Weeping Cherry Trees Buying & Growing Guide

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Weeping Cherry Trees

The undeniable grace and beauty of the pink weeping cherry tree (Prunus subhirtella var. ‘Pendula’) makes it a wonderful addition to any landscape in zones 5-8. This tree is highly coveted for its umbrella-like canopy of cascading pink blooms that give way to dense green foliage. Here are a few interesting facts about pink weeping cherry trees:

  • Blooms early, flowering first, then developing leaves.
  • Flowers feature either single or double blooms in light or dark pink.
  • Lives up to forty years requiring minimal care.

Weeping Cherry Trees for Sale

Planting and Care

Planting instructions

The pink weeping cherry tree grows up to 25 feet wide. Plant your tree in an area with full sun. The soil should be moist, well-draining, and not prone to flooding. Dig a hole to a depth the size of the root ball and a width twice the size of the root ball. Leave a mound of soil centered in the hole to place the root ball on. Carefully place the tree into the hole on the mound. Cover with soil one or two inches above the crown.

Watering and nutrients

Water your tree when the soil is dry two inches deep below the surface. Place a water hose at the base of the tree on low and allow it to run for about 20 minutes. In the warm months, water your tree about twice a week. In the fall, water as needed. Refrain from fertilizing your cherry tree for the first two years. When it’s time to fertilize (early March), apply a low nitrogen fertilizer such as Dr. Jimz Chicken Soup For Soil.

Pruning

Pruning this tree should be done in early spring or late fall. To prune your weeping cherry tree, remove dead, diseased, or broken branches. The key with pruning is to remove dead and overlapping branches, and get live branches up off the ground. You may also prune your tree to achieve a desired shape, but take care not to remove more than 25 percent of the total canopy.

To prune your tree, use clean, sharp, disinfected shears. Locate branches with dead (gray) buds and trim as far back as possible. Then trim back overlapping branches, as well as live bud branches touching the ground.

Pests and diseases

Weeping cherry trees are fairly resistant to diseases and pests. However, some fungal diseases can occur. These diseases include canker, black knot, dieback, leaf spot, leaf curl, powdery mildew, root rot, and fire blight. To avoid these diseases, clean up fallen leaves regularly. Leaves that get left on the ground to overwinter create an environment for fungal spores, which can infect the tree in the spring.

Pests such as aphids, scale, borers, leafhoppers, caterpillars, spider mites, and Japanese beetles can be managed/controlled with Bonide Neem Oil. Because weeping cherry trees are prone to these diseases, having a qualified arborist evaluate your tree regularly can help keep it healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the weeping cherry tree produce fruit?

Yes, the tree produces a black, oval-shaped inconspicuous fruit. The berry is very small (about the size of a pea). Its flesh is intensely sour and surrounds a seed. The sourness makes this fruit unfit for human consumption. Wildlife, however, including birds, squirrels, deer, and small animals feed on the berries. This tree’s fruit does not pose a ground litter issue.

What does it mean when gardening experts refer to the weeping cherry tree as a grafted variety?

The scion of a weeping cherry tree is grafted onto a lower trunk of Prunus avium. This trunk is known as a “rootstock” or “understock.” Varieties of cherry trees are created using the grafting method (combining plants to incorporate features into one variety). The grafted scion becomes the umbrella form at the top of a weeping cherry tree.

Are weeping cherry trees safe to have around small children and pets?

Plants belonging to the Prunus spp. (Rosaceae family) are toxic not only to household pets, but also to humans, cows, horses, sheep, and goats. Cyanogenic glycosides are present in the stems, leaves, and seeds of a weeping cherry tree. When ingested, the body converts the cyanogenic glycosides into hydrogen cyanide which causes suffocation. The fruit of this tree is not toxic but it is non-edible for humans.

Weeping Cherry Tree Varieties

1. Cheal’s Weeping Cherry Tree

Cheal's Weeping Cherry Tree

 

Scientific Name: Prunus serrulata’ Kiku-shidare-zakura’

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Mature Size: Up to 15 feet tall

Light: Full sun

Water: Average moisture needs

Soil: Fertile, well-draining

This weeping cherry tree is one of the smaller varieties, typically growing to between ten and fifteen feet tall with a similar-sized spread. It produces graceful branches that arch out from the central trunk and softly droop towards the ground. The foliage of the tree is bronze when it emerges, later developing to a bright, glossy green. This is a deciduous tree whose leaves fade to rich autumnal shades of red, orange, and yellow before they drop in the fall.

