Flowering Cherry Trees: Types, How to Choose and Grow Them
Flowering Cherry trees are some of the most sought-after and prized flowering trees in the world. Their show-stopping blossoms give off a pleasant aroma. Glossy green leaves turn golden yellow with hints of orange in the fall. These fast-growing trees come in a variety of sizes and have different blossom colors. With their rapid growth, these trees are an excellent addition to any garden. In this article, we’ll discuss types of cherry trees, how to choose one for your garden and how to care for it once you’ve planted.
Types of Flowering Cherry Trees
There are many types of flowering cherry trees. Here are four of the most popular and easy to grow flowering cherry trees.
Akebono Flowering Cherry
Akebono flowering cherry is a small-scale deciduous tree that is a cultivated version of the Yoshino cherry tree. It is well known for having the largest flowers out of all the cherry trees.
Yoshino Flowering Cherry
The beautiful Yoshino flowering cherry tree provides shade and privacy along with its glorious blossoms.
Okame Flowering Cherry
If grown in the right conditions, the Okame flowering cherry tree requires very little care to thrive.
Kwanzan Flowering Cherry
The Kwanzan flowering cherry tree has double blossoms, and it is easy to grow and care for.
How to Choose a Flowering Cherry Tree for Your Garden
One factor to consider when choosing between types of flowering cherry trees is the shape of the tree. Flowering cherry tree branches come in a variety of shapes. The Yoshino flowering cherry tree has vase-shaped branches that will droop slightly once fully grown. The Okame flowering cherry tree has a traditional tree shape with upright growing branches. The Akebono has a similar appearance to the Okame, with its upright, rounded shape. Similar to the Yoshino is the Kwanzan, which also has a vase shape to its branches.
Color is another factor to consider. Maybe you have a favorite color or a specific color theme for your yard. The Kwanzan has bright, vibrant pink flowers which will cover the whole tree during the spring. Leaves start bronze, deepen to a glossy green and then turn a rich yellow-red in the fall. If bright pink isn’t on your color palette, consider the Akebono. Its lush blooms are a softer, pastel pink that gradually turns white. Akebono produces dark green leaves in the spring and summer that turn golden yellow with hints of orange in the fall. Okame produces deep pink blooms and boasts dark green leaves that turn yellow, orange, and red, along with reddish-bronze bark, which means visual appeal year-round. Yoshino’s flowers are a delicate white pink with a light fragrance and they pop against dark green leaves.
Another way to choose your flowering cherry tree is to consider your size constraints. Yoshino is a medium-large tree, with a mature height of 40-50’ and a width of 25-40’. Okame is on the smaller side, growing 15-30’ high and 15-30’ wide. Akebono falls in the middle at 25-35’ in height and 25-40 in width. Kwanzan is the smallest, growing to 15-20’ in height and 15-20’ wide.
Finally, consider your lighting conditions. Kwanzan, for example, needs full sun. The other flowering cherry trees are more flexible, with Akebono requiring four full hours of sunlight. Okame and Yoshino can grow in full sun to partial shade.
FAQs About Taking Care of Cherry Trees
When do I prune my flowering cherry tree?
Lightly prune your cherry trees right after they bloom. This supports growth and your beautiful flowers. During their dormant season, prune more heavily.
How do I prune my flowering cherry tree?
Obtain the proper tools. You will need ones appropriate for pruning each branch size. Trim any sucker branches from the bottom of the tree. Thin-out branches that don’t contribute to the shape of the tree. For more heavy pruning, remove all broken, diseased, or dead limbs, and any branches that are rubbing against or crossing over other branches.
How long do flowering cherry trees live?
As far as trees go, these are relatively short-lived. Flowering cherry trees live between 30-40 years.
When should I plant my flowering cherry tree?
Plant flowering cherry trees in the spring after the first frost and in the early fall. If your summers aren’t too hot, you can plant in the summer as well.
How fast do flowering cherry trees grow?
Flowering cherry trees are rapid growers. They grow at a rate of over 2 feet in a year.