Newport Plum (Prunus cerasifera ‘Newport’)

Newport Plum

  • Great Dark Purple Foliage Color
  • Fragrant Pale Pink Spring Flowers
  • Early Bloomer
  • Heat and Cold Hardy
  • Small Edible Fruit Loved by Birds

One of the hardiest Purpleleaf Plums, the Newport Plum (Prunus cerasifera ‘Newport’) is an important landscape ornamental tree with unique color. Imagine having a compact, tidy tree in your yard that maintains a deep, rich purple shade all summer long!

It thrives in the high heat and humidity of the Midwest, South, and Mid-Atlantic states. It’s also super cold hardy and low maintenance.

The bold color really draws the eye as a stand out against the typical ho-hum hues of summer foliage. The Newport Plum forms a dense rounded canopy, which makes a pleasing silhouette in the landscape.

Newport Plum will grace you with a lovely, early spring display earlier than most other trees. It literally leaps into spring with a copious bloom of delicate pink flowers. The flowers have a deliciously sweet scent.

The flowers are accented by the new bronze-purple leaves. The leaves deepen into dark purple by the middle of summer. In fall, the leaves finish a beautiful deep red. It’s a magnificent show all season long.

Although most people grow this tree for its ornamental features, it does develop small, edible fruit when planted together in groups. The fruits are small, which is why it’s nicknamed the “Cherry Plum” tree.

Just like Crabapples, you can use these fruits for jelly, or leave them for the birds to enjoy. They’ll love the yearly treat!

Single trees won’t produce much fruit. Even if you only plant one, local songbirds will still come for a visit. They love to nest in Newport Plum.

Newport Plum is an excellent choice for almost any landscape across much of the United States. It’s a cold hardy and heat tolerant, easy-care, deciduous tree. It’s not bothered by deer.

How to Use Newport Plum in the Landscape

Use this beautiful tree as a stand-alone specimen at the corner of your house in a sophisticated front yard foundation planting. It will easily ground the house to its surroundings and be a bold accent to boost your curb appeal.

You can easily trim off the lowest branches back to the main trunk. This creates a longer trunk and a higher canopy.

Or, leave those lower branches on for a lovely screen for a patio area. Plant it 10 feet away from concrete, so any fruits that the birds miss won’t cause any problem.

People even plant several along a curved line to create a small grouping in a raised berm. Try running several along the back of a mixed border. You’ll get a magnificent backdrop for bright flowering shrubs, perennials and annuals.

Because this Flowering Plum has a pleasing round canopy and dense foliage, it makes the perfect tree to block the afternoon sun. Plant it 15 feet away from a west or south-facing window.

Tips for Care

Newport Plum is a hardy tree requiring little maintenance. You can prune it in late summer or fall, if you’d like.

To use as a continuous hedge, leave the lower branches on. Plant these trees 8 to 10 feet apart, measuring from the trunk of one to the trunk of the next.

If you prefer to see each tree as an individual, simply increase the spacing to 10 to 12 feet apart.

Newport Plum (Prunus cerasifera ‘Newport’) Details

Common name Newport Plum
Botanical name Prunus cerasifera 'Newport'
Hardiness zone 4-8
Growth rate Fast
Height 15 - 20 ft.
Width 15 - 20 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun
Moisture Low
Soil condition Widely Adaptable
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Flower color Pink and White
Leaf color Deciduous