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Rare & Unusual

Davidia involucrata Vilmoriniana Tree

Handkerchief Trees
  • £50 (inc VAT)
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Davidia involucrata Vilmoriniana is most well known for its astonishing large, white bracts that hang like pinched handkerchiefs from its branches in May, hence the common name of Handkerchief tree. These can be followed by small, inedible pear shaped fruits. The attractive, heart shaped foliage emerges purple-green and has a spicy, incense fragrance. Green in summer, the leaves turn shades of orange and yellow in autumn.

This interesting small/medium sized ornamental tree will grow to a height and spread of 6 x 4 metres in 20 years. It's a tough tree, being tolerant of pollution and growing in most positions as long as it has moist, well drained soil. Whilst it can take up to 10 years until this tree flowers, we think it’s completely worth the wait!

A little bit of history for those interested! The plant hunters' search in the middle of the 19th century was most fiercely fought over this tree and it is named after a French missionary/botanist Father David (he was also the first European to report a sighting of a panda!). 37 seeds were sent back to France but only one tree grown from those seeds flowered. Horticultural practices improved in the following decades and in 1899 "Chinese" Wilson was sent on behalf of the Veith Nurseries of Exeter to collect seed in China for commercial production.

AKA Davidia involucrata var. Vilmoriniana, Handkerchief tree, Dove tree

  • Common name: Handkerchief tree
  • Awards: RHS Award of Garden Merit
  • Height and spread in 20 years: 6 x 4 meters
  • Seasons of interest: Spring, Autumn
  • Foliage: Heart-shaped leaves emerge purple, turn green in summer and orange-red in autumn
  • Soil: Prefers a moist, well-drained site any most soil types

Planting Advice for Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana trees

Pot grown Handerkerchief  trees can be planted at any time of the year. Prepare the area well before planting them by carrying out the following.

First, remove weeds and grass within a metre of your desired planting hole. Dig a hole as deep as the root mass and approximately twice as wide. We recommend digging a square hole as this encourages the roots to grow straight as opposed to around, inside the hole. To help your tree establish more effectively, apply root grow (sprinkle in the hole for pot grown trees).

Gently loosen the roots and place into the planting hole. If your soil is poor, mix 50% of the original soil with 50% high quality compost, fill in the hole and firm around gently. Make sure not to bank the soil up around the collar of the tree as this can cause problems.

We recommend planting any ornamental tree with a stake and tie. To see how to use a tree stake and tie, watch our informational how to videos.

Aftercare Advice for Handerkerchief trees

If you’re planting in spring, summer or dry weather, water well and regularly for the first few months. Make sure to keep an eye on your young tree and increase watering if there are extended periods of hot or dry weather. If you’re planting in autumn, you may only need to water your tree a little. We also stock a range of irrigation kits, suitable for a variety of planting schemes.

Once planted, it is important to keep the area free of competing weeds and grass for the first couple of growing seasons. Do not simply mow the grass around the area as this will only encourage it to grow more vigorously. If you know your area is prone to rabbits, we would advise using a rabbit guard.

Pruning Advice for Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana trees

Dove trees do not require regular pruning. If you wish to tidy up your Gentleman's pocket handkerchief tree, do this during the dormant season. Focus on removing any damaged, diseased or overcrowded branches. If you require a clear trunk, remove any side shoots to help raise the crown.

Delivery Costs

*Free delivery promotion excludes mature trees, extra large kits and delivery to Highlands or Islands. Discount applies at checkout.

  Small/medium trees & shrubs

Select semi-mature trees & shrubs

All other mature trees
Mainland UK ex. Scottish Highlands £8 for any quantity £35 for 1-4 trees From £55 for any quantity
Scottish Highlands & the Islands From £30    
Outside Mainland UK Currently we are unable to deliver outside of Mainland UK

Delivery Times

Next Day Despatch
We will always try to get your plants to you as quickly as possible.  For many of our trees and plants, if you order today we will despatch your order within 24 hours.  We are constantly adding to our range of next day plants, and we do not add a surcharge for this service. Click here to see our next day delivery plants.

Standard Delivery
We have one of the widest range of trees in the UK, and for those plants which we cannot despatch next day we will normally despatch within 4 weeks. The despatch time for different products will be confirmed when products are added to your shopping basket

Pre-orders
We will only want to deliver your orders when they are perfect for planting! Depending on the season and how well the plants are growing, we will give our best estimates of the despatch dates for pre-orders.  These dates may vary and by species and while we will always try to deliver within these timeframes if the expected despatch does change then we will notify you by email.

Special Orders
Orders containing pleached or mature trees (trees over 2.5m in height) are delivered within 3 weeks. They require specialist delivery and are grouped geographically. Any customers ordering pleached or mature trees will be contacted and notified of their delivery date.

If your trees are required by a specific date, please let us know as soon as possible; while we can’t offer any guarantees we will always do our best to accommodate you. You can leave instructions in the notes field on the Delivery Page of the Checkout or send us an email at [email protected].

Please note that orders are shipped once all the trees in the order are ready.

Collections
Collections are by appointment only at our West Yorkshire-based nursery. If you would like to place an order for collection, please get in touch before placing your order. You will not be charged a delivery cost for a collection and any delivery cost that has been applied will be refunded.

The product table at the bottom of the page gives the forms and sizes available for this variety. Please note, photos are a guideline as all plants are unique. *Pot sizes may vary. Below are definitions of terms:

Supplied Size: Height measured from the top of the pot.

Single Stem tree: Classic tree with one trunk, pruned for a beautiful, natural shape.

Top grafted tree: A height next to this form refers to the length of clear stem, which will not grow taller. Only the head of branches will develop. Ideal for small spaces.

Feathered tree: Branches from the bottom of the trunk all the way up. These branches can be removed if a clear stem is required.

Multi Stem tree: Two or more stems arising from or near ground level, growing from one root system.

Bush: A plant with many stems low down, rather than one clear stem.

Clump: Several plants in one pot that give the appearance of a bushy multi stem tree.

Climber: Naturally climbing plant. Usually delivered running up a cane, ready to position in the garden.

Standard Tree: A more mature tree with an upright clear stem of approximately 1.8m-2.0m (measured from the soil to the lowest branches of the crown). Standards are available in different forms relating to their girth size (circumference of the stem measured 1m above soil level), not height.

 

Plant Specification Root type Supplied Size Form Price Quantity Qty
Davidia involucrata Vilmoriniana Root type: 4L pot* Supplied Size: 60-90cm Form: Single Stem Tree Davidia involucrata Vilmoriniana Price £50 (inc VAT)
4L pot* 60-90cm Single Stem Tree £50 (inc VAT)
1
Total: £0 (VAT Free)
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