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Centre Court™ Cherry Laurel

Prunus caroliniana 'GRECCT'

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.

How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me

The Centre Court™ Cherry Laurel is an improved variety of the Carolina cherry laurel, with an upright, pyramidal form, growing to 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide within 10 to 15 years. It is a wonderful choice for barriers, screens and hedges in hot, dry regions, and for trimmed plants around your home or in your garden beds. In spring it has clusters of richly-perfumed white flowers, that make a bright show, and the glossy leaves are a light, rich green creating an attractive backdrop without the somber tones of some other types of evergreens.

  • Vigorous selection of the Carolina cherry laurel
  • Bright green evergreen foliage is sure to please
  • Perfumed white flowers in late winter and spring
  • Easily trimmed into hedges and barriers
  • Very resistant to heat and drought

Grow the Centre Court™ Cherry Laurel in full sun, partial shade or light full shade, in any ordinary garden soil that is not wet and often flooded. This plant is much more resistant to heat and drought than the European cherry laurel, and its flowers and fruit are important to native insects and birds. It has no significant pests or diseases, and it can be trimmed as often and as much as necessary. To keep flowers being produced, trim once a year only, immediately after the flowering period. For a tough, easy evergreen for difficult sites, it simply cannot be beaten.

Plant Hardiness Zones 7-10
Mature Width 15
Mature Height 30
Soil Conditions Well-Drained Soil
Sunlight Full Sun to Partial Shade
Drought Tolerance Good Drought Tolerance
Zones 7-10

In every garden, there is a need for tough, reliable plants that can be trimmed and pruned into screens, hedges, barriers, and backdrops to other plants. When that plant is also very shade tolerant, drought and heat resistant, has an excellent display of spring blooms, and carries handsome, durable, evergreen foliage, then it is sure to be a worthwhile plant to grow. The Cherry Laurel is widely grown for this purpose, but few gardeners realize that instead of growing that alien species, there is a wonderful native American equivalent available. That plant, the Carolina Cherry Laurel, is just as worthy of a place in the garden as its European equivalent, and the variety known as Centre Court™ Cherry Laurel, is a very superior selection, with prolific flowering and vigorous growth. Put it at the top of your list for durable evergreens for all shady or sunny parts of the garden.

Appearance

The Centre Court™ Cherry Laurel is a fast-growing bush, ultimately reaching 30 feet in height and 15 feet across. It is a more upright tree than the wild bush, which is often as wide as it is tall. Growing as much as 3 feet each year, it will only take 10 to 15 years to reach that size, making this a great tree for quick screening and developing larger hedges. If you have an unattractive view to hide, highway noise to reduce, or hot, dry winds to shelter from, then a barrier of the Centre Court Cherry Laurel will quickly create it for you. This plant can be pruned and trimmed as needed, and no matter how hard you trim, even back to a few bare branches, it will quickly re-sprout and grow as you want it to. 

The Centre Court Cherry Laurel has glossy evergreen foliage, with narrow, ellipse-shaped leaves 2 to 3 inches long. They are light green, so this plant stands out well in shade. If you crush a leaf its smells like maraschino cherries, which makes some people call it the ‘Dr. Pepper’ tree. The growth is naturally dense, and when trimmed it becomes even denser, so any screen is absolutely solid.  If you trim your plants regularly they will rarely flower, but if you only trim once a year, then in late winter or early spring you will be rewarded with bunches of sweetly-scented creamy-white flowers. These clusters are 2 or 3 inches long, and form among the upper leaves of the plant. Butterflies and bees love them, and this plant is important as a food plant for many native species of butterflies – another good reason to choose it over the European cherry laurel. As the flowers fade they turn into clusters of small ½ inch berries, which begin green and then become black by late summer and fall. These berries are bitter, and certainly not edible, but birds of all kinds, from songbirds to wild turkeys, love them, and they are a valuable fall and winter food for your local bird populations. 

Growing Centre Court Cherry Laurel Shrubs

The Centre Court Cherry Laurel grows well in full sun, in partial shade, and in full shade too, as long as it is not very dark, such as beneath large evergreen trees. This means that it can be grown successfully in most parts of your garden. It is much more heat and drought resistant (once established) than the regular cherry laurel, making it ideal for hot regions, and for poor soil that is often dry. It grows well in all kinds of soil, from sand to clay, and either acidic or alkaline – it doesn’t matter to this tough tree. It doesn’t suffer from pests or diseases, if the soil is well-drained. Trimming can be done at any time of year. If you want flowers, but not berries, trim as the flowers are fading, and if you don’t trim again that year, you should have a good crop of flowers every spring – and no berries.

History and Origins of Centre Court Cherry Laurels

The Centre Court Cherry Laurel is a selected, improved form of the Carolina cherry laurel, Prunus caroliniana. Different from the English laurel, (Prunus laurocerasus), often also called ‘cherry laurel’, both these plants are surprise relatives of cherry, peach, and apricot trees. The Carolina Cherry Laurel is found growing wild in the south-east, from North Carolina to Florida, and into Texas. The variety correctly called ‘GRECCT’ was developed and selected by Greenleaf Nursery Company, and it is sold with the trademarked name of Centre Court™ as part of Greenleaf’s Garden Debut® collection. Our plants are grown to the highest standard, and they are guaranteed to be this improved selection of the Carolina cherry laurel, recommended by no less than the eminent garden authority, Michael Dirr in his encyclopedic The Tree Book. The demand for this great plant is huge, and our stock will soon be gone, so place your order right away.

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Centre Court™ Cherry Laurel

Prunus caroliniana 'GRECCT'

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