By Jennifer Poindexter
Do you have a favorite tree that you’d like to incorporate into your landscape? Have you considered the weeping cherry tree?
This tree stands out against most others because of its dangling, dainty branches and gorgeous pink blooms.
Should you wish to add this tree to your yard, it’s vital to understand how to grow it. Don’t fret as this is an easy tree to care for.
However, it’s important to understand the basics to ensure you give the weeping cherry tree every reason to thrive under your care.
Here is how you can grow a weeping cherry tree around your home:
Growing Conditions for a Weeping Cherry Tree
A weeping cherry tree has only a few specific growing conditions which must be met to start the process on the right foot.
The first thing to consider is your planting zone. This tree is hardy in planting zones five through eight. It comes in multiple varieties which can be placed in two categories, dwarf and traditional.
Most dwarf trees only grow to become around eight feet tall. The more traditional weeping cherry tree can become forty feet tall.
Know which variety you’re growing as these plants need appropriate spacing to ensure adequate airflow around the trees. Proper spacing helps deter disease.
A weeping cherry tree should be planted in well-draining soil as this deters rot from developing. The tree also needs full to partial sunlight.
Should you meet all the desired growing conditions, your weeping cherry tree should avoid many health problems. Plus, you can expect it to bloom each spring with a plethora of pink and white flowers.
How to Plant a Weeping Cherry Tree
The most common way to plant a weeping cherry tree is to transplant a sapling. However, you can obtain your plant by purchasing it or by propagating it from a mature weeping cherry tree.
To propagate a weeping cherry tree from a cutting remove a piece of a mature tree by cutting it at an angle.
The cutting should contain around three nodes on it. Remove the leaves from the bottom portion of the cutting, dip it in rooting hormone, and plant it in a container filled with well-draining soil.
Wrap the container in plastic to create a greenhouse effect. You should check the pot each day to ensure the soil remains evenly damp. It should take the cutting approximately three months to form roots.
Once the plant’s roots have become established and begin to take over the container, transplant it to a larger gallon-sized planter.
Continue to care for the cutting by watering it regularly, and transplant it outdoors the following spring.
Whether you’re transplanting a sapling you propagated or you purchase one, the steps are the same. Dig a hole, in an appropriate growing location, that is as deep as the root ball.
The hole should be three times as wide as the root ball. Place the tree in the hole and ensure it’s level. You shouldn’t amend the soil at the time of planting.
This will encourage the roots to stay in the same location instead of spreading. Backfill the hole halfway with dirt.
Press your foot into the dirt to remove air pockets. At this point, fill the hole with water, and allow the water to absorb back into the ground.
Once finished, fill the hole completely with dirt. Water the tree, and it should be on its way to forming an established root system.
Now that you understand what a weeping cherry tree needs in a growing location and how to plant it, let’s discuss how to care for it.
Caring for a Weeping Cherry Tree
A weeping cherry tree will only need a few things from you to keep it healthy and thriving. The first thing you should do to care for a weeping cherry tree is water the plant deeply.
The idea is to water the plant for longer periods of time, fewer days of the week. In doing so, you saturate the roots of the plant during the time of watering.
You also saturate the ground surrounding the tree. As the days progress, and the tree needs more water, it will dig its roots into the ground in search of it.
This leads to a stronger root system, an overall healthier plant, and less work for you as the gardener. Once you have a watering technique down, you should mulch around the tree.
It’s important that you mulch the ground at the base of the tree. Don’t layer the mulch up the trunk as this is known as volcano mulching and causes harm to the plant.
By mulching around your weeping cherry tree, you’re helping retain moisture and suppress weeds simultaneously.
The next step in caring for this tree is fertilizing it with a slow-release fertilizer each spring. This will provide the boost of nutrients the plant needs to bloom.
Finally, be mindful of how you prune a weeping cherry tree. You only need to prune this tree when branches appear diseased, are damaged, or are causing issues.
Should branches become diseased or damaged, remove them as soon as possible. If the branches are causing issues, such as overlapping with a neighboring tree, remove the branches during dormancy.
You should not allow trees to overlap because as the branches rub each other, they cause wounds. These wounds are an open door for pests and diseases.
By trimming the overlapping branches during dormancy, you’re lessening the chances of wounds forming on either tree.
You now understand what a weeping cherry tree needs from you. Practice these few steps to ensure your tree remains healthy each year.
Garden Pests and Diseases Which Might Impact a Weeping Cherry Tree
The last thing we must discuss when growing a weeping cherry tree is how to protect it. Though weeping cherry trees are known for attracting pollinators, they also have a few issues with pests and diseases.
Let’s explore what each of these issues are, so you may also learn how to treat or deter the problems altogether.
The pests which most commonly impact a weeping cherry tree are Japanese beetles, aphids, scales, caterpillars, and spider mites.
All of these pests can be treated using an insecticide. In some cases, you may spray the tree forcefully with soapy water.
This will treat aphids and spider mites as it dislodges the pests, their homes, and any sticky residue they may leave behind.
There are other home remedies for deterring pests, however, they would be tedious to utilize on such a large plant. Therefore, if you see pests, it’s wise to treat them with an insecticide at the first sighting.
The most common diseases which impact a weeping cherry tree are powdery mildew, leaf curl, and root rot.
These issues are typically fungal based and occur due to inadequate growing conditions. It’s best to ensure you plant your tree in areas with adequately draining soil, proper airflow, and ideal lighting.
All these things ensure that oversaturation doesn’t occur on any part of the tree which ultimately leads to fungal disease.
You may also use a fungicide should you spot powdery mildew or leaf curl. If you think your tree is suffering from root rot, try digging the plant up and transplanting it into an area with adequately draining soil.
However, it’s a toss-up if your plant will survive once transplanted as this disease can be hard for plants to overcome.
You now know what you’re up against when it comes to protecting weeping cherry trees. Remember, it’s best to act quickly when you notice an issue with diseases or pests. This gives your tree the greatest chance of survival.
Now that you know how to plant, care for, protect, and provide adequate growing conditions for a weeping cherry tree, it’s time to put this information into practice.
If you think a weeping cherry tree would grow well in your planting zone, utilize these tips to create a gorgeous landscape that’s sure to add curb-appeal to your home.
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