The flowers of this tree make it an especially popular weeping cherry tree, as the luscious blooms are fully double flowers, which give them a very full look. The flowers arrive in late spring when the branches of the tree are otherwise bare. Each flower typically measures around one inch across, but they gather in dense clusters along the branches to give a showy floral display. This tree grows best in full sun and will thrive in soil that is kept moist.


2. Weeping Higan Cherry Tree

Weeping Higan Cherry Tree

 

Scientific Name: Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8

Mature Size: Up to 30 feet tall

Light: Full sun

Water: Average moisture needs

Soil: Well-draining

This weeping cherry is also known as the winter-flowering cherry tree because it is able to flower intermittently, even during winter. Because of this, it can provide beautiful color and texture to a garden during a time when not much else is in bloom. This deciduous tree has an open crown with a slight weeping habit. The sparse branches mean the tree doesn’t provide heavy shade, but instead, it will create partial shadows that can work well over smaller plants that enjoy some shade.

The flowers of this tree are semi-double, and they are most commonly pale pink but can also come in a creamier off-white color. This tree grows vigorously, reaching heights of up to 30 feet with a spread of up to 25 feet. It grows best in moist soil but does have some tolerance of drought once established.


3. Weeping Fuji Cherry Tree

Weeping Fuji Cherry Tree

 

Scientific Name: Prunus’ Snow Showers’

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Mature Size: Up to 12 feet tall

Light: Full sun

Water: Average moisture needs

Soil: Well-draining

This tree is also known by the name of Hillings weeping tree. It is small in stature, reaching a final height of between four and twelve feet, with a spread of up to eight feet. The branches of this tree cascade dramatically from the central trunk, looking like a firework when it sprays out in the sky. As the branches grow, they become lone enough to sweep along the ground. The graceful arching branches are bare through winter until they become covered with fragrant white flowers in March and April.

The single flowers are pure white, typically with five petals, each spreading out in a star shape. The foliage of the tree is also quite dramatic, with the glossy green leaves turning to vivid shades of red and bronze before they drop in the fall. This small tree is ideal for growing on patios or in smaller gardens. It is highly ornamental and works well as a specimen plant, or looks equally spectacular grown in rows along a border or pathway. It can be grown either directly in the ground or in a container.


4. Weeping Yoshino Cherry Tree

Weeping Yoshino Cherry Tree

 

Scientific Name: Prunus x yedoensis ‘Shidare-Yoshino’

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Mature Size: Up to 25 feet tall

Light: Full sun

Water: Average moisture needs

Soil: Fertile, well-draining

This is a fast-growing tree that is the result of a hybrid dating back to around 1800. It produces dramatically arching branches that are covered with clusters of white flowers in spring, which fade before the arrival of the fresh foliage. The dark green, ovate leaves are vibrant through summer, before developing to rich autumnal shades in the fall and finally dropping to the ground before winter.

This is a popular tree that typically reaches heights of between 20 and 25 feet, with a spread that is slightly wider. Though cherry trees are generally tolerant of most soil types, this weeping yoshino cherry tree will not tolerate clay soil, so if you have this type of soil in your garden, it should be amended before planting this tree. The flowers of this tree are popular with birds and other pollinators. Like most cherry trees, this tree is unfortunately susceptible to pests and disease and so does not have a long life expectancy. To encourage the best growth and a long life span, keep the tree in a well-draining soil that is consistently moist, and apply regular fertilizer.


5. Single Pink Weeping Cherry Tree

Single Pink Weeping Cherry Tree

 

Scientific Name: Prunus pendula ‘Pendula Rubra’

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Mature Size: Up to 10 feet tall

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Water: Average moisture needs

Soil: Well-draining

This weeping cherry tree produces single flowers in vibrant shades of medium pink. They cover the drooping branches of the tree through early to mid-spring, attracting bees and other pollinators to the area. The foliage is ovate and medium green during summer, developing to intense, fiery reds and oranges in fall before shedding.

This is a small-sized cherry tree that typically grows no taller than ten-foot, and it has a similar-sized spread. The size of this tree lends it well to growing in a container on a bright patio, or in a small garden. It should be planted in a relatively sheltered position as its flowers can be damaged by strong winds. It thrives in most types of soil so long as they are well-draining, though chalky or shallow soil types are best avoided for optimum performance. It grows best in full sun, though it can tolerate some shade.


