All About The Cherry Blossom Tree (2024)

Gardening Tips: The Cherry Blossom Tree

The Cherry Blossom Tree is famous for its blooms, which have enticed writers, artists, and filmmakers alike. The light pink to ivory white blossoms flower in spring, offering soft, serene beauty to the garden atmosphere. The Cherry Blossom Tree includes several varieties; however the most commonly referenced cultivar is the Japanese Flowering Cherry, or the Yoshino Cherry Tree. Do not be deceived; flowering cherry trees do not fruit. This means no messy clean-up of over-ripe cherries.

Instead, the flowers will eventually fall to the ground, symbolizing the circuitous nature of life to the Japanese people. The Cherry Blossom Tree is a popular choice for landscapers and homeowners seeking a subtle flowering tree, which offers majestic strength over volatile coloring. Furthermore, while other flowering trees can require heavy pruning and maintenance, the Cherry Blossom Tree is relatively easy-to-grow. This medium growth flowering cherry tree grows easily in either full sun or mostly shade. Various soils and growing locations also make this a popular flowering tree.

All About The Cherry Blossom Tree (8)

You may be familiar with the Cherry Blossom Festival, which occurs in Washington D.C. once every spring. Like this festival, celebrations around the world surrounding the blooming of the Cherry Blossom Tree are common. The Cherry Blossom Tree is planted, therefore, not only because of its beauty, but because it represents the changing seasons. The gardener who chooses the Cherry Blossom Tree is rewarded time and time again by the 40 to 50 foot impressive magnitude of the flowering blossoms in springtime.

Cherry Blossom Trees do require moderate watering, as their native environment receives frequent rainfall. Be sure to provide a location where water is accessible. If water access is a concern, consider planting the Cherry Blossom in partial to almost full shade, thereby decreasing the evaporation of water. Using mulch can also help to ensure proper water conservation.

Given proper watering, the Cherry Blossom Tree is sure to delight the gardener who chooses it. Plant one today!

Quick Tips

Enjoy some quick tips here. For more complete information, read about these hints in more detail below.

Sunlight – Cherry Blossoms are flexible; plant in multiple exposures. Full sun, partial shade, or mostly shady locations will all work.

Soil – Plant in well-drained, moist soil that is not overly wet. Although adaptable to many soil types, Cherry Blossom Trees prefer acidic soils.

Water – During the first season, Cherry Blossom Trees require moderate watering care, preferably once a week for 30 minutes or to a depth of 18 inches. Once established, simply water once every two to three weeks.

Pruning – Pruning should occur in winter, while the tree is dormant only after it is established (5 years). Remove dead or diseased wood and do minimal cutting for shape.

Other Popular Flowering Cherries

  • Zones 6-9

    Okame Cherry Blossom Tree$64.50 – $119.50
  • Zones 5-9

    Kwanzan Cherry Tree$44.50 – $129.50
  • Zones 5-8

    Yoshino Weeping Cherry Tree$59.50 – $169.50
  • Zones 5-8

    Yoshino Cherry Tree$44.50 – $129.50

The Best Places to Plant the Cherry Blossom Tree

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Cherry Blossom Trees originated in eastern Asia, but today they cover much of the world. Australia, Canada, Turkey, Germany, South Korea, the Netherlands, India, Japan, the United States, and many other countries have festivals to celebrate their blooms annually.

In the United States, the Cherry Blossom Tree prefers USDA Hardiness Zones 5 through 8, preferring the subtropical to temperate climates of much of the middle latitudes. Plant the Cherry Blossom Tree in a variety of sun exposure regions, including full sun, partial shade, or mostly shade. The Cherry Blossom Tree, therefore, does well as either an accent tree in the yard’s center or tucked away with a small bench underneath. Some gardeners even plant several Cherry Blossom Trees in rows to create living borders for driveways or entryways.

Cherry Blossom Trees are tolerant of a variety of soil conditions. Sandy, loamy, or clay soils will all support the Cherry Blossom, so long as they drain well. The Cherry Blossom should not sit in standing water. In drier climates, some gardeners find that planting the Cherry Blossom Tree is full shade makes maintaining properly moist soil difficult. If you live in a location prone to severe droughts, consider planting the Cherry Blossom Tree in partial shade to reduce water evaporation. Also, using mulch can help conserve water and disperse it more evenly. Cherry Blossom Trees are mildly drought tolerant, but they do not withstand severe or long-term droughts easily.

This adaptably flowering tree is easy to grow in most yard locations. Simply provide adequate water, and the flowers will be the first of many thank-you gifts!

Growth Rate and Mature Height

The Cherry Blossom Tree is a medium sized flowering spectacle, reaching between 40 and 50 feet tall. Minimal pruning is needed for this cultivar, which naturally produces a rounded shape. The Cherry Blossom Tree exhibits a moderate growth rate, ranging between 2 and 4 feet a year.

Pests, Diseases, and Other Concerns

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The Cherry Blossom Tree is hardy and typically avoids most pests and diseases. As with most trees, the best defense against these types of issues is a healthy tree. Monitor the growth and water the Cherry Blossom regularly, and most of the following diseases will not affect your tree.

Black Knot Fungus affects the joints and branches of the Cherry Tree. Small light-brown growths will appear, eventually rupturing. Remove any infected branches immediately. Over time, the entire tree can succumb to the fungus.

