Flowering cherry trees can successfully be grown in the many regions of Colorado that are classified as USDA zones 5 and above. Flowering cherry trees benefit from good cultural practices and regular care. Ample water, fertilizing, pruning and cold protection when young all contribute to establishing healthy flowering trees that will remain productive over time.
Water your flowering cherry consistently throughout the year to keep the soil evenly moist but never persistently soaking wet. Water deeply around the entire root zone and slightly away from the trunk. Water more in spring and summer and less so in winter, when rain and snow pack will compensate for lack of irrigation. In drought conditions in winter, water on sunny days in the morning hours to prevent the soil from drying out beyond the top few inches.
Prune away dead, damaged, abrading or diseased twigs and branches each year in the early spring before new growth appears. Cut down to a point of healthy wood just 1/8-inch above a bud or leaf axil. Alternatively, cut down to the parent branch, placing the cut just outside the slightly swollen branch collar. Use secateurs for small diameter wood and loppers for larger diameter wood.
Protect the bark and sapwood of young cherry trees from winter cold and sunscald by covering the trunk with a tree wrap product each fall. Wrap the trunk from the base of the trunk up to between the first and second main limb. Tie or tape the wrap to secure it at the top. Duct tape and soft flexible garden ties work well. Remove the wrap in spring after the last hard frost. Repeat this protection each year until the trunk bark becomes thicker and better insulating, roughly four to six years.
Lay down a 3- to 4-inch blanket of organic mulch each fall before the first hard frost occurs. Choose from pine needles, straw, shredded bark or wood chips and mound the material on the soil surface, keeping the mulch from touching the cherry trunk.
Fertilize your flowering cherry once or twice per year in the spring and summer. Apply 1/8 lb. of fertilizer for every inch of trunk width when measuring a foot up from the soil surface. Select a fertilizer with a guaranteed analysis ratio of 3-1-2 or 12-4-8 or 18-6-12. Cast the fertilizer under the tree over the root mass, keeping it a foot out from the trunk and extending it to just past the drip line. Water in the fertilizer well until the surrounding soil is drenched to at least 6 inches down.