6. Double Pink Weeping Cherry Tree

Double Pink Weeping Cherry Tree

 

Scientific Name: Prunus pendula ‘Pendula Plena Rosea’

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Mature Size: Up to 25 feet tall

Light: Full sun

Water: Average moisture needs

Soil: Well-draining, fertile

This is a stunning ornamental cherry tree that dates back at least as far as the 17th century in Japan. It has an elegant silhouette, with pendulous branches that gracefully droop towards the ground. The flowers of this tree arrive before the foliage on bare branches. The buds are deep, dark pink, but the double flowers that emerge from them are a soft, pale pink. The flowers themselves also appear to be weeping, arriving in heavy clusters that face the ground below. The tree blooms abundantly in early spring, and the flowers persist for around a week longer than most other types of flowering cherries.

The foliage of this tree arrives just as the flowers are beginning to fade. Initially, the leaves are bronze-colored but develop to a bright green to provide a fresh-looking canopy for the summer months. As the seasons progress, the foliage warms up to shades of red and orange, and sometimes yellow. Following this, they drop to the ground and reveal an attractive skeleton of a tree that is on display for the winter.

This tree grows vigorously, but like most cherry trees, it is short-lived. It is prone to pest infestations as well as bacterial or fungal diseases, which contribute to its restricted life expectancy. It thrives in well-draining soils that are moderately fertile and kept moist.


7. Ascending Weeping Cherry Tree

Scientific Name: Prunus pendula var. ascendens ‘Rosea’

USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-8

Mature Size: Up to 25 feet tall

Light: Full sun

Water: Average moisture needs

Soil: Well-draining, fertile

This is a stunning specimen tree that, unlike most types of cherry trees, can live for many years. The average lifespan for the majority of cherry blossom trees is somewhere between 15 and 30 years; this is predominantly a result of the fact that they so easily succumb to pest problems and disease.

The ascending weeping cherry tree is the exception to the rule, and it is a great choice if you are looking for a cherry tree you want to keep around for decades to come. There are some examples of this tree that can be dated as far back as 400 years. This tree has a vigorous growth habit and will typically grow to between 20 and 25 feet tall, with an equal-sized spread. This tree is considered to be a weeping variety of cherry tree, but it doesn’t weep as dramatically as some of its relatives.

The crown of the tree is broad and open, and it takes more of an umbrella-like shape, with branches that arch over very gently. The branches of the tree are bare through winter, and then become smothered with small flowers in spring. The buds are dark red and appear all along the lengths of the branches in abundance, before opening out to very pale pink colored blooms.

The flowers are small and single and are held together in loose clusters of between three and five blooms. As they near the end of their life span, the flowers fade to almost white. Once the flowers have faded, ovate leaves emerge in bronze-green. Foliage develops to medium, shiny green in summer, and through to red and orange in fall. This tree thrives in full sun and needs a well-draining soil that is somewhat fertile. This tree has received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society for its outstanding qualities. It is a popular ornamental tree that works well in borders or as a single specimen.


8. Dwarf Cherry Blossom Tree

Dwarf Cherry Blossom Tree

 

Scientific Name: Prunus pendula’ Frilly Rock’

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Mature Size: Up to 6 feet tall

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Water: Average moisture needs

Soil: Well-draining, fertile

This is a miniature weeping cherry tree that is ideal for growing in containers because it reaches a maximum size of just six feet tall. It is a deciduous tree that flowers heavily in early spring. The dramatically drooping branches cascade vertically towards the ground and are covered in a profusion of pure white double flowers.

After the flowers have faded, foliage emerges that is ovate, has serrated margins, and is attractively variegated. Summer foliage is medium green with pale yellow-green edges. The foliage in fall develops to vibrant autumnal shades and retains its variegation. The fall leaves are deep red or orange, surrounded by a pale pink or pale peach border.

This is a lesser known, but hugely popular cultivar of weeping cherry trees. It adapts well to a range of soil types but must be in well-draining soil to avoid waterlogging. It thrives in full sun and should ideally be sheltered from harsh winds that can cause damage to flowers. The plant can withstand partial shade, but better flowering will result from more direct sun.

 

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