How fast does a kwanzan cherry tree grow

Everything You Need to Know About Kwanzan Cherry Trees

Kwanzan cherry trees have a reputation for being some of the showiest cherries at the National Cherry Blossom Festival, with dramatic, deep pink double-blossoms. But Kwanzan cherry trees are eye-catching year-round, with leaves that emerge a rich red-copper hue before taking on a green shade and finally turning yellow in fall. These trees can be planted as specimen trees, in a tasteful row, or even as a bonsai in a container. Unfortunately, their lifespan is only 15-25 years.

Kwanzan Cherry Trees at a Glance

  • Double-blossoms
  • Don’t bear fruit
  • Low-maintenance
  • National Cherry Blossom Festival staple
  • Leaves change color year-round
  • Short-lived


Kwanzan cherry trees grow in a lovely vase shape, with serrated leaves that grow to roughly 4-5 inches in length. Their leaves emerge reddish-copper before turning a glossy, deep green in the summer to yellow and bronze in the fall. The trees grow to be 30-40 feet tall with a 30-40 foot spread, and have a moderate growth rate of 12-24 inches per year.


AppearanceVase shape, leaves change throughout the year from red-copper to green and yellow. Double blossoms are deep pink and bloom in large clusters of three or five.
Height30-40 feet
Hardiness ZonesZones 5-9
Type of treeDeciduous
Sunlight requirementsFull sun to partial shade
Soil compositionMoist, well-drained, loamy, sand and clay soils
Lifespan15-25 years

Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness Zones indicate the determined regions where different types of plants will thrive. Kwanzan cherry trees flourish in Zones 5-9, across the country as far north as Nebraska and south as Texas.


Kwanzan cherry trees can be planted as bold focal points as stunning, specimen trees, in rows, along buffer strips and driveways, or even as a bonsai in a container. When planting your cherry tree, choose a location with well-draining soil and full sunlight. If you plant several, space them 12-15 feet apart from the center of the trunk.

Kwanzan cherry trees’ roots have a difficult time competing with grass, so plant them in a raised mound bed, especially if you’re worried about poor drainage. The mound should be 12-18 inches above the surrounding soil. If your climate is hot, spread a layer of mulch that is 3-4 inches deep.

Make sure it’s moist after planting by poking your finger into the soil and checking the moisture. If it feels moist, you don’t need to water. If it feels dry, water deeply.

Growing Conditions

Kwanzan cherry trees are relatively low-maintenance, able to grow in a range of sunlight hours and soil. However, they are short-lived due to their susceptibility to pests and disease.

Sun and shade

Kwanzan cherry trees thrive in full sunlight, with at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day. However, they can also tolerate partial shade.


The key aspects of soil for these cherry trees are well-draining and moist. Other than that, Kwanzan cherry trees aren’t too picky. They will do well in loamy, sand, or clay soils, and can tolerate both acid and alkaline pH levels.


Water your Kwanzan cherry tree deeply but irregularly, one to two times per week. If the top two inches of soil are dry, it’s time to water.


You won’t need to fertilize your Kwanzan cherry tree for the first year or two, but after, to boost growth, fertilize with a slow-release, nitrogen-rich blend in the spring.


Kwanzan cherry trees do not require pruning unless you see diseased or dying limbs, which should be cut immediately. However, you can prune to shape and cut off any limbs that are growing too heavy for the base of the tree. Only prune after the tree has flowered for the season.

Pests & diseases

Troublesome pests that target Kwanzan cherry trees include aphids, caterpillars, borers, scale, spider mites, and Japanese beetles. Common diseases include powdery mildew, root rot, leaf curl, and fireblight.

Frequently Asked Questions

How fast do they grow?

They grow at a moderate rate of 13-24 inches per year.

Do they bear fruit?

They are sterile and do not bear fruit.

How tall do they get?

They grow to be about 30-40 feet tall.

How do you care for a Kwanzan cherry tree?

