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How to Care for Flowering Cherry Trees

By Charmayne Smith ; Updated September 21, 2017

The flowering cherry tree is a deciduous fruit tree that stems from the Rosaceae family. There are many kinds of flowering cherry trees with varying bloom colors, from pink to white. The trees are fairly hardy and will grow up to 30 feet tall with the right care.

Select a planting location. Flowering cherry trees require at least eight hours of direct sunlight each day for maximum blooms and fruit production. The tree also requires well-drained, nutrient rich soil, and good aeration. Choose a location that provides a good combination of these requirements. Remove any weeds, grass, or other growing entities from the area. The tree should have at least a 4-foot-diameter uninhibited space.

Plant the flowering cherry tree in its new location. Dig a hole for the tree. The diameter of the hole should be at least twice the diameter of the root system. This will allow the root system to spread comfortably in its new location. The hole should also be at least 2 feet deep. The graft should rest at least 2 inches above the soil. Cover the roots with soil after spreading out the root system. Ensure that the soil is packed firmly around the hole to promote good establishment.

Water your flowering cherry tree regularly. These trees prefer moist soil. Though most flowering cherry trees are intolerant to drought conditions, some will thrive in drier conditions. Develop a watering schedule that allows the tree to maintain constant moisture without overwatering. The water should reach the root system of the tree. A slow, long watering is more productive than a quick, heavy watering. Check the tree’s soil moisture at least 3 inches below the surface before each watering. If the soil is somewhat dry to completely dry, water your tree immediately.

Fertilize your cherry tree to promote a vigorous growing season. Distribute a well-balanced fertilizer around the base of the tree. The fertilizer should contain a combination of potassium, phosphate and nitrogen. Apply the fertilizer in the early spring and again in early summer. Avoid heavy fertilization during the blooming period. Use a fertilizer that is designed for cherry trees. Check with your horticultural or nursery specialist for selection assistance.

Prune the cherry tree to develop a strong framework and promote good aeration. Remove any dead or dying branches and stems from the tree as they appear. Prune for framework and aeration in the late fall and winter months. Thin out the branches to increase circulation. The increased circulation will reduce the potential of disease. Prune young trees to promote vigorous growth and fruit production for the following year. Cut approximately an eighth of an inch above the bud using an angular cut.

Harvest the cherries at the end of the growing season. The ripened cherries will have a dark, rich red color and be firm to the touch. It might be necessary to harvest a little each day until the harvesting is complete.


Things You Will Need

  • Cherry tree
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears

About the Author


Writing professionally since 2004, Charmayne Smith focuses on corporate materials such as training manuals, business plans, grant applications and technical manuals. Smith's articles have appeared in the "Houston Chronicle" and on various websites, drawing on her extensive experience in corporate management and property/casualty insurance.