How to grow a weeping cherry tree

Plant Care 101: Weeping Cherry Tree –

As one of the first to bloom, the weeping cherry tree is synonymous with the spring season. However, it can be planted nearly any time of the year. And now is the time to plan next year's garden for vibrant color, blossoms, and fragrance. If you've already got a weeping cherry tree of your own (whether it's pink, white, a Yoshino, an Extraordinaire, or another popular variety), we're here to help you keep it growing strong. 

Or, if you're looking to add something new to your garden, look no further. In most landscapes, the weeping cherry tree is not hard to care for, from planting to long-term maintenance and beyond—especially with our tips and tricks!

How to Plant the Weeping Cherry Tree

Selecting the perfect location is the first step. Thankfully, the weeping cherry tree isn't finicky or fussy, needing only full sun and well-drained soil to get those white or pink flowers in the spring.

Weeping Cherry Sunlight Needs

When we say full sun, we mean 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily, with some protection from the harsh afternoon sun. The weeping cherry acclimates best in growing zones 5 through 8, meaning it's cold hardy down to -10°F, and it can grow in western, northern and southern regions. 

Planting Directions for Your Weeping Cherry

Once you've selected your location and are ready to plant your weeping cherry, dig a hole that's about twice the width of your tree's root ball, with some extra width to accommodate its mature growth. From there, planting couldn't be simpler. Place your cherry tree, backfill the soil and then water to settle your tree's roots. Finally, mulch the area to conserve moisture. When you mulch, avoid touching the tree's trunk and only apply the mulch to the adjacent soil.

Ongoing Weeping Cherry Care

When it comes to long-term care, the most important part is watering. The weeping cherry is carefree, so it doesn't take much. We recommend watering your tree about once or twice weekly as a general rule of thumb, but if you're not sure when to water, just check the soil.

When the top 3 inches of soil are dry around your tree, it's time to water. A slow trickle with a garden hose until the soil is moist is best. Remember: the weather does matter with the weeping cherry. If you're going through a period of drought, it may be necessary to water your weeping cherry twice a week. When it's colder outside, you may only need to water once every two or three weeks.

Fertilizing the Weeping Cherry for Plenty of Pink Flowers

When it's smaller, it will look much like an ornamental cherry tree (think: Snow Fountains®)—however, with the right care, many weeping cherries can grow up to 30 feet tall and 25 feet wide! So, for the first couple of years, simply keep any errant weeds away from your tree to ensure your cherry is getting the most out of the surrounding soil.

When the third year of growth arrives, fertilize your weeping cherry with a nitrogen blend. Apply this blend once in the spring, or spread the blend into 2 to 4 equal applications spanning through early and late spring and summer seasons. The healthier your weeping cherry, the better chance you have of getting more fragrant flowers.

How Do You Prune a Weeping Cherry Tree?

Don't be intimidated by the pruning process—it's easy! All you need to do is remove any old, faded pink or white flowers in the winter to promote growth for the following season. Prune your weeping cherry tree during dormancy and, as always, remove dead, damaged or diseased branches.

FGT Tip: Always sterilize your tools with rubbing alcohol for a healthy cut during pruning.

Caring for the Weeping Cherry Tree

Here are a few more tips to keep your weeping cherry tree lush and lovely.

  • No serious pest or disease issues affect our weeping cherry tree, so no harsh sprays are needed. In the rare case that you do encounter issues, treat your cherry with a natural insecticidal soap or BioNeem solution. Note: If you're still deciding on which type of weeping cherry to plant, consider the disease-resistant Pink Snow Showers™ Weeping Cherry.
  • The weeping cherry is drought tolerant, heat tolerant and stands strong against snow and ice. But if you experience temperatures below -10°F in your area, use a frost blanket to protect your tree during the winter.

With our care tips, you'll have springtime beauty that's hassle-free and has tons of color to elevate your gardenscape.

Learn more about this spring staple here!

Blair Brown

Blair is the Content Marketing Manager at, and though she's not your traditional gardener, the planting world is definitely growing on her (pun intended!). She's enjoyed digging into plant care and maintenance and growing her plant collection, especially with exotic indoor varieties.

How to Grow & Care For Them

The weeping cherry tree is one of the most popular and requested trees at nurseries. Gardeners will love the cute and beautiful look of the tree, especially when it starts to produce its blooms.

However, the tree does require some specialized care, and many gardeners find that the tree dies back quickly if they don’t keep an eye on it regularly.

These trees have a high failure rate when transplanting them. The stress on the roots and the foliage can cause them to wilt back and die, especially if it’s a young plant.