It’s important to make sure Kwanzan cherry trees receive adequate irrigation and full sunlight, and that their prevalent pest and disease issues are dealt with.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at [email protected].

Life Expectancy of Ornamental Cherry Trees | Home Guides

By SF Gate Contributor Updated May 13, 2021

You grow ornamental cherry trees (Prunus spp.) for their shape and scented flowers, rather than as a source of fruit. Like their fruiting cousins, ornamental cherry trees are fast growers in U. S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, with a shorter average life expectancy than other landscape trees. When growing an ornamental cherry cultivar, including the popular 'Kwanzan' flowering cherry, its normal 15 to 20 year lifespan is often shortened due to disease, pest infestation or poor conditions. They require careful attention to maintain good health.

Growth Rate and Size

Most ornamental cherry trees are considered fast-growing plants, with a height increase of more than 25 inches per year. Some larger varieties have a slightly slower growth rate and tend to live longer. As Clemson Cooperative Extension points out, 'Higan' cherries (Prunus subhirtella var. 'Autumnalis') reach heights of up to 30 feet in about 25 years, while the slower-growing Japanese 'Yoshino' cherry trees (Prunus x yedoensis) can get up to 50 feet high but take much longer to reach full height. Some types of ornamental cherry tree are remain quite small, such as the 'Nanking' cherry (Prunus tomentosa), which reaches only about 10 feet tall.

Lifespan of an Ornamental Cherry

On average, ornamental cherry trees live between 15 and 20 years, but some varieties can survive longer with the correct care. For example, 'Yoshino' cherries normally live only into their second decade, but some specimens in Washington, D.C., have survived since their donation in 1912 by the Japanese government. 'Higan' cherry trees are among the most stress-, heat- and cold-tolerant varieties and tend to survive well past their 20th year.

The oldest known flowering cherry trees are in Japan. According to NPR, the Takizakura or "waterfall cherry tree," is more than 1,000 years old and still blooming despite the disastrous 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami and radiation from the damaged Daiichi nuclear power plant. Older still is the Yamataka Jindai Zakura, an 1,800- to 2,000-year-old weeping double blossom cherry tree of the Edo-Higan type that blooms around the 20th of March, or the spring equinox.

'Kwanzan' Cherry Tree Lifespan

The environment of a 'Kwanzan' or any other ornamental cultivar can have a significant effect on its lifespan. Ideally, these plants should be planted in moist soil with extremely good drainage and oxygenation. Cherry trees cannot tolerate salty soils, so use caution when planting near the coast or commercial farming operations where fertilizer salts may affect the soil.

The flowering cherries do best when planted in full sun in temperate climates. Where summers are hotter, USDA zone 8 and above, you may need to plant your ornamental cherry tree in partial shade or where it receives dappled shade in the afternoon to prevent heat damage.

To increase an ornamental or 'Kwanzan' cherry tree lifespan, take time to prune every winter when the tree is dormant. Cherry trees need regular pruning to remove dead or diseased wood. Be sure to put on safety goggles and gloves and sterilize your pruning tools in rubbing alcohol or Lysol.

Pest and Disease Control

Many ornamental cherry species are highly susceptible to pests and diseases. They can suffer heavily from mites, scale insects, leaf rollers, boring insects and aphids. Fungal diseases are also common, especially in areas with high humidity.

You can increase the expected lifespan of your ornamental cherry tree by planting it in a location with good air circulation and well-drained soil, which helps prevent wet roots. Handpick or knock pests off with a blast of water. In addition, This Old House recommends removing and destroying any diseased or infested wood as soon as you notice it to keep the problem from spreading.


