Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Water Flowering Cherry Trees

By Kathleen Sonntag ; Updated September 21, 2017

Ornamental or flowering cherry trees produce blossoms but no fruit. They are a wonderful accent plant in a garden. There are weeping varieties that are small with curved branches extending to the ground and varieties that grow as tall as 30 feet. A newly planted tree needs water to help the roots spread and absorb nutrients. An established tree needs little or no watering unless conditions are hot and dry for a prolonged period.

Newly Planted trees

After planting your flowering cherry tree in a full-sun location in well-draining, fertile soil, water near the trunk with a slow-flowing hose or drip irrigation for 30 minutes.

Apply a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch 2 to 3 inches away from the tree trunk to help maintain soil moisture.

Water twice a week for about 30 minutes unless it rains since the roots are short and shallow.

First Two to Three Years After Planting

Apply a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch each summer, especially in dry climates. Place the mulch 2 to 3 inches away from the tree trunk.

Water your flowering cherry tree weekly during hot, dry periods with a slow-flowing hose or drip irrigation placed under the tree, but not right next to the tree's trunk.

Water for at least an hour weekly until temperatures cool or it rains. The roots are spreading out to the edge of the tree canopy. The water needs to soak into the soil around the tree into the roots.

Established Trees (Three or More Years After Planting)

Water your established flowering cherry tree once or twice a month if the weather is hot and dry with a slow-flowing hose placed under the tree, 1 to 2 feet away from the tree's trunk.

Apply water away from the trunk because the roots extend out to the edge of the tree canopy.

Run the hose for an hour, then move it to a different spot under the tree and water for another hour. An established tree has roots 18 to 24 inches deep.

Let the leaves remain on the ground under the tree when they drop in the fall. No better much exists.


Things You Will Need

  • Full-sun location
  • Well-draining, fertile soil
  • Hose or drip irrigation
  • Mulch


  • Plant new trees before the rainy season whenever possible to encourage root growth.
  • Apply timed-release fertilizer before mulching each year.


  • Plant your tree in soil with good drainage. Flowering cherry trees do not do well in standing water. Water displaces oxygen in the soil and the roots rot.
  • Stop watering if the water starts to run off rather than soak into the soil. Begin watering again after the soil absorbs the water.

About the Author


Kathleen Sonntag lives in Carmel, California, where she is a writer, teacher and editor. She is a Master Gardener and writes articles for gardening publications. Sonntag has written and edited reading test passages and has edited children's books, cookbooks and memoirs. Her articles appear on GardenGuides.com. Sonntag holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Berkeley.