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Products > Arbutus 'Marina'
Arbutus 'Marina' - Marina Strawberry Tree

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Ericaceae (Heaths, Heathers)
Origin: Europe, Southern (Europe)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pink
Bloomtime: Year-round
Synonyms: [A. x andrachnoides Marina, A . glandulosa Marina]
Parentage: (Arbutus unedo x A. andrachne)
Height: 40-50 feet
Width: 25-40 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Arbutus 'Marina' (Marina Strawberry Tree) - A medium-sized evergreen tree, growing to 25-50 + feet tall with a broad dense crown. The tree's growth causes the older bark to peel away from the trunk and branches revealing the beautiful shiny red new bark underneath. The pendulous clusters of urn-shaped white-blushed-pink flowers are produced year-round along the coast with peaks in spring and fall. The flowers are followed by red gritty fruit that while technically edible, are not really that palatable. Plant in full to part day sun. It is considered to be "drought tolerant" but looks best with an occasional summer watering. Hardy to 15-20 degrees F with some tip damage on young plants with temperatures in the low 20's F. This beautiful tree is a bit messy for some as it drops flowers, fruit, spent inflorescences, twigs and sheading bark year round and its placement location in the garden should reflect this. We grow this tree both in a natural low branching form and trained up as a "Standard" that is high headed and useful in patios or for street tree use for images and information on the Standard plants see our listing at Arbutus 'Marina' (standard form). This tree is likely a selection of Arbutus x andrachnoides, sometimes called the Red Barked Strawberry Tree, that is a naturally occurring hybrid between two European trees, the Strawberry Tree, Arbutus unedo that is found in the British Isles south through western Europe and the Grecian (or Greek) Strawberry Tree , Arbutus andrachne, that can be found around the Mediterranean regions of southeastern Europe east to northern Iraq. Arbutus 'Marina' was named and introduced into the California nursery trade in 1984 by the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation from cuttings taken from a tree in the San Francisco garden of Carla and Victor Reiter, though the origin of this tree is a bit of a mystery. Mr. Reiter's tree, planted in his garden in 1944, had been acquired in 1933 when he was allowed to take vegetative cuttings from a boxed specimen at the Strybing Arboretum. The Strybing Arboretum, then under director Eric Walther, had purchased the boxed tree from the closing-down sale of Western Nursery on Lombard Street in the Marina District. Charles Abrahams, the owner of Western Nursery, was thought to have taken cuttings from various trees, including this one, that were sent from Europe for a horticultural display at the 1915 Pan Pacific International Exposition in Golden Gate Park. Unfortunately there is no documentation on where this tree came from but some speculate that it was sent to the Exposition by the Italian Government. Sadly, the original historic and beautiful specimen tree in the Reiter's garden began to fall over and was cut down in 2006. The tree in our nursery garden was planted in 1989 and was officially measured on July 24 2013 for inclusion on the California Big Tree Registry at 44 feet 10 inches tall with an average crown spread of 53 feet 5 inches wide and a trunk circumference of 108". We have sold this beautiful tree trained both as a natural low branched tree and as a single stemmed standard at our nursery since 1990.  The information on this page is based on our research that has been conducted on this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in the nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Arbutus 'Marina'.