  • Clemson Cooperative Extension: Ornamental Cherry, Plum, Apricot & Almond
  • NPR: 'A Reminder That Nature Is Strong': In Japan, A 1,000-Year-Old Cherry Tree Blooms
  • This Old House: Everything You Need to Know About Pink Weeping Cherry Trees


  • University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: Cherry
90,000 Japanese cherry Sakura-Planting and Care-My Agro Agrro


  • Popular varieties
  • CHARO Sakura Kanzan
  • cherries Sakura Kiku-Shidare
    000 9000
  • Planting Japanese Cherry Sakura outdoors
  • Selecting a site for growing
  • Planting time
  • Selecting a seedling
  • Soil composition
  • Methods of planting seedlings
  • How to care for the Japanese cherry Sakura
    9000 (pitted)
  • Cuttings

Cherry blossom branch is a symbol of Japan. Seeing the flowering of the Japanese Sakura makes many people forget about their business and go to the land of the Rising Sun to admire an unusual sight, breathe in the scent of flowers. Maybe that's why many are trying to grow this beauty in their garden plot. But if in the recent past it was difficult to do this, today, thanks to modern breeders who have developed species and varieties that can grow in different climatic conditions, it has become quite possible to grow Sakura in your garden.

Popular varieties

When deciding to grow Japanese Cherry Sakura, which belongs to the Rosaceae family, it is necessary to choose a variety that would not only stand out for its beauty, but also for its resistance to the climatic conditions of a particular region. The following varieties are more suitable for the middle band:

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  • Cherry Sakura variety "Kanzan"

    Sakura variety "Kanzan"

    This variety is better known as Sakura Cherry. This is an upright tree with a diameter of 5-8 meters, growing up to 10 meters in height, with a funnel-shaped crown. The branches of the Small Serrated Cherry grow very quickly, and therefore sag slightly.

    The leaves are rather large, about 8-10 cm long. The leaves are oval in shape. The color depends on the season: in spring they are bronze, in summer they are green, and in autumn they are yellow-orange.

    This variety blooms profusely. In May, densely double flowers of bright pink color bloom on the branches. Inflorescences consist of 2-5 flowers. They are located along the entire length of the branch.

    The fruits are only slightly inferior in size to ordinary Cherry, but they only win in taste, although they do not have much pulp, but the stone is large.

    The advantage of this variety lies in the fact that the tree tolerates frost well. It is necessary to plant a tree in a sunny area with slightly moist clay-sandy soil.

    Sakura variety "Kiku-Shidare"

    Sakura variety "Kiku-Shidare"

    Popularly this variety is called Weeping Cherry or Japanese Bird Cherry. This is a compact tree with a diameter of 4 meters and a height of 3.5-5 meters, resistant to frost. Outwardly, the tree looks beautiful: drooping branches hang in an arc. During the year, the tree grows only 20-35 cm in height.

    This variety has large, elliptical leaves. In summer, they are green, and in autumn they turn into a yellow-purple tone.

    Kiku-Schidare Cherry blossoms in March. The inflorescences are very dense. They are located along the entire length of the branch. Under the weight of the inflorescences, the shoots droop down.

    The fruits are small in size, quite pleasant in taste, with a slight sourness. Since the plant is self-fertile, it can be grown as a single specimen.

    Kiku-Schidare should be grown in moderately moist soil rich in nutrients.

    Shiro Fugen

    Sakura variety "Shiro-fugen"

    The variety is beautiful with its white inflorescences with a pink tinge. Flowering is quite long, plentiful. Yield is high.

    Planting Japanese Cherry Sakura in open ground

    Japanese Cherry Sakura takes root well in a new place, quickly begins to grow. However, in order for the tree to be comfortable on the site, so that it blooms profusely and gives a rich harvest, certain rules will have to be followed.

    Site selection

    The best place for Cherry Sakura is a gentle slope or hill. It must be bright and sunny. Experts recommend choosing a site located in the eastern or southwestern or northwestern part of the garden.

    If ​​Sakura is dropped off in a gentle valley, she may freeze. In addition, the tree must be protected from strong gusts of wind, drafts, and therefore it is better to plant it near a fence or trees.

    When planting in groups, the distance between trees should be 1.5-2 meters.

    Planting time

    Japanese Cherry Sakura is best planted in early spring, especially if it is warm and sunny. It is important that the snow is completely gone by this time, and the topsoil is thawed. You can also plant in the fall - in October.

