Weeping cherry tree, or “weeping Higan cherry,” is a specimen valued in spring for its flowers and year-round for its form. This cultivar was developed to take advantage of the lovely flowers of the genus while adding a cascading form into the mix. The genus can bear either pink or white flowers. It is an ornamental tree, not a cherry tree grown for the sweet fruit that you would find in the grocery store; for the latter, grow sweet Bing cherries. Prunus is part of the Rose family.
The weeping cherry tree is fussy in its growing requirements and care and is often attacked by insects and diseases. Carefully consider the high amount of maintenance it needs against the beauty it offers when selecting it as a landscape tree. If you do choose to grow it, here are the conditions it needs and how to care for it.
Although it will grow in partial shade, plant weeping cherry tree in full sun for optimal performance. Growing it in partial shade increases its susceptibility to fungal diseases.
Provide it with a good garden loam so that its soil will drain well.
The water needs of this plant are average. But for optimal results, keep its soil evenly moist during the growing season.
Temperature & Humidity
Weeping cherry tree is suited to neither the extreme cold of the far North nor the extreme heat and humidity of the deep South. However, it tolerates cold and heat better than most other ornamental cherry trees.
Weeping cherry tree performs best in ground that is at least moderately rich. Feed it annually with a complete fertilizer in early spring. Follow label instructions exactly, since the proper amount to apply varies according to tree size. Applying too much fertilizer can burn your plant.
Usually, the weeping cherry tree you buy will be the result of a graft. The top part of the tree (the “scion”) is the weeping part. The bottom part (the “rootstock”) is actually a Prunus avium and does not have weeping capabilities. Any shoots coming out of the rootstock are undesirable and should be pruned off immediately; your plant is diverting valuable energy away from the rest of the tree into these useless shoots, which are unattractive.
Weeping cherry tree is reasonably cold-hardy. No extra care is required to overwinter it if you live in an area no colder than zone 5.
Weeping cherry tree is prone to attacks from insects and diseases. For example:
The weeping cherry tree is susceptible to infestations of borers (both adult and larval). A sign that you have a borer problem is sap leaking out of the trunk. Severe infestations are fatal and will necessitate tree removal. Your weeping cherry tree will probably survive a minor infestation as long as it is healthy and you continue to provide it with the sunlight, water, and nutrients that it needs.
Powdery Mildew Disease
Weeping cherries can be attacked by powdery mildew disease, a fungal disease that does little real harm to the tree but that mars its appearance. As when dealing with powdery mildew on any plant, there are several preventative measures you can take:
- Strike a balance between keeping the soil dry and keeping it overly saturated. Soggy soil is a breeding ground for fungi.
- When watering, avoid getting the leaves wet.
- Irrigate early in the day, allowing excess water to evaporate prior to nightfall.
- Practice proper garden hygiene. Diseased vegetation should be immediately cut off and disposed of properly (not composted).
Does weeping cherry tree have nice fall foliage?
Weeping cherry is not grown for its fall color. The leaves do turn yellow to orange in fall, but there are better choices for fall foliage.
Does weeping cherry tree have attractive foliage at all?
While its fall foliage pales compared to the competition, its spring foliage has a nice bronze color to it, as does pagoda dogwood.
What is the biggest con to planting a weeping cherry trees?
As prone to pest attacks and diseases as they are, they are short-lived. There are many great flowering trees; consider another choice if longevity is important to you.
Information courtesy of TheSpruce.com