Both pink and white weeping cherry trees are breathtaking in the spring. Their cascading branches provide year-round appeal. If you follow these 15 tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your tree for many years to come.
Be sure to read my ultimate Guide to Weeping Cherry Trees for planting guidelines, pro care tips, help with propagation, troubleshooting, and so much more!
1. Pick a Weeping Cherry Variety Suited to Your Grow Zone
Dwarf weeping cherry trees are the most popular and thrive in zones 5 to 8.
Snow Mountain has white flowers and reaches 10 to15 feet. The Japanese dwarf has double-ruffled pink flowers, maturing at the same height. Hiromi dwarf with dainty pink flowers is the smallest, growing only 4 to 5 feet.
2. Water Thoroughly in the First Year to Encourage Root Growth
Water deeply twice a week by soaking slowly. Moisture should saturate the entire site. Light watering does more harm than good.
Follow a regular regimen, adding more water during dry spells and very high temperatures.
3. Plant Them in Light, Fertile Soil With Excellent Drainage
Set the root ball in a deep hole three times its width. Release the roots and spread them carefully. Cover with loose, loamy soil rich in organic matter like compost. Tamp and level the ground around the trunk.
These trees prefer a pH of 6 to 7. Coffee grounds can add acidity if needed.
4. A Full Sun Planting Location Is Ideal
Plant your tree where it receives at least six hours of sun. It will tolerate some shade but the blossoms won’t be as profuse. The sun’s rays and adequate air circulation will help control fungus issues.
Pick a spot at least 10 feet away from your house to allow for a mature growth span.
5. Prune Only in Early Spring or Late Fall so Wounds Heal Quicker
It is best to remove dead or diseased branches before buds or leaves appear. Use clean pruning shears on smaller branches and a pruning saw for the rest. Make a 2/3 cut from the bottom, then finish from the top. This prevents a splitting injury and ensures a clean-cut for it to heal.
6. Use a Low-Nitrogen Slow-Release Fertilizer Once a Year
Apply fertilizer in early spring when you see new leaves and buds appear. Organic compost is a perfect slow-release fertilizer.
You can use Scotts Evergreen Flowering Tree & Shrub Plant Food also. Follow package directions, spread at the base of the tree, and water thoroughly.
7. Don’t Get Carried Away When Pruning
These trees rarely need to be pruned, but If some branches are damaged or diseased, remove them immediately. Prune branches that rub together to prevent friction wounds.
To improve its shape, prune after the tree is done blooming. Snip tips to six inches above the ground to retain its shape.
8. Add Mulch Annually To improve Moisture & Control Weeds
Maintain a three-inch layer of mulch spaced six inches from the trunk to prevent rot. This will retain moisture in the soil so you don’t have to water as often.
Ground hardwood or cypress mulch is best. They supply vital nutrients when decomposing. Another good choice is compost.
9. Plant Trees in a Site Sheltered From Strong Winds
It looks best as a free-standing specimen in your yard. Remember its wide-spreading branches need room to grow.
Place away from strong wind or frost-prone areas that damage blossoms. A sunny location on a slight slope where it won’t become waterlogged is ideal.
10. Control Common Pests With Neem Oil and Bacillus Thuringensis
Neem oil, a natural pesticide, is non-toxic to birds, bees and other plants. Use it when you see scale, spider mites or harmful insects. The oil interferes with the ability of insects to propagate.
Tent caterpillars die when Bacillus thuringiensis is sprayed on them. Repeat weekly for lasting results.
11. Apply Preventative Fungicide in Spring & Before/After Flowering
Cherry leaf spot and powdery mildew are caused by fungal spores. The best fungicides are sulfur or copper-based products.
Luna Sensation and Merivon are recommended for best protection. Spray before petals appear and after the blossoms fade and fall.
12. Water Early in the Day, Allowing Excess to Evaporate Quickly
Soaking the ground around the trunk to avoid moisture on the leaves will help prevent powdery mildew.
Dry topsoil is a sure sign that the tree needs water after the first year.
13. Give Them Plenty of Room To Grow (Tall and Wide)
Your dwarf weeping cherry can reach heights of 10 to 15 feet, with equal spread. If you plant near the house, allow for that expansion.
It is most spectacularly planted at the corner of your property as a lone specimen. That location will cover its growth and air circulation requirements.
14. Plant Tree in a Higher Site Instead of a Low-Lying Area
An elevated site with a slight slope is ideal for ensuring a spectacular bloom. The possibility of disease affecting your tree is also lessened.
A low-lying area might expose the ornamental blossoms to frost damage. There is a greater risk of the ground becoming waterlogged too.
15. Water Established Trees During Dry Spells & Early Fruit Stages
Mature trees don’t need much water. An inch of rain over a ten-day period is quite sufficient.
Prolonged dry weather will affect them adversely despite being drought resistant. Supply extra water during those spells. Remember, they don’t tolerate wet, soggy soil.
9 Vital Care Needs for Cherry Trees
- Give them room to reach their mature size.
- Plant in a loose, well-drained soil.
- Water deeply twice a week at first, then during dry spells.
- They won’t tolerate wet roots.
- Prune dead or diseased limbs immediately.
- Mulch to retain moisture.
- Fertilize once a year with a slow-release product.
- Treat for pests and disease when spotted.
- Apply fungicide in early spring.
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