The weeping cherry tree is a unique tree — not just in the unusual foliage and dangling branches but also in the growing conditions. Before you plant this tree, you need to make sure that you’re in the right Growing Zone and that your microclimate suits the tree.
Where should you plant a weeping cherry tree? You can plant weeping cherry trees in Zones 4 to 9; however, Zones 5 to 8 are more suitable for the tree since they avoid extreme temperatures and are less prone to unpredictable weather conditions. Avoid planting the weeping cherry in the southern parts of California, Texas, and Florida.
Once you’ve got the timing and Growing Zone right, it’s a matter of location and providing the right growing conditions. Read more to find out when, where, and how to plant the weeping cherry tree.
Ideal Planting Location of a Weeping Cherry Tree
The weeping cherry tree is native to Japan. In its original habitat, the tree prefers moist soil and cool weather. Both the Growing Zone and the conditions should be as close to the tree’s native habitat as possible to ensure its success.
Best Grow Zones for Planting Weeping Cherry Trees
In theory, you can grow the weeping cherry tree in zones 4 to 9. But in reality, zone 4 is too cold for the tree while zone 9 is too hot and humid. To ensure that the tree grows successfully without problems in your garden, you should be in zones 5 to 8.
Although parts of Florida, Texas, and California fall in these ideal growing zones, you should not attempt to grow the weeping cherry in the southern parts of those three states. The high temperatures and humidity will stunt the growth of the tree.
Best Soil Type for Weeping Cherry Trees
Rich, loamy soil that drains well is the ideal soil type for the weeping cherry tree. Amend the soil with coarse sand if it’s too heavy or clayish until you’ve achieved the right texture.
To test the soil, clamp your hand on a fistful of the soil, and hold it tightly for a few seconds. If the soil turns into a clump, add more coarse sand or perlite.
Test the pH of the soil (this tester measures moisture and light levels as well), and bring it up or down to neutral or slightly acidic levels between 6.0 and 7.0.
Ideal Garden Location for a Weeping Cherry Tree
Select a sunny spot in your garden that gets 6 to 8 hours of full sun every day during the spring and summer months.
Avoid partial shade or full shade since the tree is prone to fungal infections. At the same time, you should shield the tree from strong wind that could damage its supple branches.
Plant the tree about 8 to 10 feet from the nearest building or structure to improve air ventilation. Also, avoid low-lying areas that get more frost.
The trees have a low tolerance for extreme weather conditions, and the last frost in the spring could damage the shoots and buds.
Do Weeping Cherry Trees Have a Large Root System?
The weeping cherry tree is a member of the Prunus genus. This genus of ornamental trees has a unique feature where the root system spreads as wide as the canopy of the tree.
The root ball goes deep about 2 feet in the ground, but it’s the breadth of the root system that makes it a problem.
Luckily, you can avoid any problems with walls or structures near the weeping cherry tree by allowing between 8 and 10 feet between the trunk of the tree and the nearest building.
That way, you’ll avoid any damage to the buildings from the roots and any problems for the tree due to lack of airflow.
Should Weeping Cherry Trees Touch the Ground?
As an ornamental tree with a unique canopy, the branches of the weeping cherry tree often reach down and touch the ground, but you shouldn’t allow the branches to touch the ground.
Ideally, you’ll prune the branches to keep them at least 6 inches above the ground. That way, you’ll maintain the unique appearance of the tree without the issues that come with branches crawling over the garden floor.
What To Plant Next to a Weeping Cherry Tree
Since the weeping cherry tree is deciduous, you’ll want to plant evergreen shrubs and groundcovers around it to compensate for the barren look of the tree in the late fall and winter.
As long as the surrounding shrubs and vegetation don’t tower over the weeping cherry, most choices should be fine. Creeping raspberry and periwinkle are ideal plants to pair with the weeping cherry tree.
How To Propagate a Weeping Cherry Tree
The best way to propagate a weeping cherry tree is from a cutting. Start the process in the spring after the shoots start to grow immediately after the blooms have faded. Then you can follow these easy steps.
- Fill a small-sized pot with a growing medium. You can make your own potting mix from perlite, sand, and peat moss in equal portions.
- Water the medium until water flows out of the drainage holes at the bottom.
- Cut 8 inches of a healthy half-inch-thick shoot with leaves growing on it.
- Strip the leaves off the bottom third and dip the cutting in a growth hormone powder.
- Shake off the excess powder, and make a hole in the pot.
- Plant the cutting in the hole making sure the lower leaves are well above the surface of the medium.
- Keep the pot indoors where it gets indirect light.
- Water the medium when the top 1 inch goes dry.
- After 4 weeks, the cutting will grow roots. When you pull at the cutting gently, you’ll feel resistance.
- Transplant the sapling to a medium-sized pot filled with soil.
- In the fall, transplant the young tree to the garden.
6 Care Tips for Growing a Weeping Cherry Tree
- Amend the soil with plenty of organic materials before transplanting the tree. This will encourage the roots to grow vertically, rather than horizontally.
- Make sure the soil drains quickly since the tree doesn’t like waterlogged soil.
- Prune shoots in the rootstock as soon as you see them.
- Improve the water retention of the soil by mulching around the trunk during the peak of summer and dry spells.
- Fertilize the tree with a balanced fertilizer in the early spring.
- Water the young weeping cherry twice a week during the first year. Once it establishes, water it once a week or when the top 3 inches of the soil go dry.
Can You Grow Weeping Cherry Trees in Pots?
You can grow a weeping cherry tree in a large pot. Make sure the tree gets plenty of direct sunlight during the spring and summer.
Can Weeping Cherry Trees Be Planted in Winter?
You can plant the tree while it’s dormant between November and March. If you’re planting the tree in a pot, you can plant it any time of the year.
The weeping cherry tree grows well in Zones 5 to 8. It’s a cold-hardy and drought-resistant tree once it establishes. Avoid planting it in the southern parts of California, Texas, and Florida.