How to Plant Cherry Trees in Seattle


Seattle is a great garden town. Its mild temperatures and abundant rainfall provide an excellent environment for a diverse array of plants. Seattle is particularly beautiful in spring when the flowering trees are in bloom. Judging from a spring drive through city neighborhoods, flowering cherry trees are among Seattle's favorites. From city squares to suburban gardens, cherry trees show off their fragrant, blush rose blossoms in April. Native to Japan, they are available in many varieties and are easy to plant and care for. Once your cherry tree becomes established, it will quickly grow into a show-stopper that will last for many decades. Get started in either spring or early fall; they are both ideal for planting trees in Seattle.

Step 1

Choose a sunny, well-drained site to plant your cherry tree. Ornamental cherry trees tend to be almost as wide as they are tall, so give them space to spread out to their fullest.

Step 2

Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and 1 1/2 times as wide.

Step 3

Amend the soil by mixing in a quarter compost to existing soil. Scratch 2 inches of compost into the bottom of the hole.

Step 4

Remove the tree from its container and center it in the hole. If the tree is wrapped in burlap, cut the twine from the base of the trunk to prevent girdling as the tree grows.

Step 5

Backfill the hole to the top of the root ball with improved soil. Tamp gently to eliminate air pockets.

Step 6

Water until the planting hole is full. After the water settles, add more amended soil if needed. Water again, mixing in liquid plant starter which helps new plants establish strong root systems.

Step 7

Spread mulch around the base of the tree 2 inches deep and 6 inches beyond the planting hole. Pull the mulch away from the trunk 2 inches to prevent excessive moisture against the trunk, which can cause rot.

Step 8

Water deeply throughout the first season as the soil under the mulch becomes dry. Do not overwater. The Seattle sky provides regular rain. A constantly saturated root ball will cause the roots to rot and the tree to die.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Liquid plant starter


  • U.S. National Arboretum: Aboretum Plant Photo Gallery
Keywords: cherry trees, Seattle, flowering cherry

About this Author

Robert Lewis has been writing do-it-yourself and garden-related articles since 2000. He holds a B.A. in history from the University of Maryland and has training experience in finance, garden center retailing and teaching English as a second language. Lewis is an antiques dealer specializing in Chinese and Japanese export porcelain.