Silver Leaf Fungus affects the leaves of the plant, occasionally, but not always, leaving a silvery hue to the leaf. Branch die-back is the most common sign of the fungus. Remove diseased branches immediately.

Black Cherry Aphids will affect the leaves and twigs of the plant, often causing leaf curling. The aphids leave a secretion behind that induces the growth of a black fungus. Insecticides are one of the few options in this case.

Noteworthy Tips on the Cherry Blossom Tree

– The Japanese word for the Cherry Blossom Tree is “Sakura”.

– The flower of the Sakura symbolizes the life cycle to the Japanese people, epitomizing the springs, summers, falls, and winters of the human life.

– Cherry Blossom Trees do not produce edible fruits; smaller cherry fruits do grow, but these are typically only eaten by birds.

– The tree’s blossoms are pickled in salt and used in a variety of dishes, including ume vinegar, wagashi, and anpan.

– The leaves of the Cherry Blossom contain coumarin, which is a toxin when ingested in large doses.

All About The Cherry Blossom Tree (2024)


What is special about the cherry blossom tree? ›

The sakura's meaning is also contradictory. It symbolizes both life and death, beauty and violence. As the coming of spring promises new life, so the blooming of cherry blossoms brings a sense of vitality and vibrancy. At the same time, their short lifespan is a reminder that life is fleeting.

How long do cherry blossom trees stay? ›

Cherry blossom season usually lasts about a month from the earliest bloomers—this year the ever-blooming cherry (Prunus 'Fudan-zakura')—to the latest, usually the 'Kanzan' (P. 'Kanzan') and the 'Ukon' (P. 'Ukon'). But an individual tree may only be in bloom for a week or two, depending on the weather.

What is the story behind the cherry blossom? ›

Originally used to divine the year's harvest, sakura came to embody wabi-sabi philosophy and Shinto ideals of impermanence, hope and renewal and are now one of Japan's most iconic natural symbols. Adding to their magic and mystique, sakura are usually only in full bloom for around one week.

What does the cherry symbolize? ›

While you can use the 🍒 (cherry) emoji to refer specifically to the fruit, it can also mean that you're happy in a relationship with someone, or can be used to refer to a body part (usually in a sexual context).

Are cherry blossom trees rare? ›

They are common in East Asia, especially in Japan, where they have been cultivated, producing many varieties. Most of the ornamental cherry trees planted in parks and other places for viewing are cultivars developed for ornamental purposes from various wild species.

What do cherry blossoms do after they bloom? ›

Roughly three to four days after the peak bloom date is the pivot point when the trees will go pretty quickly from what is essentially full bloom to the petals dropping off and getting replaced by green leaves.

What are the benefits of cherry blossoms? ›

Aside from their cultural significance, cherry blossoms also provide many environmental benefits. These trees help to improve air quality, provide shade, and support local wildlife. They are also a great source of food for bees, who play a crucial role in pollination.

What do cherry blossoms smell like? ›

Cherry blossoms have a smell, but it's very faint and subtle. The scent features light notes of lilac, rose, and magnolia with a powdery vanilla note and almond-like aromas. The aroma isn't overly sweet, fruity, or floral.

What fruit do cherry blossoms grow? ›

It seems they do: (from Wikipedia) All varieties of cherry blossom trees produce small, unpalatable fruit or edible cherries. Edible cherries generally come from cultivars of the related species Prunus avium and Prunus cerasus .

Are cherry blossoms white or pink? ›

Most varieties produce light pink to white blossoms, but there are also cherry trees with dark pink, yellow or green blossoms. Furthermore, the color of some varieties' cherry blossoms may change while they are in bloom.

What do cherry blossoms symbolize? ›

In general, sakura, cherry blossoms, represent the impermanent nature of life. Not only is the beauty of the flowers short and sweet, the trees themselves are also short-lived. But there are contradictory meanings as well. Cherry blossoms symbolize both birth and death, beauty and violence.

Are cherry blossoms edible? ›

Flower buds can be preserved Japanese-style as 'sakura' by salting, pickling in plum vinegar and drying. Or to candy the petals for use as a garnish, paint whisked egg white on both sides, sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to dry. It's advisable just to eat cherry blossoms in small amounts, particularly raw.

Where do cherry blossoms grow naturally? ›

Species cherry blossoms are found throughout the world being especially common in regions in the Northern Hemisphere with temperate climates, including Japan, China, and Korea, as well as Nepal, India, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan, and several areas across northern Europe.

Why was the cherry tree special? ›

Grandfather replied that the tree was special because they planted it themselves. At the end, Rakesh wondered what it felt like a God. He was surprised by how a small seed he planted had grown into a beautiful tree that provided fruit, shade , shelter to everyone.

What is the significance of the cherry tree? ›

Throughout Japan, the Cherry, or 'Sakura' tree is representative of good fortune, new beginnings and revival. Folklore says that when the Sakura spirits release their gorgeous fragrance in springtime, their gift of beauty and elegance is to be truly celebrated!

Why did Japan give the US cherry trees? ›

The planting of cherry trees in Washington DC originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an important flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a symbol with rich meaning in Japanese culture.

Why do cherry blossoms only grow in Japan? ›

According to Masataka Somego, a professor at Tokyo University of Agriculture, cherry trees originated 10 million years ago in what is now Nepal and later differentiated in the Japanese archipelago, giving rise to species unique to Japan.


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