The Cherry Tree Variety That Fits Perfectly In A Small Garden

People travel thousands of miles for the opportunity to experience the jaw-dropping blooms of ornamental cherry trees in cities like Washington, D.C., and Tokyo. If you have a small yard with little garden space, you may have assumed you'll need to book a flight to enjoy flowering cherry trees as well. Luckily, thanks to small cherry tree varieties like the Kiku-shidare-zakura, also known as Cheal's weeping cherry, you can have a beautiful flowering tree that won't outgrow your small space.

Cheal's weeping cherry (Prunus serrulata Kiku-shidare-zakura) is one of the smallest weeping cherry trees available, with a height and spread that seldom exceeds 12 feet. It shares a genus with both sweet and sour cherry trees but is a different species. While it sometimes produces fruit, it is generally too sour to eat and is instead better left for birds and other wildlife. Cherry blossom trees are not native to the United States, but luckily, they, like many non-native plants, are not considered invasive and can even benefit native birds and insects.

Planting and caring for a kiku-shidare-zakura tree

Like many cherry trees, Cheal's weeping cherry tree is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 8 and is an excellent option in much of the United States. When you have everything you need to know before plating cherry blossom trees like Cheal's weeping cherry, it is important to plant them in a full sun location to ensure the best flowers each April. Considering how impressive the tree's fully double pink flowers are, you want to make sure your plant thrives so you can get the best show possible.

Cheal's weeping cherry is not as particular about soil pH as it is about light and can grow well in acidic, neutral, or alkaline soils. While it is not overly picky, it does require moist but well-draining soil and should be watered regularly until it is fully established. Be sure to fertilize your weeping cherry well in the spring to help it bloom at its best.

Cheals weeping cherry trees in the garden and lawn

Cheal's weeping cherry is a beautiful specimen tree and can be a stunning addition to many landscaping styles. If you're growing your tree in the middle of your lawn, mulch around it well and avoid damaging its delicate bark with lawnmowers and weed wackers. It's also important to avoid damaging the tree with overspray from any lawn treatments or herbicide applications.

These small cherry trees also look lovely in a garden surrounded by other flowering plants like azaleas and Japanese water irises. You can plant Japanese painted ferns as a companion plant to hydrangeas and other shade plants, as these can grow in any shadows cast by your Cheal's weeping cherry tree. Then add in holly or other evergreen shrubs to create a beautiful garden with multiple seasons of interest. One sad downside to Cheal's weeping cherry, and most cherry blossom trees, is their relatively short life span. Most don't live longer than 20 years, even with excellent care.