How To Grow Weeping Cherry Tree

For a spectacular show in spring, nothing in your garden can put on a show like the weeping cherry trees. A fact is that pink or white flowers have been the inspiration for artists for centuries.

Another exciting fact is that while grown throughout China, it was first cultivated in Japan. These flowering trees are also known as friendship trees. But how to grow a weeping cherry tree is another story we will tell you here.

More About Weeping Cherries

The trees are specimens valued for their weeping cherry flowers in spring and the year-round form it displays. The tree is grown for ornamental display, but you can find dozens of cherry trees belonging to the Prunus family.

The most common cherry trees are the Higan, Snow Fountain, and Shidare Yoshino. The flowers blossom for a few weeks in spring and are followed by weeping branches with green leaves that turn yellow in fall and start to drop in winter.

Still, the tree does not grow those delicious 😋 sweet cherries everyone enjoys. But you can find the Prunus avium known as Bing cherries 🍒 if you want something sweeter in your garden. The weeping cherry tree does grow black berries that birds love.

When and Where to Plant Weeping Cherry Tree

small weeping tree

When considering where to plant your weeping cherry trees, we recommend choosing a spot with plenty of room to grow. The tree has a spreading habit and grows well on the lawn or a border.

Another thing to consider is to shelter it from strong winds as they can damage those gorgeous blossoms. While in low areas, the hard frost can also scorch the flowers. Finally, you can plant bare-rooted trees from fall to winter while dormant.

You can plant container-grown trees at any time of the year. However, the planting hole you dig for your young trees needs to be wider than the root ball, allowing the roots to spread. Also, keep the root ball at the soil level, firm it down, and give it water with some mulch over the soil.

The mulch you use can be compost or chipped bark, as it helps with moisture retention. Also, use tree spikes to stake your young trees to keep them secure. Also, allow for a spot where your weeping cherries can grow well, reaching up to 25 feet tall and wide.

Prunus Pendula Care Tips

Like most plants, they are growing weeping cherry trees that need special care. Some gardeners say that this tree can grow back fast if you do not keep an eye on them. Another concern is transplanting, as the roots undergo a lot of stress and can wilt and die back when young.

So, if anyone tells you this is a low-maintenance indoor plant, it is not when it is still young. But people are saying that with some time, training, and patience, the trunk will eventually be growing straight.

Soil Requirements For Weeping Cherry Tree

weeping cherry soil

The weeping cherry only needs a garden loam and well-drained soil with good air circulation. To prevent root rot, you can amend the soil, allowing it to drain well. So, if needed, provide adequate drainage by adding perlite to the mix.

When backfilling the hole, firmly press it around the trunk to remove the air pockets.

Lighting Needs For Your Weeping Cherries

Your weeping cherry tree needs at least six hours of full sun to display those single to double flowers. When choosing a spot to place your tree in the ground, choose one with some direct sunlight to part shade. With too much shade, it will result in inhibited spring blooms.

weeping cherry trees under full sun @flickr

Watering Your Trees

The weeping cherry tree does not do well in dry or soggy soil. So, if you find dry spells during the year, ensure to provide your tree with water throughout the growing season. For the weeping cherry to thrive, it needs at least 80 gallons of weekly water.

During warm weather, you can water your trees at least twice a week. But still, let the soil dry between watering to prevent root rot. The tree fails to bloom those beautiful pink flowers when not provided enough water.

Good drainage is also essential, allowing excess water to drain from the roots. You can leave the roots during winter to rest and not water your tree.

Temperature & Humidity

The weeping cherry tree is heat and drought-tolerant to some extent and grows in most of the US, where you find average temperatures above 20°F. So, you can plant them in the USDA hardiness zones four and higher.

weeping cherry temperature and humidity

The tree is also pretty cold hardy, but if the temperatures drop below freezing point, we recommend you add mulch to the root section and, if needed, wrap some burlap around the trunk.

Fertilizing Your Weeping Cherry Tree

You can feed your weeping cherry tree in early spring to encourage growth. You can provide your trees three months after planting to help them recover from transplant shock but not during the planting time, as it can burn the roots.

Once the roots establish, it helps to use an acidic fertilizer. A slow-release fertilizer is recommended. Spread the granules on the surrounding soil away from the trunk.

You can increase your fertilization as soon as buds start forming on the branches.

Pruning Weeping Cherry Tree

To keep your tree looking great, it helps to do regular pruning during spring and summer. When you prune the tree, it helps to keep it under control and give it a uniform shape.

You can remove diseased branches, water spouts starting to show at the base, and new branches looking as if they are growing upright. Also, prune any branches before it touches the ground, as it will invite pests and diseases.

Lastly, you can remove the branches that start touching each other, allowing good air circulation to move through the foliage. Removing the suckers growing at the tree’s base is essential, as they will take over your cherry tree.

We recommend removing it from the grafted trees at the scar found at the top of the rootstock below the branches. Also, remove the shoots growing out of the graft scar.

Propagating Your Weeping Cherry Tree

As your weeping cherry tree is most likely grafted trees taking a cutting will not produce another similar tree. The same applies to planting the seed, which is not true for the parent.

Weeping Cherry Varieties

Okay, before we get to the varieties, you will find people marketing a dwarf weeping cherry tree. There is no such variety available, and the only time it will remain in a dwarf form is with regular pruning.

Kiku-shidare-zakura

Kiku-shidare-zakura

The weeping branches form clusters of pink double-petal flowers in spring.

Pendula Rubra

Pendula Rubra @flickr

It blooms single bright pink flowers in spring with a gorgeous leaf color in fall.

Shidare-Yoshino

Yoshino weeping cherry @flickr

The tree develops weeping branches with masses of small single white to blush pink flowers.

Snow Showers

Snow Showers weeping cherry @flickr

As with most of these cherry trees, they bloom single blossoms but are in pure white.

Weeping Cherry Common Diseases & Pests

weeping cherry tree

Your weeping cherry tree is not pest-resistant or disease free and can become the home of the following:

  • Aphids feed on the plant sap in large colonies, and you can find several types. But the most common one is the black cherry aphid with a shiny black color. You will notice wilted leaves begin starting, and it has a sticky residue.

  • Cherry leaf spot is a fungal infection that causes yellow, purple, and black spots, with the size expanding from the spread of the disease. The leaves will start falling off prematurely.

  • Cytospora cankers is another fungal infection that leaves yellow to gummy lesions on the bark. The trunk starts to die, and the leaves fall off.

  • Japanese beetles have shiny green bodies with tan wings and feed on the foliage in groups.

  • Powdery mildew will appear on the leaves as white powder leading to stunted growth.

  • Other insects are spider mites and tent caterpillars that can cause havoc in your trees.

  • Lastly, you have twig cankers, a bacterial disease that leaves discolored twigs with a rough texture and is found mostly in your younger trees. Another concern is verticillium, a fungal infection causing yellowing leaves that wilt with branches dying and stunted growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Routine pruning must be done on your weeping cherry tree from the time of planting. First, you must choose the main branches to grow the main trunk and remove other branches to form the canopy.

The weeping cherry tree can last for decades when taken care of and growing under the right conditions.

It can take up to ten years for the weeping cherry tree to reach a mature height of 20 feet.

The good news is that the weeping cherry is not rare and is found at selected nurseries and plant online shops like Plantly. So check out the cherry trees we have in stock to have them delivered to your door.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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