Each weeping cherry tree comes in two parts, making it twice as challenging for gardeners to maintain. The trunk and roots of the tree, otherwise known as the “rootstock” are a fast-growing variety that you’ll see on roadsides, and you can train them into a straight trunk during the growing season. The Mahaleb or Mazzard are good examples.

The weeping part of the plant or the “top-graft” is another hybrid variety. These varieties include the “Pink Higan Cherry” or “Snow Fountains,” as well as the “White Weeping Cherry.”

Nurseries graft the two plants at the top of the trunk. The weeping part of the plant provides the garden with an umbrella-effect with regular pruning. Untamed weeping cherry trees can grow to heights of up to 25-feet.

What Is a Dwarf Weeping Cherry Tree?


  • 1 What Is a Dwarf Weeping Cherry Tree?
  • 2 How Do I Plant a Weeping Cherry Tree?
  • 3 What are the Best Soils for Growing Weeping Cherry Trees?
  • 4 How Do I Water My Weeping Cherry Tree?
  • 5 How Do I Fertilize My Weeping Cherry Tree?
  • 6 How Do I Prune My Weeping Cherry Tree?
  • 7 How Do I Remove the Suckers?
  • 8 Pests Affecting Weeping Cherry Trees

Many people make the mistake of thinking that the “dwarf Cherry tree” is a variety. However, there is no such thing as a dwarf cherry tree. Unless the cherry tree receives regular pruning throughout the growing season, and variety will eventually reach massive size.

If you see small weeping cherry trees in landscaping, they are probably young trees. Landscapers and gardeners will move the trees around the garden as they grow larger. Pruning back the tree keeps it to heights of between 3 to 5-feet, depending on the age of the tree.

During the growing season, the gardener should cut back any upward-facing shoots. This pruning strategy helps the tree develop a thick canopy.

Weeping Cherry Tree in Japan

How Do I Plant a Weeping Cherry Tree?

  • During the first two seasons, young cherry trees are top-heavy, and they require staking to keep them growing straight.
  • If you don’t stake the trunk, the plant may collapse under the weight of the canopy and start growing along the floor.
  • Avoid trying to prop the plant up by planting deeper or mounding dirt around the base. Both of these methods attract disease and pests to your weeping cherry trees. If you plant too deep, it smothers the root ball, causing the tree to suffocate and die.
  • Stake the cherry tree for at least the first year until it establishes a robust root system.

What are the Best Soils for Growing Weeping Cherry Trees?

  • Weeping cherries enjoy light, loamy, and airy soils with excellent drainage. If you’re planting in a pot, then add a few handfuls of perlite and compost to a standard potting mix.
  • Work the ingredients together, and then make a space in the pot that’s suitable to accommodate the root ball.
  • Place the root ball in the hole, and then cover the base.
  • Stake the cherry tree to prevent it from falling over, and then press down on the soil to remove any air pockets.

If you’re planting outdoors, then weeping cherry trees prefer slightly acidic soils. Make sure you have adequate drainage in the planting site. Weeping cherry trees don’t like having “wet feet.” Constantly water-logging the soil around the roots will result in the onset of disease in the plants.

Add perlite to the soil to improve drainage and make sure that you don’t overwater the plant, especially when it’s young.

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  • This is a small elegant tree with wide over hanging branches which are covered in small pale pinkish-white flowers

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How Do I Water My Weeping Cherry Tree?

Weeping cherry trees don’t do well in dry environments. If you live in a region of the United States that receives low rainfalls, you’ll need to ensure you water your tree throughout the growing season.

Weeping cherry trees require around 80-gallons of water every week to thrive. We recommend watering two to twice a week during warm weather. However, it’s essential to let the soil dry out between waterings to prevent the onset of root rot.

Those weeping cherry trees that don’t receive enough water will fail to flower. If you’re planting your tree in sandy soils, make sure you add amendments that help to retain the moisture after watering while still providing good drainage to the roots.

During the winter season, leave the roots to rest, and don’t water the tree. The weeping cherry enters a dormancy period where it recovers from the stress of the growing season.

Watering and fertilizing your tree during this period results in changes to its growing habits, and it may fail to produce flowers the following season.

Cherry Trees in Blossom

How Do I Fertilize My Weeping Cherry Tree?

You can start feeding your weeping cherry tree in the early springtime to encourage growth.

We recommend that you give young cherry trees at least 3-months after planting to recover from the transplant shock to the roots. Don’t feed the plant during this time, as it might result in a burn.

