Growing Flowering Cherry Trees

Growing Flowering Cherry Trees
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Growing Flowering Cherry TreesFlowering cherry trees are one of the most lovely sights in the spring, and I look forward to seeing them each year. There are many varieties, but today I will discuss three of them. The first two are the most popular varieties and the last one isn't as well known, but it's a good choice for those in hot climates.

Kwanzan, a pink double-flowering cherry, Prunus serrulata, is probably one of the most well-known flowering cherry trees, and it's also the hardiest. Like all flowering cherries it needs very, very good drainage. It's blooms are a rich pink color and the tree can eventually reach up to 30 feet.

Kwanzan's buds open in early spring and are spectacular.It can grow well in partial shade or full sun with a good, fertile soil. It does flower best in full sun if you have a good location. It's hardy to Zone 5, and with shelter may be able to survive in some of Zone 4. Kwanzan is an upright flowering cherry, and can be used in groupings, or as a single tree in your landscape. It also works well as a tree next to the street if you live in a city or town.

Higan Cherry, P. subhirtella, is a very popular weeping variety of cherry. The flowers aren't long lasting but thecombination of the hanging branches and the blooms makes it very graceful in appearance. It grows well in Zones 5-8, but be careful when moving or planting in Autumn because it is fairly sensitive and may not have time to adjust before winter.

Mulch will be a help, as will making sure it stays watered. Again, this variety also needs a quick draining soil. While it can't be in wet soil, it can be grown by the water, especially on a hill near a pond. This is especially pretty when the tree is in bloom.

The link at the end of this leads to an article on pruning, which is really important with this variety of cherry. Higan will grow to 20 feet, and as much as 40 foot. It blooms from early to mid spring and can have white or pink flowers, some single and some double. This type of cherry grows fairly quickly, but doesn't live as long as some.

For people who live in hotter climates, P. campanulate is a good choice when looking for a flowering cherry. It doesn't require a cold climate and tolerates the heat better. It is sometimes called Formosan or Taiwan cherry. It grows to about 25 foot and has deep rose colored flowers which attract birds looking for nectar.

The pretty flowers are bell shaped and bloom in early spring. It can produce small inedible cherries that turn black. They will produce seedlings, which can be transplanted or shared with friends and family. P. campanulate is hardy in Zone 7-9. A location with full sun is the best, but it will tolerate some shade.

Just one more note on the flowering cherries. Some sources called the seeds toxic, others did not. To be safe, I would consider them inedible and possibly toxic if too many are eaten. They are bitter, so it's not likely enough could be eaten to be harmful.

PRUNING TIPS: Instructions on pruning weeping cherry trees and other budded plants- Click Here.



About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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