Pink weeping cherry trees are an exceptionally hardy and low-maintenance option for a beautiful and elegant ornamental tree. Their arching branches provide a canopy of delicate pink flowers in the spring, and beautiful green and yellow leaves in summer and autumn. Keep reading to learn all about the pink weeping cherry tree, its history, and how to care for this gorgeous addition to your garden.
History of the Pink Weeping Cherry Tree
Weeping cherry trees are believed to have originated in China. From there, they were cultivated in eighth-century Japan as landscaping ornaments for royal homes in Kyoto, where they quickly replaced the plum trees, which had previously been favored in Japan. The weeping cherry tree is now planted throughout the country and is nearly synonymous with springtime Japan!
It wasn’t until the early 20th century that the tree made its way to America with the help of David Fairchild, an executive with the U.S. department of agriculture. In the years after World War II, Japan would donate hundreds of weeping cherry trees to the U.S. as gifts. The trees now stand all over the country as a symbol of friendship between the two nations.
Today there are many varieties of pink weeping cherry trees, each with its own unique features, but they all live under the umbrella designation of weeping cherry trees. As a result, all the varieties share the majority of their characteristics with the original weeping cherry trees brought over from Japan.
Pink Weeping Cherry Tree Characteristics and Care
The pink weeping cherry tree is a beautiful tree with arching branches that create a cascading fountain shape. In the spring, these are covered with delicate pink blossoms. In the summer months, they display glossy green leaves which gradually turn yellow as fall approaches. In the winter, its bronze bark stands out.
This drought-tolerant tree also attracts pollinators like birds, butterflies, and bees. Pink weeping cherry trees grow to be 20 to 30 feet tall at a rate of one to two feet per year, and require very little in the way of maintenance. Pruning is generally restricted to dead or diseased branches and shaping the tree the way you prefer it!
Hardy and able to adapt to most soil conditions, the tree only needs to be watered consistently during its first year and during long dry spells. Putting a three-inch barrier of mulch down at least six inches from the trunk will help keep the soil moist.
Unlike other varieties of cherry trees, the fruit of the pink weeping cherry tree is generally considered to be inedible due to both its small size and its intense sourness. That said, birds love the fruit and help to spread its pollen and seeds wherever they fly.
Pink weeping cherry trees grow best in zones five through eight, but can be found in zones four through nine. These trees do best in warmer climates with plenty of sunlight and mild winter temperatures, but generally they can survive in most areas of the US with the exception of the Southernmost states.
Wondering if your geographic location could be suited to growing a Pink Weeping Cherry Tree? Check out what it takes to grow a cherry tree to help make out your mind.
Size and Spacing
A pink weeping cherry tree can grow between 20 and 30 feet tall at a rate of one to two feet per year. Pink weeping cherry trees grow quite large in terms of spread as well, so be sure to leave around 10 feet of space between the tree and your house or smaller trees and bushes, so that it doesn’t overshadow other plant life.
Most cherry trees require cross-pollination, meaning pollination from another tree within the species, and the pink weeping cherry tree is no exception. Most of this cross-pollination is done through the help of honeybees.
Pink Weeping Cherry Tree Care
Pink weeping cherry trees need at least six hours of full sun in order to thrive. However, they can also grow in partial shade, but that means they will have a lesser bloom in the spring. The more shade, the lower the overall bloom count and the less ‘full’ the tree will look in the spring.
During the first year after planting, it’s a good idea to water your pink weeping cherry tree heavily twice a week. After this, however, you should only need to water the tree during very high temperatures, a long dry spell, or an actual drought.
The pink weeping cherry tree needs very little in the way of pruning unless you’re cutting branches to control its size. Pruning should also be done to remove dead or diseased branches. Discover the details of pruning cherry trees to do the best possible job.
Diseases and Care
Common diseases to watch out for when caring for a pink weeping cherry tree are brown rot on the flowers, general wood rot, spots, and knot diseases. These trees are also susceptible to blight, cankers on the trunk, and powdery mildew. Any diseased or dead branches should be pruned back as soon as you find them so that they don’t infect the rest of the tree or continue to drain energy from it.
Learn about how to spot and care for common cherry tree diseases.
Common Uses For Pink Weeping Cherry Tree Fruit
As mentioned earlier, the fruit from the pink weeping cherry tree is actually considered inedible due to its small size and sour taste, but because birds love the fruit, you can mix it into birdseed for your backyard visitors.
Like most organic matter, the fruit makes for good fertilizer as it breaks down and so can be a welcome addition to your compost pile.
If done carefully, the fruit can also be dried, coated in sealant, and used for decorative purposes.
Where to Buy a Pink Weeping Cherry Tree?
There are many places you can find pink weeping cherry trees these days. Buy your weeping cherry tree online!
Now You Know All About the Pink Weeping Cherry Tree
First brought to the U.S. in the early 20th century, pink weeping cherry trees are beautiful ornamental trees that have a long history within the royal homes in Kyoto, Japan. Now, the trees are seen all throughout the country. While the fruit of these elegant trees is inedible to humans, it’s a great source of food for birds, making the tree a favorite of birdwatchers. Next, keep reading about other cherry tree varieties to make your garden even more beautiful!