The Q&A Archives: Purple Sand Cherry

Question: the Arbor Day Foundation web site had the purple sand cherry classified as a tree. My local nursery had them in stock, tagged
as shrubs. What gives? thanks for any info. les

Answer: Prunus cistena (purple leaf sand cherry) has a shrubby growth pattern, but with pruning, can be trained into a single-trunked tree. Prunus besseyi is the western sand cherry, and Prunus pumila is the dwarf sand cherry. All have similar growth habits and both the purple leaf sand cherry and the western sand cherry are generally used as shrubs, but can be pruned into trees. The dwarf sand cherry is always a shrub. Hope this clarifies things for you!

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