    Choosing a seedling

    In order to grow a healthy, beautifully flowering and well-bearing tree, it is important not to make a mistake in choosing a seedling. It is better to acquire one-year-olds with a developed root system. The height of the seedling should not exceed 70 cm.

    Soil composition

    Cherry Sakura has minimum requirements for soil composition. The reaction can be any with a slight deviation from neutral. It will be nice if the seedling is planted on fertile air and water permeable soil.

    Method of planting seedlings

    Having chosen a favorable place for growing Cherry Sakura, it is necessary to prepare planting pits for seedlings. You need to dig them out in advance. A mixture consisting of humus and a fertile topsoil is added to the planting pit. Before planting the seedling directly, a 3% solution of superphosphate and potassium phosphate is additionally added to the planting pit. After planting, the tree is watered abundantly, the soil is mulched.

    How to take care of Japanese Cherry Sakura

    With proper and serious care of Sakura Cherry, you can achieve abundant flowering, a good harvest for a long time.


    Water the tree regularly, but in moderation. The soil should be constantly slightly moist. During the period of active growth, in the phase of bud and ovary formation, the plant will need additional watering. To prevent moisture from evaporating quickly, the trunk circle should be mulched with a 5-cm layer of fir needles or cut straws.

    Top dressing

    Sakura especially needs nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. With their lack, the tree begins to shed flowers and leaves. To prevent this, in the spring it is necessary to feed the tree with organic matter - humus or compost (about 8 kg per 1 sq. meter). Mineral fertilizers should not be neglected, for example, add superphosphate at the rate of 18 g per 1 sq. meter.


    In order for a tree to look neat and beautiful, it is necessary to trim it. The best time for this procedure is early spring, until the plant begins the process of sap flow. As a rule, pruning is carried out in late March - early April.

    It is necessary to remove shoots that have been frozen in winter, have been damaged by a thick layer of snow or from gusts of wind. Dry wood should also be removed. The places of cuts are processed with garden pitch, and if it is not at hand, then you can use brilliant green.

    Preparing for winter

    In late autumn, before the onset of frost, it is necessary to wrap the grafting site and stem with non-woven covering material. Large branches and trunk are covered with agrofibre.

    Preventive treatment against diseases and pests

    In order to prevent the defeat of Japanese Cherry Sakura by various fungal diseases, the appearance of pests, it is necessary to take timely preventive measures. After flowering is completed, the crown of the tree should be treated with Nitrofen. The recommended dose is 200 g of the drug per 10 liters of water.

    To prevent the appearance of aphids on the tree, it is necessary to treat Sakura with a nettle solution. It is prepared as follows: 1 kg of fresh nettle or 0.5 kg of dried nettle is poured into 10 liters of cool water, left for a day to infuse.


    Japanese Cherry Sakura can be propagated in two ways - seeds (stones) and cuttings.

    Propagation by seed (stone)

    The container is filled with a substrate consisting of river sand, sawdust and ash. The day before planting, the bones are soaked, and then placed in the substrate to a depth of 1 cm. The container is covered with glass or film, and then placed in the refrigerator for 2 months. During this time, the seeds will undergo stratification. From time to time, the degree of moisture content of the soil mixture should be checked, if necessary, moistened.

    After 2 months, the container is transferred to a warm room, installed in a bright place. Now it remains to wait for the seeds to sprout. When they appear, the shelter is removed from the container, then grown like any houseplant.


    This operation is best done in summer. At the shoot, the extreme part is cut off (about 12 cm). It is necessary to ensure that there are three or more points of growth on the handle. The resulting cuttings are placed in a soil mixture prepared from river sand and peat. The optimum temperature for rooting is +18°C. When the cuttings have thin roots, they are transplanted into separate cups and cleaned in a cool room with a temperature of + 8 ° C, where they will stay all winter. In spring, the young plant is transplanted into a new pot filled with nutrient soil. A tree can be planted in open ground only after 3-4 years.




    planting and cultivation, varieties, care

    Forms of East Asian species of small-serrated cherries with double flowers are known under the generalized name "sakura" or Japanese cherry. Japan is considered the distribution area and homeland of exotic plants.