After the roots establish, you can start feeding your tree with an acidic fertilizer. We recommend you use a slow-releasing granular-type fertilizer for your trees. Spread the granules around 6 to 8-inches away from the base of the tree.

As the buds start to form on the tree in the early spring, increase your fertilizing range to beyond the drip line to spur new growth in the roots.

Try mulching around the base of the tree during the growing season. Make sure you use a high-quality, organic compost for best results. The mulch helps to release nutrients into the soil, and prevent evaporation after watering. Mulching is also a goof fertilizing strategy to prevent weeds from rising, and it also keeps pests at bay.

How Do I Prune My Weeping Cherry Tree?

If you leave the weeping cherry to its own devices, it can grow into an unruly tree. Weeping cherry trees grow quickly during the spring and summer months, and after a few years, a young tree can reach heights of over 10-feet.

Give it a few more years, and you’ll have to deal with a 25-foot monster that’s challenging to cut back.

Pruning helps you to keep your weeping cherry tree under control. Pruning your tree also allows you to shape and style it to a manicured stet.

After a few years, your weeping cherry will start to establish itself properly in the garden, and all the pruning with leave you with a beautifully manicured tree in your yard.

When the tree bursts into blossom in the later springtime, your manicuring will pay off handsomely.

  • Remove all of the water spouts that start to show at the base of the tree, and remove any new branches that look like they are growing upright.
  • Make sure that you prune any branches before they touch the ground. If the foliage or the branches do end up on the ground, it invites pests and diseases to infest the plant.
  • When pruning, make your cuts at a 45-degree angle to the trunk of the plant. This pruning strategy allows the plant to keep growing.
  • Thin out the branches of the tree to prevent them from touching one another.
Cherry Blossom

How Do I Remove the Suckers?

During the early spring, it’s typical for weeping cherry trees to develop “suckers” that shoot up from the base of the trunk. If the gardener doesn’t remove the suckers, then they eventually take over the tree, preventing the characteristic weeping effect of the branches and foliage.

In most weeping cherry trees, you’ll notice a graft scar at the top of the rootstock below the branches. If any shoots occur from the graft scar, then they are wild cherry tree shoots, not weeping cherries. Remove all of these shoots as well.

Make sure you undertake your pruning as soon as you start to notice the shoots appear. The longer you leave the pruning, the more energy the plant diverts into growing the sprouts.

Pests Affecting Weeping Cherry Trees

Weeping cherry trees do experience a few issues with pests and diseases during the growing season. Trees planted in flowerbeds are more prone to disease than those in pots. However, all planting locations are at risk of contamination, and the gardener needs to ensure they keep a close eye on the tree throughout the year.

Check for the signs of infestation on your plant at least once a week. Borers, scale, spider mite, and aphids are all a concern for the weeping cherry tree. Hand-remove any pests or eggs, you find on the tree.

If the pest infestation is severe, then consider spraying down your tree with an organic insecticide. Neem oil is effective at irritating pests, chasing them away from your plants.

Neem Oil for Plants and Its Uses: Complete Guide to It’s Benefits

Weeping cherry trees are also susceptible to diseases like mildew, canker, and rot. Make sure your plant gets adequate airflow around the leaves, especially if you live in a region of the country that gets heavy seasonal rainfall.

How to grow a weeping tree | DIY

Content ✓

  • ✓ With your own hands-Methods and options, tips from readers-gardeners
  • ✓ The weeping tree with my owners-the formation on video

I have been working in a storehouse for gardeners for a long time. I noticed that recently people are looking for seedlings of trees of weeping forms . I want to tell you how to make any tree "weeping".

It works best with mountain ash, birch, cherry, sweet cherry, irga.

Stage 1 (in autumn) - we plant a two-year-old seedling.


Stage 2 (in spring) — we cut off the top of the tree to the first branches. All branches that grow below are tied to pegs driven into the ground at a distance of 1 m from the trunk. Pinch them as they grow. All shoots growing on these branches upwards are cut off with a sharp pruner.

Stage 3 (next autumn) - move the pegs closer to the trunk by 30 cm, again carefully tie the branches. We cut off the shoots growing up. We carry out the operation of pinching and trimming two more times - in spring and autumn.

Stage 4 (in the third year in autumn) — we remove all the ropes. The long-awaited "weeping" tree is ready to please you.

B. Yampolskaya, Vladimir region, told about how to grow a weeping tree.



Goat willow grew on a stem in our garden, but pests killed it. Now I want to learn how to graft willows myself and form them in the form of a “hair on a leg”.

