Tree Hedge/Screen Shrub

Carolina Laurel Cherry

  • Prunus caroliniana
  • Lifeform: Tree, Hedge/Screen, Shrub
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Height: 10'-30'
  • Native: No
Carolina Laurel Cherry
Carolina Laurel Cherry

Carolina Laurel cherry, Carolina cherry, Laurel cherry

General Notes

Carolina Laurel Cherry is grown as an evergreen shrub or tree standard, favored for its shiny green foliage. However, the flower and fruit litter is a problem in paved areas, and it may reseed unwantedly. It withstands heat, dryness and wind, and is quite durable once established. Variety Compacta generally grows 8-10' tall. It may require regularly scheduled light top-trimming (but not necessarily shearing) of vigorous top shoots to maintain its height below 25'.

Has fragrant Flower.

Native to Southeastern United States.

Family: Rosaceae

Additional Common Names


Tree Characteristics

Compact and Erect or Spreading with a Low Canopy.

Conical or Oval Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 20 - 30 feet.

Width: 15 - 25 feet.

Growth Rate: 36 Inches per Year.

Longevity 50 to 150 years.

Leaves Lanceolate to Oblong, Glossy Medium Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Showy. Fragrant White. Flowers in Spring or Winter. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).

Black Drupe, Small (0.25 - 0.50 inches), fruiting in Winter, Spring or Summer.

Bark Dark Gray or Light Gray, Smooth.

Shading Capacity Rated as Dense in Leaf.

Litter Issue is Flowers and Wet Fruit.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones 5 - 24.

USDA Hardiness Zones 7 - 10.

Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.

Moist Soil.

Drought tolerant.

Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.

Highly Acidic to Slightly Alkaline Soil pH.

Salinity Tolerance is Moderate on Coast.

Seaside Tolerance is Good in Mild Zone.

Pests & Disease Information

Resistant to Oak Root Fungus. Susceptible to Scales, Fire Blight, Root Rot, Rust, Gummosis and Verticillium.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Branch Strength Rated as Medium.

Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.

Allergy and Poisonous Health Hazard.

Biogenic Emissions considered Low.

Fire Resistance is Favorable.

Attracts Birds and Bees.

Not Deer Palatable.

Special Uses & Values


Hedged or Topiary.

Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Prunus caroliniana Tree Record." 1995-2017. May 4, 2017.

Close-up Image

Carolina Laurel Cherry Prunus caroliniana

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