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How to Care for Kwanzan Cherry Trees

Native to Japan and China, the Kwanzan cherry tree is a fruitless cherry variety that grows in a vase-shaped form with pink flowers that grow in clusters of three to five blooms in the spring. The Kwanzan cherry is the hardiest of cherry trees, withstanding minimum winter temperatures to minus 15 degrees F. The tree can grow 30 to 40 feet tall and wide at maturity, offering golden, orange and copper leaves in the fall. The Kwanzan cherry tree can grow in many different kinds of soils, but it prefers well-draining, loose soil, and the tree grows best in full sunlight. Although the Kwanzan cherry has a lifespan of only 15 to 25 years, it’s adaptable and somewhat drought-tolerant.

Water the Kwanzan cherry tree deeply once each week or when the top 3 inches of soil around the tree feels slightly dry. Water the tree during the growing season to supplement rainfall, ensuring that the tree receives at least ½ to 1 inch of water every week.

Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of bark mulch on the ground over the root zone of the Kwanzan cherry tree, keeping the mulch about 6 inches away from the trunk.

Feed the Kwanzan cherry tree once each year in early spring, just before new growth emerges, with a slow-release complete fertilizer designed for flowering trees. Follow the dosage and application instructions on the label.

Prune away any dead or diseased branches in early summer. Remove any crowded or inwardly-growing limbs on the Kwanzan tree.

Spray the Kwanzan cherry tree with horticultural oil in the early spring to control aphid, scale and mite infestations.


Keep an eye out for fungal diseases such as black knot, silver leaf, powdery mildew, cherry leaf spot and brown rot, infecting the Kwanzan cherry tree. Prune away and destroy all diseased growth and treat the disease with an appropriate fungicide.


Always disinfect your pruning tools before and after using them, especially if you’re removing diseased growth. Dip the tools into a solution of three parts denatured alcohol and one part water for 30 seconds.

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