Strawberry tree, a surprising fruit

The strawberry tree is a remarkable shrub thanks to its fruits and cute berries that are shaped like strawberries.

Summary of Strawberry tree facts

Name – Arbutus unedo
Family – Ericaceae
Type – shrub

Height – 6 ½ to 16 feet (2 to 5 meters)
Exposure – full sun, part sun
Soil – ordinary

Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – August to November
Harvest – August to November

Planting, pruning and caring for your strawberry tree will ensure the proper development of your shrub.

Planting a strawberry tree

Flowers of the strawberry treeFall is the best season to plant a strawberry tree but you can still plant it without dire consequence until spring, as long as you are able to avoid frost spells.

  • Strawberry trees like being planted in a well-lit place.
  • It can tolerate any type of soil, but grows best if it is well drained.
  • The strawberry tree tolerates cold down to 10°F (-12°C) but appreciates being somewhat sheltered from winds.

For hedges, space the trees at least 32 inches (80 cm) apart.

Pruning and caring for a strawberry tree

Very easy to care for, the strawberry tree grows quickly when properly settled in and requires almost no care.

Pruning your strawberry tree

Spring is when strawberry trees are pruned.

Avoid pruning in fall, because you would be pruning off the magnificent berries that form and stay on the tree over winter.

Watering your strawberry tree

Strawberry trees are shrubs that don’t require much water, except for specimens grown in pots.

  • Watering is recommended for a potted strawberry tree in summer.

Harvest and use of Strawberry tree berries

The berries are harvested when very mature, which is to say very red and slightly giving to the touch.

They are used to make jam as well as syrup and liquor. When eaten raw, strawberry tree berries don’t really have a significant taste.

Learn more about the strawberry tree

Branches of the strawberry tree loaded with fruit.The strawberry tree, with scientific name Arbutus unedo, is a very beautiful shrub that offers beautiful edible fruit after the blooming.

Its scientific name Arbutus unedo, means  “one-time shrub” in latin.

Easy to care for, it adapts to all soil types, either in beds or in hedges, or in pots or garden boxes for a terrace.

You may plant it as a standalone and also as part of a hedge to decorate your hedge in winter thanks to its ornamental berries.

The strawberry tree is also a tree that boasts beautiful bark that comes of in long, vertical slabs of different colors.

Perfect to decorate a winter garden!

Bark of the strawberry tree peels off to reveal new yellow underbark.

Strawberry tree diseases and treatments

Smart tip about strawberry trees

No need to add any fertilizer, but it is a good idea to mulch the base of the tree to avoid weed growth in summer and protect roots when winters are cold.

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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Red and yellow berries by Anne & Saturnino Miranda ★ under Pixabay license
Strawberry tree flowers by Marc Pascual ☆ under Pixabay license
Strawberry tree bark by Pixel2013 ★ under Pixabay license
Branches with fruit by Luisella Planeta Leoni ★ under Pixabay license