Flowering Cherry - 'Prunus'Prunus is the Latin name of flowering cherries and their relatives (over 400 species, which include edible cherries, plums, peaches, apricots, and almonds). While the distinctions between species and cultivars are often difficult, the flowering cherries discussed below are presented as an encapsulated treatment of the more popular ornamental types. With delicate flowers that are the equal of any ornamental tree, flowering cherries are also appealing for their summer and fall foliage and still more for their ornamental bark characteristics. Unfortunately, Prunus as a group is beset with insect and disease problems and perhaps should not be looked upon as long term garden investments. Some, such as Prunus subhirtella, P. sargentii, and selected P. serrulata types, can be expected to live for 30 to 50 years while P. persica, P. cerasifera 'Atropurpurea', and P. glandulosa may decline in 3 to 10 years.
|Some Popular Varieties:
||Okame (Prunus campanulata), Thundercloud or Thundercloud Plum (Prunus cerasifera), Kwanzan Cherry (Prunus serrulata 'Kwanzan'), Autumn Flowering Higan Cherry (Prunus subhirtella var. autumnalis), Weeping Higan Cherry (Prunus subhirtella var. pendula), Purpleleaf Sand Cherry or Sand Cherry (Prunus x cistena), Snow Goose Cherry (Prunus x Snow Goose), Yoshino Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis), Weeping Yoshino Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis var. perpendens), Shirogun Cherry (Prunus serrulata 'Shirogun')|
||Deciduous Ornamental Tree|
||Leaves vary by cultivar.|
||Varies by cultivar.|
||Zone 5 to 8. For an idea of your plant zone please visit the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.|
||Varies by cultivar|
||Typically slow to medium|
||Flowers vary in color and type by cultivar. The flowering time of cherries, like most spring-flowering plants, is dependent on a combination of day length and temperature. Different types also have different blooming seasons with some even flowering in the fall.|
|Diseases & Insects:
||Varies by individual cultivar. Few Prunus species are resistant to disease and insect pests, but generally can tolerate some damage from them, blooming consistently for several decades if otherwise healthy.|
||An undeniably beautiful genus of plants. Flowering Cherry trees can be used in mass plantings or just as choice specimens. Depending on the cultivar and species, disease and insect concerns should be properly addressed. Flowers and fall color are reason enough to use in landscape designs.|
||Generally easy to grow, flowering cherries recquire full sun, well-drained soil, and adequate moisture. Plant them in spring or fall.|
||Water regularly after initial planting and prune as necessary to maintain form and desired shape.|
||Fertilize an area three times the canopy spread of the tree 1 to 2 times a year with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Only fertilize an established tree.
||Dig a hole three times the diameter of the root system, with a depth no deeper than the original soil line on trunk. Break up the soil to the finest consistency possible. Place plant in hole and fill, compacting the fill dirt. Water the plant heavily to seal soil around the roots and remove air pockets. Water well, and remember to water regularly until they have started to grow.