Strawberry tree for Salem?

Asked September 27, 2018, 6:01 PM EDT

My daughter lives close to downtown Salem, Oregon and we would like to plant a Strawberry Tree (dwarf Arbutus unido). Can you verify the growing zone there? There are a couple of arbutus outside the Salem library that seem to have weathered well, but is it common for them to freeze in Salem winters? Do you know of any nurseries that carry good dwarf varieties of arbutus?

Marion County Oregon trees and shrubs horticulture

1 Response

Hello:

Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) is fully hardy in the Willamette Valley. Salem is USDA Zone 8 and I've never seen one suffer winter injury. There's a really nice example, one of the best I've seen, on the south side of Bush House in Bush's Pasture Park in Salem.

The compact forms of the species are definitely worth seeking out as the species itself can grow to be 12' tall and up to 20' wide. It's huge. The compact forms include 'Elfin King', 'Compacta' and 'Oktoberfest'. I do not keep track of what nurseries sell specific plants, so I would recommend just calling and see what you can find. 'Compacta' will likely be most common. The URL below takes you to the discussion of the plant in the OSU Landscape Plant website.

https://landscapeplants.oregonstate.edu/plants/arbutus-unedo