    Table of Contents

    • Distinguishing Japanese Cherry from Other Varieties
    • Importance of the Plant for the Hanami Festival
    • Main Varieties
      • Kiku Shidare
      • Kanzan
    • Planting and growing
    • Features of care
    • Cutting
    • Diseases and pests

    Difference of Japanese cherries and other varieties

    Trees belong to the pink family and reaches the pink natural environment 20 meters high. Modern selection has about 400 varietal variants.

    Breeding of horticultural varieties is based on grafting and crossing cultivated species with serrated wild cherries.

    Sakura is characterized by spreading round crown . Its bark is brownish-red in color and covered with a network of small cracks.

    Cherry-sakura belongs to ornamental plants, its fruits are not suitable for eating

    Oval leaf blades with notches around the circumference change color in autumn in the range from dark crimson to brown. The fruits are not suitable for eating , therefore cherry-sakura is classified as an ornamental plant.

    East Asian cherries have won planetary fame by colorful flowering. The petals of the plant have shades of white and pink tonality. There are species with yellow, red and crimson brushes.

    During the period of their dissolution, Japan cancels working days and declares Hanami as a national holiday.

    Meaning of the plant for the Hanami festival

    According to one version of , cherry blossom petals were dyed red with the blood of family members of one of the village elders.

    After he showed the ruler the scars on the backs of his children due to the cruel treatment of the prince's servants, the latter flogged them to death on the top of the mountain where the cherry blossoms grew.

    Falling petals turned pink from blood stains. Now they symbolize the fragility of children's lives in the modern world .

    The celebration of Hanami is symbolically carried out in a family atmosphere. The duration of the process depends on the flowering period of the legendary cherry.

    When the sakura blossoms, Japanese working days are canceled and Hanami is declared a national holiday

    Each tree blooms for several days : sooner or later, depending on the species. As a result, a chain is formed - flowering plants pass the baton to blooming ones.

    Japanese media notify residents in advance of the estimated time of cherry blossoms and its duration: many prefer to travel around the country to catch the grandiose spectacle repeatedly.

    Traditionally Hanami falls at the end of March or beginning of April .

    Main varieties

    Kiku shidare

    The most suitable garden cherry variety for steppe and forest-steppe zones with temperate continental climatic conditions. Healthy trees grow to a height of 4 m, with an annual growth of about 30 cm.

    The crown of Kiku shidare plants is spreading and prone to thickening. The leaf blades have an elliptical shape with small frequent notches along the cut and a relatively large size (7-9 cm).

    The decorative feature of kiku shidare lies in an early prolonged flowering period (the end of March - the first ten days of April). Brushes of large-diameter (5-7 cm) densely double pink flowers are numerous and abundantly cover the branches.

    Self-fertile variety . A singly planted tree with qualified care intensively blooms and bears fruit.

    Prefers full sun on sandy clay, alkaline or neutral soils. The abundance of flowering depends on the regularity and timeliness of fertilizing with superphosphates.

    Sakura kiku shidare is most suitable for steppe and forest-steppe zones with temperate continental climatic conditions


    This small-serrated tree-like variety of garden sakura is lower than its ornamental counterparts (up to 10 m in height for an adult tree). The shape of the crown is obversely conical. Because of this, kanzan is recognized as an exotic and creative decoration of suburban areas.

    The speed of growth of trees of the variety is medium. The elongated oval-shaped foliage becomes fiery yellow with the advent of autumn.

    Sakura kanzan blooms with massive fragrant pink flowers , which are grouped into hanging elongated inflorescences of 3-6 pieces. The duration of flowering is average.

    The plant is photophilous and prefers neutral or strongly alkaline soils.

    Sakura Kanzan is photophilous, blooms with massive fragrant pink flowers

    Planting and cultivation

    For planting ornamental sakura, it is necessary to choose a lighted and ventilated area without moisture stagnation during periods of floods and rains. Hills and elevations are the best choice.

