Weeping cherry trees (Prunus subhirtella "Pendula") are attractive, deciduous trees that feature drooping branches laden with spring blooms. Native to Japan, the trees are popular with home gardeners who want a visual centerpiece in their landscape. Weeping cherry trees can reach heights of 40 feet, with a 25-foot canopy, according to information published by Ohio State University. The arching stems grow faster than the trunk and can reach the ground if not pruned.
Weeping cherry trees can be successfully grown in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) growing zones 5A through 8B, according to by the University of Florida. These trees do best in climates with mild winters and summers.
Prunus subhirtella "Pendula" needs full sun to flower well, according to information published by the University of Connecticut. Although it is adaptable to different soil conditions, it thrives best in rich, moist soil and is often planted near ponds or other reflective bodies of water. Choose a site protected from wind, however, as the long, thin branches are somewhat fragile.
Remove all grass (including turf) from the planting site. Weeping cherries do not do well in competition with grass. Dig a hole as large and wide as the root ball, then backfill it slightly so that when you place the tree in the hole, the bud union (a "knobby" area on the stem where grafting took place) sits about 3 inches above the surface. Backfill the hole completely, and tamp it down to remove any air pockets. Water thoroughly.
Mulch around this tree with a thick layer of mulch (3 to 4 inches). Keep a 6-inch circle around the trunk bare of mulch, and extend the rest of the mulch to the edges of the tree's canopy. This will retain moisture and prevent weed growth. Remove all suckers (vertically growing branches near the trunk at the base of the tree) immediately. Prune the branches to the height you desire. The best time to do this is in the spring, after the tree has stopped flowering, according to information from the University of Connecticut.
The weeping cherry is beautiful, but that beauty comes with a price. The tree is prone to disease and insect problems, especially in dry conditions, according to information from the University of Florida. Aphids, spider mites and other insects can attack and destroy the buds before they can even open, or decimate the foliage if the tree is infested later in the summer. Treat the tree with an insecticide that is made to kill chewing and sucking insects. Follow the directions on the label for the size of your tree, and note that frequent applications may be necessary. Fungi can also infect the weeping cherry, causing leaf spot, cankers and blight. Apply a preventative fungicide in the spring to prevent this problem.