Flagpole Cherry Tree (Prunus ‘Amanogawa’) Full Care Guide

Flagpole Cherry Trees, which were first cultivated in Japan, have now gained widespread popularity in gardens across the world. These magnificent trees are low maintenance and add a splash of vibrant color to any setting.

But how fast does Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ grow? 

How fast Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ grows will depend on a few factors, like sunlight and water level. The average Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ takes about 6-7 years to fully mature. However, the tree blooms far earlier than that. Most Flagpole Cherry Trees can start to bloom about a year after they’re planted. 

Now that you know how fast Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ grows, you may also want to find out how to care for your plant. Let’s dive into more details on the Flagpole Cherry Tree and what you can do to ensure you get the most out of your tree.

Flagpole Cherry Tree at a Glance

We all know how beautiful a cherry blossom tree can be. With delicate flowers and a tall trunk, this is one of the most ornamental trees. 

However, there are many other features that make this tree perfect for your garden. Let’s take a look at them.

Flagpole Cherry TreeDetails
Botanical namePrunus serrulata ‘Amanogawa’
Best for Hardiness Zones5 through 8
Mature sizes20 to 25 feet tall, 6 to 8 feet wide 
Growth habitUpright or columnar, hence the name ‘Flagpole.’
Bloom timeAround springtime, usually April and May
Flower colorSoft pink to white blossoms
Preferred soilLoamy, moist but well-drained
Light requirementsFull sun or partial shade, with a daily minimum of 6 hours in the sun
Watering needsWeekly watering of about 1-2 inches and up to 3 inches during the summer
FertilizationLow-nitrogen and slow-release, once a year

Flagpole Cherry Tree Appearance

Prunus ‘Amanogawa’, or the Flagpole Cherry Tree, is one of the most popular garden plants. It’s famous for its soft pink petals and vibrant green leaves.

The petals start off pure white as the flowers blossom. Then as they mature, the petals change to a faint rosy color. As the petals wilt, they can change into a deeper pink.

Flagpole Cherry Tree leaves also go through quite the transformation. Around springtime, the leaves are bright green. As they age, the leaves turn into a light orange, then a bright red.

How Tall Do Flagpole Cherry Trees Grow?

The average height of a Flagpole Cherry tree is about 20 to 25 feet tall. However, with the correct support, this tree can grow up to 35 feet tall.

How Wide Do Flagpole Cherry Trees Grow?

Flagpole Cherry Trees are columnar trees, which means they’re taller than they are wide. Generally, these trees can get to about 6 to 8 feet wide. 

However, this will depend on the height of the tree. The taller the tree, the wider it can be.

Does Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ Have Invasive Roots?

Even though this tree isn’t that wide, the Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ likes to spread out its roots. As a general rule, this tree will spread out as far as it can. Depending on how much space is available, Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ roots can grow up to 13 feet.

Flagpole Cherry Tree Growth Rate

A Flagpole Cherry Tree has a moderate growth rate. This means it can grow about 13-24 inches a year.

Once the seed is in the soil, it takes about a year for the first flower to bloom. However, it can take up to 6-7 years for the Flagpole Cherry Tree to fully mature.

When Does Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ Bloom?

Just like most other flowers, the Flagpole Cherry Tree flowers bloom in the spring. The first petals on a Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ start to appear in late April. Then by the end of May, the tree should be in full bloom.

The petals should be on full display up until early fall, when they start to wilt and slowly shed.

What Color Are Flagpole Cherry Tree Flowers?

There are a few color variations of Flagpole Cherry Tree flowers. The most common petal color is a baby pink center with white tips.

However, the petals can go through a couple of color changes. Most petals will start off white and then turn into a deep pink shade as they age. Sometimes, the petals can even be a light purple shade.

Flagpole Cherry Tree Fruit

The Flagpole Cherry Tree is mostly ornamental, which means it doesn’t grow fruit.

However, this isn’t the case for all Flagpole Cherry Trees. A few of these trees can grow fruit, but incredibly rarely. Some can grow a single fruit in their entire lifetime, while others can grow a few. 

Even when this tree does bear fruit, it’s not very appetizing. The fruit is quite small and has a deep red shade that’s almost purple. While the fruit is edible, it has an intensely sour flavor that makes eating it more of a chore than a treat.

Flagpole Cherry Tree Planting Guide

If you want to grow your own Flagpole Cherry Tree, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive straight into some of the factors you need to consider when planting this tree.

Ideal Soil

The Flagpole Cherry Tree prefers loam soil with a neutral pH. This soil is a combination of sand, silt, and clay. Each one of the components is necessary for a healthy tree. 

Since sand particles are large, they can trap air, which provides aeration for the roots. The silt adds moisture to the soil and helps the sand and clay mix together. As for the clay, it provides nutrients to the plants growing in the soil.

Light Requirements

Flagpole Cherry Trees like being in the sunlight. To keep this tree healthy, it needs a minimum of 6 hours a day in the sun. 

