The Yoshino cherry tree is a popular flowering cherry that produces a round crown with lightly scented pink flowers that bloom in spring. The tree is hardy to plant in USDA growing zones 5 through 8 and reaches a height of 20 to 40 feet. Yoshino cherry trees highlight the Washington, D.C., and Macon, Ga., cherry festivals.
Choose a planting location for the Yoshino cherry tree that has a well-draining soil and full-sun to part-shade light conditions. The tree grows well in a loam or partial-clay type soil. Yoshino cherry trees are commonly planted near a patio to produce shade or along walkways in the home landscape. Test the soil pH as the tree prefers a slightly acidic soil of 6.5 to 7.0. Amend the soil by working in ground rock sulfur to lower the pH or limestone to raise the pH. Water the soil well to dissolve the amendments and let it rest for two weeks before planting.
How to Plant
Dig a planting hole for the Yoshino cherry tree that is two to three times the width of the root ball and the same depth. Place the tree in the hole, making sure the top of the root ball is even with the ground. Remove twine or burlap from the root ball if it was used to hold the root system in place. Fill half of the hole with soil and gently pack in place. Fill the hole with water and allow it to absorb into the root ball and surrounding soil. Verify the tree is standing straight and facing the desired direction and fill the remaining area of the hole with soil. Water the tree well to compact the soil and remove air pockets around the root ball. Do not stomp the soil as this could damage the root ball.
Care and Maintenance
Water the Yoshino cherry tree with a good soaking weekly for the first year after planting. The water should absorb to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. Continue to provide supplemental water in the following years during periods of drought. The tree can tolerate mild drought conditions but will produce better when given adequate moisture through the growing season. Fertilize the tree every other year early in the growing season with a balanced fertilizer for trees. Do not fertilize with high nitrogen as this will limit the amount of flowers produced.
Propagate the Yoshino cherry tree by taking softwood stem cuttings in early summer. Dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone and stick it into a tray filled with moistened rooting medium. Mist the cuttings and medium with water and place a clear plastic cover over the tray. Set the tray in a location that has indirect sunlight and bottom heat such as the top of a refrigerator. Transplant the cuttings to individual growing containers once the roots have reached 1 inch in length.
Monitor the Yoshino cherry tree for the presence of aphid or borers insects. An aphid infestation will present the symptoms of a sticky residue and sooty mold on the leaves and stems of new tree growth. Spray the tree with water to remove the insects. Borer insects get their name as they burrow under the bark and damage the tree by making deep gouges into the wood. Treat a borer infestation by applying an insecticide during the egg and larva stage of the insect. Prevent insect infestations by providing proper moisture and nutrients to maintain the health of the tree.