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Arbutus

Scientific name

Arbutus menziesii

Description

Arbutus is a beautiful, evergreen tree species that typically grows between 15 and 20 m in height. This plant may also be known by the common names Pacific Madrona, Bearberry, or Strawberry Tree. The bark is a distinctive cinnamon brown to reddish color and peels away in the summer. The leaves are alternately arranged, dark green colored, glossy, oval shaped, and have entire to finely toothed margins. The flowers are showy, fragrant, creamy white colored, bell shaped, appear in large clusters, and bloom between April and May. The fruits are showy, red to orangish colored berries that appear in clusters and ripen between September and October. The flowers are beneficial to pollinator species, including hummingbirds and bees. The food and habitat provided by this tree are beneficial to many wildlife species, including birds and small mammals. The roots are good for controlling erosion and stabilizing shorelines. It is easy to grow and is low maintenance. This is a popular ornamental/ landscape tree because of its attractive features. This plant does not do well when transplanted. This tree deposits lots of leaf litter and bark throughout the summer so should be planted away from patios and recreational areas.

Planting conditions

Arbutus grows best in dry to normal conditions with full sun exposure. It prefers well-drained sand, loam, or rock soil types. It is intolerant of wet, poorly drained areas. Established plants can tolerate drought and dry soil but young plants should be watered occasionally during hot summers. It is also tolerant of shallow rocky soil, acidic soil, and nutrient poor soil. This tree can be naturally found in dry open forests or on rocky slopes.

Details

  • Plant height:
    • Any
    • Over 3m
  • Moisture level:
    • Dry
    • Normal
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Rocky
  • pH:
    • Acidic
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
  • Eco Zone:
    • 2a
    • 2b
    • 3a
    • 3b
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
    • 7a
    • 7b
    • 8a
  • Plant type:
    • Tree
  • Height:
    • 20 m
  • Spread:
    • 3 m