Russian Almond

Posted by shane - January 9, 2017 - A-Z Plant Maintenance, Shrubs - No Comments

Prunus tenella

Russian almond flowers.

Russian almond is uncommon in the Prairie landscape and is often mistaken for double-flowering plum.  Actually, it’s sometimes mis-labeled as a plum in the garden centres.  So I’ve had an occasional argument with people who want me to look at their plum, and when I tell them its an almond, they so, no it’s a plum, look at the tag.  Anyway, arguing is bad for business, so I say, well then, how would you like me to prune your plum.  Go with the flow, right?

The flowers are a vivid pink, and resemble the flowers of the muckle plum.  From my limited experience with this plant, I would suggest that if you plant one, give it some shelter from the prevailing wind, as it doesn’t appear to be as tough as our other Prunus varieties (ie. plums and cherries).

This is a compact shrub, probably to about 4′ by 4′.  It grows in a habit similar to nanking cherry, double flowering plum, and some shrub varieties of sour cherry.  We maintain them in the same way.


Full sun.

Pruning Time

During the dormant season is best (after leaf drop until early April).


Prune as you would a nanking cherry or sour cherry.  Russian almond sucker profusely, so the suckers will need to be thinned, similar to a forsythia, or lilac.

Crown Reduction

Not suitable for shearing.  Hedging this species would be appropriate in a zone that has a better growing season, like the Okanagan.  In the unlikely event that height needs to be reduced, use secateurs to reduce the height of individual branches.

(c) 2017 Shane LePage, Wild Rose Garden & Tree Service Inc., Red Deer, AB