Moreover, this plant prefers to be in full sunlight. It can tolerate partial shade, but it thrives with more sunlight.


Since Flagpole Cherry Trees prefer to spread out their roots, it’s best to space them out accordingly. This means you want to leave about 10-13 feet of space around the plant. However, you can still plant small flowers around this radius.

Preparing the Planting Hole

To grow a plant from a seed, it’s best to start off in a flower pot. This will give you the best chance of successful germination. However, once it outgrows the pot, it’s time for you to plant it in the ground.

You want to dig a planting hole that’s about three times the diameter of the flowerpot. Digging a large hole will make it much easier to move the tree without damaging the roots.

Planting the Tree

Once you place the tree in the large hole, you want to fill up the empty space with soil. Try to add soil to the hole slowly to avoid damaging or smothering the roots.

Once the Flagpole Cherry Tree is in the ground, pack the soil tightly around the base for support. Then generously water the entire area around the tree.

Watering and Mulching

The Flagpole Cherry Tree likes plenty of water. It needs a weekly watering of about 1-2 inches to stay healthy. 

Even though this plant likes water, the soil should never be wet. It should be moist to the touch, but it shouldn’t be wet. For this reason, you need to make sure that the soil is well-drained.

This plant also needs mulch to thrive. As a rule of thumb, you want about 3-5 inches of mulch around the tree.

Does Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ Grow in Shade?

The Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ needs plenty of sunlight to grow. It uses this sunlight to make food. However, this plant can also grow in partial shade. As long as it gets about 6 hours of sunlight a day, it should have no issues growing.

How Do You Keep a Japanese Flagpole Cherry Tree Small?

To keep your Japanese Flagpole Cherry Tree a specific size, you need to size-train the plant. This involves pruning the tree several times throughout its growth process.

The main idea is to let the tree grow to the size you prefer, then constantly prune it as it gets taller. This process may take a long while, but eventually, the tree will stop growing past this size.

Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ Pruning Guide

Generally, Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ doesn’t require a lot of pruning. This plant grows in a straight column on its own, without you needing to direct it. Moreover, the branches usually all grow out at the same angle.

All you need to do is prune the tree to the size you want. In addition, you sometimes need to prune branches that grow out at an odd angle. This is especially important during the first few years of the plant’s life.

The best time to prune your Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ is right after the flowers bloom.

When to Fertilize Flagpole Cherry Tree

Typically, a Flagpole Cherry Tree will only need fertilizer about once a year. The fertilization should be about 3-4 weeks before the tree flowers. That will ensure that the plant has more than enough nutrients for a full bloom.

Best Fertilizer for Flagpole Cherry Tree

Unlike most house plants, the Flagpole Cherry Tree doesn’t need a lot of nitrogen. For this reason, you want low-nitrogen fertilizer. Moreover, since you only fertilize the tree once a year, you need a slow-release fertilizer.

Lilly Miller Morcrop Tomato & Vegetable 5-10-10

This fertilizer consists of 5% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 10% potassium. Not only does this fertilizer provide low nitrogen, but it’s also slow-release. The Lilly Miller 5-10-10 fertilizer can provide your tree with all the nutrients it needs. Additionally, you can use it with many other types of plants. 

Can Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ Grow in Pots?

Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ can definitely grow in a pot. Although its roots like to spread out, they don’t need to. 

As long as the pot is large enough to hold the plant, you should have no issues growing this tree in a pot. 

The pot should be at least 12 feet wide to accommodate the tree.

How to Propagate Flagpole Cherry Trees

There are three main ways to propagate a Flagpole Cherry Tree:

Softwood Cutting

This involves cutting the softwood of a new branch from a Flagpole Cherry Tree and planting it. You have to make sure to remove all the leaves before planting to avoid rotting.


To graft a tree, you want to place a branch from a dormant tree on the root system of a healthy Flagpole Cherry Tree. It may take a while, but the two will eventually fuse.

Air Layering

This is the most extensive method. Air layering involves peeling off bark and making cuts into the branches. That will result in roots growing out of the branch while it’s still attached to the tree. You can then remove the branch and plant it elsewhere.

Common Problems With Flagpole Cherry Trees

There are a few common problems you can face when you grow a Flagpole Cherry Tree.

Rot Disease

This involves the roots of the tree rotting when the soil has excess moisture. With the extra moisture, more bacteria and fungi can grow in the area.


The best way to get around this issue is to aerate the soil. You can do this by gently fluffing the soil every few months.

Knot Disease

This disease happens because of a fungus that can infect the plant. It causes black knots to grow on the tree.


The only real way to combat knot disease is through pruning. You need to remove the infected section of the plant.


How Fast Does Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ Grow? The answer is it takes about 6-7 years for a Flagpole Cherry Tree to fully mature. 

However, you can see the beautiful flowers long before that. This tree can start to bloom as early as a year after you plant it. 

To ensure your tree reaches its full potential, you need to consider a few factors. These factors include finding the ideal soil, spacing, and light conditions.