Imagine coming home to a garden which has the silhouette of a weeping cherry tree, laden with pearly white blossoms, against the setting sun as a backdrop. Unreal? Think again. The weeping cherry tree is one of the flowering varieties of cherry trees. It is originally from Japan but is commonly seen around the world as it is quite adaptable to different types of soil and weather conditions. Its scientific name is Prunus subhirtella var. pendula. It is a great ornamental tree with pretty white flowers to enhance your landscape. In this article, you will get to know more about caring for a weeping cherry tree to help you have your picture perfect garden.
Soil: As mentioned earlier, a weeping cherry tree can grow in different types of soil. So you don't need to worry about planting it in the wrong soil. Just make sure that the hole you dig to plant the tree is bigger than the container in which the sapling/stem (in case of grafting) is placed. The hole should also be at least as deep as the container. This will help in easy and faster rooting of the tree. Fill the hole with the soil in stages after planting. Add water to check and remove any possible air pockets.
Distance: An important step in caring for a weeping cherry tree is to plant one tree at a distance of at least 20 feet from another. The tree grows very fast and though it does not extend much vertically, its horizontal spread is rapid and dense. Planting two trees close together can hamper the growth of the branches. What's the point of having a weeping cherry tree if it does not droop down with the weight of its blossoms?
Water: During the first year, the tree will require watering regularly. Make it a point to water the tree every third day for an hour or so. Don't flood the planted area with water. Use drip irrigation for best results. Also, keep the soil well-drained all year round, as a slightest decrease in the moisture of the soil can severely affect the growth of the tree.
Fertilizers: Use fertilizers that have a nitrogen-phosphorus combination. They provide the essential nutrients to the soil which help the tree to grow faster and better. A good idea would be to use granulated fertilizers or dig fertilizer spikes around the area where the tree has been planted.
Sun: The weeping cherry tree requires partial sunlight to grow. It can tolerate heavy sunlight too, but prefers a mild and warm weather. So plant the tree in an area that receives moderate amount of sunlight.
Mulching: Mulching is an excellent practice which involves filling organic matter in the area around the planted tree. It makes a great manure and the tree can absorb the required nourishment from the soil.
Maintenance: Weeping cherry tree care can be arduous at times, but for gardening enthusiasts, this is a small price to pay for the splendor that the tree will exhibit in spring. To maintain it well, carrying out regular pruning is a must. Start pruning the tree when it is young, so you don't have to deal with hard and heavy branches later. In spring, when the tree is full of white flowers, it should have a droopy but neat look to it. Pruning the unhealthy twigs on time can also help in preventing infestation and other problems associated with the tree.
Infestation Control: Since this tree needs constant moisture, it also attracts a number of fungal and bacterial infections and pests. For this, regular pest control is required. You can detect the presence of spider mites by checking for yellow spots on the leaves. If the leaves and bark appear dark brown instead of the usual bronze, the tree could be infected with Leaf Spot or Twig Canker, both bacterial infections. Check for holes in the leaves. This is a sign of a fungal infection called Red Spot.
Use these tips to create a masterpiece in your garden. By spring time, you'll be able to show off your splendid white weeping wonder!