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How to Relocate a Weeping Cherry Tree

The weeping cherry tree, with its gracefully dipping branches, is a popular landscape tree in America. Weeping cherry trees are prized for their beautiful light pink blossoms, which cover the tree in early spring, as well as their pleasing fragrance. In the fall, the dark green leaves turn a brilliant yellow color. The weeping cherry is often planted near water to reflect the tree's beauty. Relocating, or transplanting the Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula', is fairly easy to do, especially if the tree is young.

Uprooting the Tree

Choose the right time. March is the best time to transplant cherry trees, as well as most other types of spring flowering trees.

Select a new location that gets between five and six hours of sunlight per day, preferably in the mornings. Make sure there is enough room for the tree to reach its mature size of 30 feet tall and 25 feet high, if you are not going to prune it.

Tie branches together into groups with string. This will prevent a lot of breakage when uprooting and moving the tree.

Use a sharp shovel to dig up the weeping cherry tree. Trace a circle around the tree at the canopy line, or where the tree's branches droop. Start to dig there, and dig at an angle towards the trunk, aiming for under the root ball as you excavate the soil. It is fine to sever small roots (finger-sized or smaller).

Work the shovel under the weeping cherry's root ball until it is mobile. Try to make a root ball that is small enough to move, and not so large that it will break apart. It should be round and firm.

Use a wheelbarrow to move the tree to the new location if it is very heavy.

Planting the Tree

Dig a hole twice as large as the weeping cherry tree's root ball, but only just as deep. Slash the sides of the hole with the shovel to create paths for the roots to easily penetrate.

Place the tree in the middle of the hole, and fill in around the tree with the excavated soil. Tamp the soil down to get rid of any air pockets that could dry out the weeping cherry tree's roots.

Water the tree thoroughly, then cover the area around the trunk with 2 inches of mulch out to the edge of the tree's canopy, or branches.


Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Weeping cherry trees are prone to pests and diseases, and they are especially fragile if they become stressed from dehydration.

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