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  • Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana Tree
  • Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana Tree
  • Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana Tree
  • Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana Tree
Carefully Packaged UK Grown Trees

Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana Tree

Handkerchief Trees

from From £59.99 (ex. VAT)
( £71.99 (ex. VAT) inc. VAT)

This interesting small/medium sized tree is most well known for its astonishing, white, large bracts that hang like pinched handkerchiefs from its branches in May, hence the common name Handkerchief tree. The foliage is midsized, heart shaped and an attractive green colour, turning shades of orange and yellow in the winter. Young foliage is red/purple in the spring. Small, inedible pear shaped fruits are produced and in the spring the new foliage has a spicy, incense fragrance.

This tough ornamental tree will grow in most positions as long as it has moist, well drained soil and it is tolerant of pollution. Expect a height and spread of 6 x 4 metres in 20 years. It can take up to 10 years until this tree flowers but in our opinion it’s a very special tree and 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 (on behalf of wealthy garden owners in Cornwall) to collect seed in China for commercial production.

AKA Handerkerchief tree, Dove tree, Gentleman's pocket handkerchief tree, ghost tree, ladies handkerchief, Lady’s pocket handkerchief tree, pocket handkerchief tree, Davidia involucrata vilmoriniana

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Variety Root Type Height Now Form ? Price Qty Basket
Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana Tree Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana Tree
10L pot 150-200cm Pruned & Shaped £59.99 (ex. VAT)
Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana Tree Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana Tree
45L pot 175-200cm Multi-stem £219.99 (ex. VAT)
Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana Tree Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana Tree
45L pot 200-250cm Multi-stem £249.99 (ex. VAT)
Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana Tree Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana Tree
45L pot 2.5 - 3.0m Multi-stem £289.99 (ex. VAT)
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Delivery Timescales

Most deliveries are made within a week of placing the order (other than agreed pre orders) and many are despatched on the day we receive the order. There is a slightly longer delivery timescale on pleached trees or trees over 2.5m in height (all trees called Standard, Premium Standard, Heavy Standard, Extra Heavy Standard, Mature Trees or Pleached) because we have to group orders together into geographic areas for a specialist haulage contractor to deliver and this takes a bit of scheduling.

Gift trees and other trees required for arrival on a specific date can be accommodated with pleasure and at no extra charge. Although we really don't like to give ourselves wriggle room (because we so rarely need it!), we do have to say that we accept no legal responsibility for late deliveries.

The vast majority of trees are sent on a 'no signature required' basis, so there's no need to be in to receive your order. You can give us instructions on where to leave your delivery either via the checkout or send us a separate email. For some mature or pleached trees we may contact you in advance if the delivery driver needs help getting the tree/trees off the vehicle.

All trees are packed very carefully by our experienced team and delivered using couriers who've been tried and tested over many years.

Our nursery is a busy despatch centre and therefore customers need to make an appointment to collect or view trees.  For collections, despatch charges will be refunded.

Delivery Costs

Smaller trees/bushes have a delivery charge of £7.95 plus vat (excluding Highlands and Islands). Medium trees of a height of 1.5-2 metres have a delivery charge of £9.95 plus vat (excluding Highlands and Islands). Orders for multiple trees have a single delivery cost of £12.95 plus vat (excluding Highlands and Islands).

Mature trees and pleached trees are more expensive to deliver. Cost varies by postcode and is calculated in the check out process. You can buy more than one tree for the same delivery cost, so if you are purchasing a good number of trees it works out to be economical.

Highlands and Islands charges start from £29.95 plus vat and are calculated in the check out process.

Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Overseas Destinations

Our courier charges are not viable for just one or two trees, but if you have a larger requirement then please do speak to us and we'll see if we can find a solution.

Planting Advice for Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana trees

When planting Handerkerchief trees, it is important to prepare the planting area well. Pot grown Davidia trees can be planted at any time of the year. You will need to carry out the following to prepare your planting site.

Firstly, remove all weeds and grass within a metre of your desired planting hole then dig a hole as deep as your root mass and approximately 2x 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, we advise applying root grow (sprinkle in the hole for pot grown trees), especially if you have poor soil. 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 dry weather, water well and regularly for the first few months. The same goes for spring and summer planting. 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. Using a glyphosate based weed killer or installing mulch matting and bark chips will aid in this. 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.

Davidia Involucrata Vilmoriniana Tree (Handkerchief Trees) Description

  • Common name: Handerkerchief tree
  • Height and spread in 20 years: 6 x 4 meters
  • Seasons of interest: Spring, Autumn
  • Foliage: Heart-shaped green leaves turn orange and red in winter and emerges red/purple in spring
  • Soil: Prefers a moist, well-drained site any most soil types