Okame flowering cherry (Prunus x incamp "Okame") is the result of breeding two other types of cherry trees with each other---Prunus incisa and Prunus campanulata. Plants that are a result of cross-breeding are called hybrids. The trees are prized for their flowers more than their fruits, and they bloom early in the spring and last way into the fall.
Okame flowering cherry grows from 15 to 20 feet tall and about 20 feet wide. The tree produces dark green leaves that grow from 1 to 2 inches long and turn yellow, orange and red in the fall. Single pink flowers grow on red stalks from late winter to early spring. The fruit is small and not very showy, and it does not attract wildlife.
Okame flowering cherry is hardy from the south of Zone 6 through Zone 9. In Zone 6, the average low nighttime temperatures in winter get no lower than -10 to 0 F. In Zone 7, it is 0 to 10 F; in Zone 8, 10 to 20 F; and in Zone 9, 20 to 30 F.
Okame flowering cherry grows in full sun, partial sun or partial shade and in clay, sandy or loam soil, as long as it is well-drained. It can also survive a short period of drought. In warmer areas, the tree should be planted where it can get some sun in the afternoon.
Okame flowering cherry is used as a single lawn specimen tree or a shade tree for a deck or patio. It also can be planted in groups for a privacy screen or as a container tree. The trees need to have enough room for the roots to grow, so they should be planted 20 feet away from each other.
Okame flowering cherry can be bothered by a variety of insect pests. Canker worms can completely defoliate a tree. Aphids can damage new growth, cause sooty mold and deposit a substance called honeydew, which attracts other insects. Borers attack trees that do not get enough fertilizer. Scales are small insects that can damage the fruit. Spider mites cause the leaves to turn yellow. Tent caterpillars make their nests in the trees and eat the leaves.