    When choosing a landing site, it is necessary to strike a balance between light transmission (sakura does not like shadows) and the absence of strong winds. The wall option may be ideal.

    It is recommended to opt for grafted seedlings , which are traditionally purchased in the fall and aged until the spring thaw in humid spaces at room temperature. Before planting, the plants should have a height of about 1.5 meters, a mature trunk and a well-formed root network.

    Planting is preferably done in late autumn or early spring , before the buds swell, with a stable warm temperature regime. Simultaneous planting of several seedlings provides a greater degree of profusion of flowering and fruit formation in the future.

    Plants should be planted at a distance of 1.5-2 m from each other and between rows of 2.5-3 m. It is advisable to place in them a mixture of the upper fertile layers of the earth and humus.

    Immediately before planting, it is necessary to fertilize the soil with 15-18 liters of potassium sulfate solution with the addition of superphosphates. Do not cover the root collar with earth .

    At the end of planting, the near-stem zone is watered and carefully mulched with humus or a thin layer of peat 4-5 cm. It is impossible to allow damage to the root system and promptly remove weeds . In this case, the sakura will strengthen faster and overwinter without damage.

    Care instructions

    Successful growth of sakura is possible with proper care of and the creation of optimal conditions for development. Systematic drainage and regular feeding contribute to the growth of a healthy tree.

    The condition of cherries is largely influenced by the content of nitrogen and potassium in the soil. Their lack is fraught with manifestations of acute reactions of sakura: poor flowering and premature shedding of foliage.

    Soil depletion is eliminated by introducing humus and compost (6-8 kg) under each root. Chemical top dressing is carried out with a solution of the necessary elements at the rate of 15-18 g for one square meter of the near-trunk zone.

    A few heavy waterings of sakura are allowed during the active growth stage. The rest of the time it is enough to maintain the natural balance of soil moisture. Excessive moisture results in low bud formation, poor flowering, and reduced petals.

    Young sakura needs additional feeding, infrequent watering, pruning and shelter for the winter

    Before the start of sap flow in early spring dry and damaged branches are cut, the crown is thinned .

    Mature plants are frost-resistant , and young trees successfully winter in a sheltered form. Before the start of the cold season, graft sites, stems and bases of large branches are wrapped with agrofiber or improvised materials that do not create a greenhouse effect.

    During the vegetative season , the sakura is sprayed with chemical preparations : primary - before flowering, secondary - after a month after the berries are set.


    Removal of affected and dried branches , sprouts that prevent comfortable light absorption and sufficient air exchange, is carried out in early spring, before the start of sap flow.

    Fragments with traces of activity of harmful organisms are subject to cutting and burning.

    Cut areas should be treated with garden pitch . It is important to ensure that gum does not form at the site of the sections. The appearance of sticky growths is excluded in the case of competent drainage and watering.

    Diseases and pests

    If ​​the sakura is affected by harmful organisms, the intensity of flowering decreases, the petals wrinkle, and the tree develops behind the norm. There may be facts of exfoliation of the bark and the formation of growths.

    A common disease of sakura, as well as other cherry trees, is fungal infection, which leads to drying of foliage, blackening and mummification of berries .

    A spray of sulfur-charcoal powder can help the plant in this unpleasant situation. It should cover the affected segments and prevent further spread of fungal aggression.

    A common ailment of sakura is a fungus that leads to drying of foliage, blackening and mummification of berries. Healthy and infected leaves and branches must be taken outside the site and burned.

    This precaution prevents the spread of fungal diseases to neighboring crops.

    The effect of combating pathogenic organic matter is enhanced by the use of insecticides. Restrictions on the use of chemicals are imposed on the period of flowering and fruit set. In case of urgent need, this rule can be neglected.

    Growing one of the most spectacularly flowering plants on the planet on a personal plot is a feasible task and does not require excessive physical, material and emotional expenses.

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