Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Meet This Tree: Arbutus ‘Marina’ – Strawberry tree

Arbutus “Marina” also known as the Strawberry tree, has a wonderful bark, stunning flowers that bees love and fruit!

Arbutus ‘Marina’ – Strawberry tree is from the Family Ericaceae. The tree is a hybrid that was introduced to the Nursery Trade in 1984 by the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation.

The Arbutus ‘Marina’ is a very handsome evergreen tree with a broad canopy and dense foliage, native to the Mediterranean and some parts of Ireland.

The growth rate is moderate, the tree can reach a height of 50 feet with a width of about 40 feet.

The leaves are elliptic in shape, dark green, glossy with serrated edges.

The tree has an amazing looking trunk with a reddish to cinnamon-colored bark that peels away in layers in late summer exposing a smooth, lighter colored bark underneath.

The flowers hang down in clusters resembling the Lily of the Valley they are various shades of pink and white and attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. The tree tends to have both the flowers and mature fruit on it at the same time. The fruit can take up to 2 years to mature and looks like small rounded warty globes, they start green in color, turning yellow, orange and finally bright red at which point it becomes edible without much of a flavor though.

The tree does well in a 3-foot parkway, is drought tolerant once established, performs better in full sun, and can benefit from occasional pruning to shape it. It is not recommended for underneath power lines. The tree is resistant to Armillaria but susceptible to Anthractose, Scales, and Thrips.

The Arbutus can be planted both as a standard or multi-trunk form, this is a truly gorgeous tree but not very suitable as a street tree because the dropping of the ripe fruit on sidewalks is messy and slippery.

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Emina Darakjy
Emina Darakjy
Emina Darakjy is a past president of Pasadena Beautiful and is its present Tree Program Chair. Darakjy says she has always had a passion for trees and that she is involved with several other tree organizations such as California Re-Leaf, the Arbor Day Foundation, and American Forests. She is a past president of Street Tree Seminar Inc. and the present president of the California Urban Forests Council.

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