Everything You Wanted to Know about the Weeping Cherry Tree

There isn’t a single kind of cherry tree that can be found out there. Instead, there are a number of them. Some cherry trees are prized for their edible fruits, which is something that they share with their plum, peach, and apricot-producing cousins in the genus Prunus. In contrast, other cherry trees are prized for the beautiful appearance of their flowers, with the most famous example being those that can be found in the land of Japan. Naturally, human interest in cherry trees has resulted in the creation of various forms of various species, with an excellent example being the weeping cherry tree.

In short, the Prunus pendula is a cherry tree that is prized for its flowers rather than its fruits. It comes from Japan, but it is interesting to note that it cannot be found in the wild, which supports the line of speculation that it is a hybrid bred from two other cherry tree species. There are a number of varieties of Prunus pendula that see use as ornaments, with the weeping cherry tree being one of the most popular.

Why Would You Want a Weeping Cherry Tree?

The weeping cherry tree is called thus because it possesses slender, flexible branches that bend towards the ground, so much so that it isn’t uncommon for said branches to either kiss the ground or come very close to it. In spring-time, these cherry trees bloom with either pink or white flowers, which might be small in size but come in clusters of two to five flowers for maximum impact. As such, weeping cherry trees can seem as though they are bowed with floral crowns, thus making for a very memorable image that has contributed much to their popularity as focal points for their surroundings.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to gardening with weeping cherry trees:

Planting

Generally speaking, when someone is seeking to plant a weeping cherry tree, they should plant it in a hole that is about as deep as the root ball but about two to three times the width of the root ball. If said individual isn’t sure that the base of the trunk is sitting level with the surrounding soil, they should use a tool with a straight handle to make sure that this is indeed the case. Some people might be tempted to add soil amendments, but this isn’t recommended because soil amendments will encourage the roots to stay in the hole that they have been planted in, whereas the general desire is for them to spread beyond those boundaries. When filling the hole, interested individuals should fill it to about halfway while pressing on the soil from time to time to remove air pockets, fill the rest of the hole with water before letting it drain, and then filling in the rest of the hole with soil. In some cases, it might be necessary to stake the weeping cherry tree, but if so, be sure to remove the stakes after about a year’s time.

Optimal Conditions

Weeping cherry trees do their best with full sun, but the species is capable of tolerating light shade as well. With that said, they need good air circulation around their canopies, which is one of the reasons that it is so important to choose their locations with care so that they won’t come too close to existing trees and structures. Regular watering is a good idea, particularly when the prevailing conditions are dry. However, interested individuals need to water in a slow manner so that the water will have a chance to sink deeper into the soil. If they want to cut down on the need to water, there is a simple and straightforward solution in the form of adding a 2 to 4 inch-thick layer of organic mulch to help the retention of moisture. As for fertilizer, the general recommendation is to use a slow-release fertilizer when the new leaves are beginning to come out for the start of spring.

Pruning

The weeping cherry tree’s main appeal can be found in its branches. As a result, interested individuals need to pay close attention to them. There are two occasions when pruning might be necessary. First, damaged and diseased branches should be removed sooner rather than later to prevent the issue from spreading. Second, branches that are rubbing against one another can cause wounds that will make it easier for pathogens to get in, meaning that one should be removed when winter comes to prevent said problem from popping up.


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