Weeping cherry trees are certainly among the most beautiful and stunning decorative trees. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a perfect spring landscape without a weeping cherry tree.
When thinking about a weeping cherry, you might be imagining a Japanese garden.
However, these trees actually come in wide a range of sizes which makes them perfect for both backyards and front lawns. Read on to learn everything you need to know about growing a weeping cherry tree in your own garden!
What Are They?
Weeping cherry trees are cherry trees grow specifically for ornamental purposes.
They don’t bear fruit, but they produce a stunning display of white or pink blossoms during the spring.
There are various types of weeping cherry trees, but all of them have pendulous branches and dark green leaves.
Weeping cherry trees originally come from Japan, but today they can be cultivated in almost any climate.
Weeping Cherry Tree Types
Weeping cherry trees come in a range of varieties. They differ in size and the color of blossoms which can be either pink or white.
In the US, the Dwarf weeping cherry tree is by far the most common.
My 3 yr old dwarf cherry tree blossomed for the 1st time. pic.twitter.com/wX4vM2Uj
— Eric Pusey (@eric_pusey) April 16, 2012
Dwarf weeping cherry trees are the smaller cousins of regular cherry trees.
hey grow fast, but they never get too large which makes them perfect for smaller landscapes. No matter how small your yard is, you can probably find enough space for a Dwarf weeping cherry tree.
Furthermore, these trees have been created specifically for decorative purposes. They will produce a lot of flowers in the spring, but they will never bear fruit.
The Snow Fountain weeping cherry tree is a sub-species of Dwarf weeping cherry tree.
Snow Fountain Cherry is a great weeping early-blooming tree. They do get quite wide, but are good for relatively smallish spaces. pic.twitter.com/xe6EtXEYHd
— Dave Epstein (@growingwisdom) April 28, 2018
Its flowers are white which is where the Snow Fountain name comes from.
The Double weeping cherry tree is another popular variety. It’s also one of the oldest varieties of weeping cherry trees, dating back at least to the 17th century, according to Gardenia.
Yae-beni-sidare-sakura,Double Red Weeping Cherry Tree, in front of the gate to Shoso-in Repository near Todai-ji Temple, Nara, on Apr 20 ’17 pic.twitter.com/oLXj4HfGq6
— Visit Kyoto & Nara (@VisitKyotoNara) April 20, 2017
With its luscious double flowers in a deep pink hue, it’s certainly one of the most beautiful weeping cherries
When it comes to full-sized weeping cherry trees, the Higan Cherry is probably one of the most well-known types.
Tried to search for news on Hogan, my clumsy thumbs led me to learn about the Higan Cherry Tree instead pic.twitter.com/BFpmxc90JG
— William Mullally (@whmullally) March 19, 2016
The color of its flowers ranges from pink to white. According to The Spruce, there are also some varieties of the Japanese cherry that have drooping branches which makes them resemble weeping cherry trees.
The most popular among these is the Cheal’s Weeping Cherry:
Stunning display in a private garden of
Prunus ‘Cheal’s Weeping’ cherry pic.twitter.com/DInbtrNPkF
— Flemings Nurseries (@FlemingsNsy) September 22, 2016
Weeping cherry trees come in a range of sizes, depending on the variety. In terms of height, they range from 8-foot dwarfs to large full-grown cherry trees which can reach a height of 40 feet.
According to SFGate, the height of the Dwarf weeping cherry tree is usually from 10 to 12 feet, although they sometimes grow a bit higher, up to 15 feet.
Garden.eco has a good overview of sizes of different varieties of weeping cherry trees.
The Double weeping cherry tree is slightly larger than other dwarf varieties. These trees are usually around 12 feet tall, but they can sometimes grow as high as 20 feet. The Higan cherry is considerably taller, often reaching the height of 30 feet.
However, it’s always possible to adjust the height of your weeping cherry tree by pruning.
Care & Common Problems
When it comes to watering, trees usually require more water during the first few months after planting.
WikiHow recommends watering your weeping cherry couple of times each week in the beginning.
As the tree grows, it will require less water and watering once a week will probably be enough.
However, the soil should never be completely dry.
WikiHow advises against adding the fertilizer to the soil during the first year after the tree has been planted.
They recommend using fertilizer from the second year onwards. It’s best to use a fertilizer with 10-10-10 N-P-K ratio. Make sure to spread the fertilizer in a wide radius around the trunk of the tree.
In general, you should cover the area around 3 feet beyond the edge of the branches. However, you should keep in mind that your weeping cherry tree might not even need fertilizer if it’s planted in rich organic soil.
For an organic alternative to store-bought fertilizers, SFGate recommends using homemade compost.
All weeping cherry trees have pendulous branches. This means they require regular pruning.
There are different opinions regarding the exact time of the year that is best for pruning a weeping cherry tree. According to Gardenerdy, it should be done at the end of the summer. On the other hand, Gardening Know How recommends pruning in the early spring or late fall.
Either one of these options should be fine, so it might be best to experiment a little bit and decide for yourself what time of the year works best.
However, never prune your weeping cherry tree while it’s in bloom.
When pruning, always remove any dead branches first. You can also cut the branches that seem to go in the wrong direction.
Once you finish these steps, you can decide whether you need to further reduce the size of your tree. Gardenerdy also recommends applying antibacterial solution after each cut when pruning
The most basic problems with weeping cherry trees come from either overwatering or underwatering your tree.
If you notice the leaves wilting and falling down during spring or summer, your weeping cherry tree definitely needs more water. If you notice that the leaves are becoming brittle, but not losing color, the tree might actually be getting too much water.
Issues with watering are easy to fix, but weeping cherries often face more serious problems. First of all, weeping cherry trees can be prone to pest infestations, especially if the soil is too dry. According to SFGate, aphids, tent caterpillars, and spider mites are the most common.
Various insecticides are usually the go-to solution when dealing with pests. You should also watch out for symptoms of fungal and bacterial infections.