Elvira Nosovich

Do-it-yourself weeping willow - photo

— It's not that difficult to do, and there are two ways to get a weeping willow.


The stem height can be 0.5-2 m or more. The formation of a finished tree will take no more than 2-3 years. All

Willow species graft very well. The stock is prepared in advance, in the previous year. It is better to plant in spring or in the first half of summer, so that by autumn the plant has a developed root system. To do this, in adult specimens of goat willow (growing in nature), branches 1-2 cm thick and 50 cm to 2 m long are cut off, depending on the height of the bole. They can simply be stuck into fertile soil to a depth of 10-20 cm. With regular watering, the first shoots appear in two weeks.

If you already have such a stock, you can graft it in April-early May with a cutting in a split or by budding with several buds.

After the buds germinate on the grafted part, the side shoots on the bole are not removed immediately, but gradually. It is better to cut the newly growing ones into a ring. When the shoots on the scion reach a length of 10-15 cm, they are pinched to form a dense, beautiful crown.


If you don't know how to graft yet, you can grow seedlings from rooted cuttings. They are also planted in the spring, and the sizes can be different - from 10 cm to 1 m or more. Long ones are tied to supports and as soon as a young growth appears, they begin to form. On a long handle, 3-5 upper shoots are left, they form the skeleton of the future crown, on a short one - one at the crown. As it grows, it is tied to a vertical support until it reaches the required height, after which it is pinched.

The supports are not removed for 3-5 years until the stem is strong. Shoots that appear below the formed crown must be removed. They usually form only in the first year.

© Author: Irina GORODKO, biologist, St. Petersburg Photo by Valentina BONDAR


Formation of weeping plants

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How to grow a weeping willow?

Ornamental plant nursery

Growing a weeping willow is not easy, but interesting. What is needed for this?

  1. Cuttings for planting should be cut in early spring, in May, when they are already covered with leaves. Take lignified cuttings with a diameter of 0.5 to 2 cm and a length of 25-50 cm from the lower or middle part of the shoot. Cuttings should be planted vertically, immersing them almost completely in the ground. The longer the underground part, the more powerful the root system is formed. Rooting takes about a month. If you planted a weeping willow in your first place temporarily, then transplanting to a permanent place should be done next spring, when the soil thaws after the cold, or in the fall. It is better to plant several cuttings at once in order to know for sure if you will succeed. You can try to plant a willow both in a temporary place and in a permanent one, and then, when the time comes, leave the plant that is stronger and stronger.
  2. It is worth considering that willow is a very photophilous tree. The crown of a weeping willow can occupy a whole hundred square meters of land. Therefore, if you want to plant a tree immediately in a permanent place, the willow should be planted in a well-lit area away from tall houses and various spreading trees so that the tree is spacious and comfortable.
  3. Willows do not like moisture . If you plant your tree in too wet soil, then its root system will slow down development, which, of course, will affect the above-ground part of the willow.
  4. What soil willow needs? Willows prefer light to medium loam with low to neutral acidity. It is also advisable not to plant willows on dry, sandy soils.
  5. Willow is a very practical plant, since it is not worth watering too often, and it is not necessary. This tree, as a rule, has enough natural precipitation. True, and here you need to be careful, because in too dry weather, the weeping willow still requires watering. Willows should be watered approximately 7 times every 10 days. When watering, you also need to irrigate the crown of the tree, using special sprayers.
  6. The tree needs to be fed . As an additional plant nutrition, rotted organic matter can be used and applied to the soil by digging the near-stem soil to a depth of 10-15 cm. A bucket of organic fertilizer and an additional 30-50 g of complete mineral fertilizer are applied to each weeping willow bush. It is better to carry out such top dressing in spring or autumn. At first, the willow's need for mineral fertilizers is small, but with age it increases.
  7. The first 3-4 years after planting, the willow can be left alone, but then you should pay attention to the crown. It is important that it is formed correctly and has a beautiful appearance. If crown formation is not given due attention, then it will not be dense, as a result of which it will not look very good.
  8. How to properly prune weeping willow crown? When your tree reaches 80-90 cm in height, you can start trimming its shoots. The formation of the crown is reduced to pruning all shoots by 20-30 cm. Pruning should be done in the spring. If your weeping willow is growing too fast, then you can prune twice a year - also in the summer. If you do everything right and trim the shoots, as mentioned above, then your tree will not only have the correct dense crown, but also a wonderful, attractive look.

Dear friends! The Kaktusenok team wishes you good luck! May your willows grow big and beautiful!

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