but well-drained soil in sun or partial shade it is well suited to an open woodland setting or a sheltered spot away from cold, drying winds.

Did you know?

It is a close relative of the witch hazel (Hamamelis). Indeed, the Persian ironwood was previously classified as Hamamelis persica until it was discovered that its flowers do not have petals, as the witch hazel does. The new classification was named after the German naturalist Fredriech. W. Parrot who, in 1829, made the first modern ascent of Mount Ararat in Turkey by a Westerner. Mount Ararat is believed to be where Noah’s Ark came to rest on dry land after the flood.



Mature Height

Medium - 10-15 metres


5-10 metres

Shape / Habit


Growth Rate


Soil Type

Light sandy

Sun Levels

Full sun

Difficulty / Hard to Grow


Evergreen / Deciduous


Autumn Colour


Leaf Colour




Flower Colour


Flowering Month



Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
City/Urban Sites




Pruning Parrotia Persica

Parrotia Persica is best left to develop naturally. This is usually as a large shrub as the leader is often lost amongst multiple fast growing laterals. Attempts can be made to train a central leader, but it is not unusually successful.


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.

Weed Control

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 stay 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.

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