Yoshino Cherry Trees Blooming in Spring

04 Jul

Yoshino Cherry tree or the botanical name Prunus x yedoensis is quite a spectacular specimen when in bloom. Because of its low and spreading habit, it is not recommended to plant along side driveways, patios or streets. This specimen tree can stand alone in a plant bed to provide a showy display of pale pink blooms fading to white in March. The flowers will emerge before the foliage creating a complete tree of blooms. A perfect tree for your front gardens to wow your Easter dinner guests.

The Yoshino Cherry tree above was the incorrect tree selection. The mature size of the tree will reach approximately 15 feet in height and spread to about 25 feet wide. It prefers zones 5-8. A few more years and this gorgeous tree will hide the street sign. Pruning is not recommended because of its perfect form. You only want to remove branches that are rubbing or dead.

Another reason I love using this tree in my designs is the contrasting colors. Look at the deep dark brown bark against the light colored flowers. Just magnificent.

Because this tree grows rather low to the ground and roots are shallow, I recommend having a plant bed beneath the cherry tree and install a ground cover like vinca or pachysandra. I would use the white blooming vinca to brighten up the dark space beneath the tree.

The blooms are so beautiful.


Not only are the flowers, form of tree and contrasting colors a plus, so is the fact it provides yellow fall foliage color.

The Yoshino Cherry tree also comes in a weeping habit. It is incredibly graceful.

Another favorite plant of mine.

Happy Planting!

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation


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39 responses to “Yoshino Cherry Trees Blooming in Spring

  1. Don Louie

    August 31, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I have a mature 20 years old Yoshino (trunk diameter and height 5 ft., spread about 30 ft., and height over two stories) planted in the backyard of my townhouse next to the patio. The tree is about 14.5 ft. from the foundation of the house. I am concerned that the root system–large roots are exposed-may damage the house foundation and raise the patio to incline towards the house. Can my tree roots and branches be trimmed to significantly downsize the tree or should I have it cut down?

  2. diana gardner-williams

    September 2, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Good Morning Don,

    This is a difficult one. I am sure the cherry tree is an absolute speciman plant for you.

    The answer is yes, you can prune the branches and tree roots now. Pruning the roots will acclimate the plant to receiving less water. Only prune the roots you are concerned about. Next year at this time more roots can be pruned. This is a long process but well worth the wait.

    The branches can be pruned also. Definately select branches in the middle of the tree that are crossing or are not adding to the structural beauty of the cherry tree.

    It is recommended never to prune more than 30% or 1/3 of the plant.

    Good luck Don


  3. flowergardengirl

    January 16, 2009 at 3:54 am

    You have a wonderful informative blog. So nice to meet someone in my area. I’m in Clemmons.

    I have a very young Yoshino and am rethinking where it is because of this article. It’s not close to the house but might be too close to the road. There are no over hanging wires to deal with. I am worried about the few large trucks that pass our street. I will have to go out and measure again to make sure. Thanks for helping to rethink the location.

    I love this tree. It is a signature of our area isn’t it?

    • diana gardner-williams

      January 16, 2009 at 2:36 pm

      Hello Fellow Gardener,

      Yoshino Cherry Trees are signature to NC as well as the Flowering Dogwood Tree and Crape Myrtle’s.

      Definitely think about relocating your beautiful specimen so it will have ample room to spread out. This is not a tree to be pruned in a way that inhibits growth. Allow its form to spread out.

      Happy Planting

  4. B. Ryan

    February 11, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Greetings from Atlanta Diana –

    I have what I beleive to be a Kwanzan (pink flowers) and need to understand more about WHEN I can prune. I underatand not to trim more than 30% of sucker or crossing branches, but again just don’t know when is the ideal time to do this. Is there anythying that needs to be done to the freshly cut portion of the tree or branch to protect from disease?

    Thank you

    • diana gardner-williams

      February 12, 2009 at 12:02 am

      Hello Bret from Atlanta,

      Ideal time and also safe is after your beauty finishes flowering.

      I product called pruning seal can be sprayed onto the portion of the tree where the limb was cut. Cherry trees are suseptible to many insect and disease problems, so that was a good point Bret.

      Good Luck and Happy Pruning

  5. Richie

    May 24, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    So I have a Cherry Yoshino tree, we planted it about 2 1/2 wks ago, and well I found the tint worms on it so we “seven” big killer, and it said to treat it and I did and now its got yellow leaves like its fall, well its not even summer yet, what can I do to help it!

  6. elaine

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I have a Yoshino planted 16 years ago about 20 feet from my house and 15 feet from the street. It is right next to my driveway, and overhangs my walkway. It is now 20 feet high and has a spread of 30 feet. The twos problem I have had are 1) Fruiting: The small quarter- to half-inch dark purple cherries drop onto my car and walkway, creating a mess for about 5 weeks between June and July. The birds love it.
    2) Ants: Unless I apply Tanglefoot liberally to the trunk, a continuous procession of ants makes its way up and down the tree all summer — not a problem until the ants start making their home under my crawlspace. Overall, I would recommend this tree be planted as far from house and driveway as possible.

  7. Peter Chan

    June 11, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Diana, Thanks for the informative blog.

    Can I plant Yoshino Cherry in zone 9 (San Francisco)? If not, what other 5-petal cherry blossom trees would you recommend?

    Also, do you know where in Northern/Central California can you buy grown cherry blossom trees? Local nurseries I’ve visited carry only very young trees. I’ve searched all over the net and could not find much info either.

    Any help is much appreciated. Thanks again.

    • diana gardner-williams

      June 11, 2009 at 7:02 pm

      Hi Peter,
      Zone 9 can probably accept a Kwanzan, Okama or Shogetsu cherry or Purple Leaf Plum.

      I live far far away, so i cannot recommend a plant nursery. I would call a local landscaper to inquire about the cherry trees you desire.

      Good Luck and Happy Planting!

  8. marcie

    July 24, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Help I have a 5 year old Yoshino cherry it has been the specimen of beauty and health.
    All of the sudden in the last 5 days the leaves have yellowed all over the tree. I cannot see anything that would cause this issue. We have had plenty of rain this year so I know it’s not a drought issue.
    I worried it will cross over to my beautiful Yoshino in our front yard.
    Do you have any ideas?
    I live in East Tennessee.

    Thank you!


  9. Speed

    July 26, 2009 at 5:35 am

    I planted my Yoshino Cherry tree a couple weks ago (once planted I watered it about 10 minutes a day, in the morning). I believe I may have let it get to dry. The leves are starting to curl and are turning brown, but have not fallen. To try and stop this I have been watering the tree about 20 minutes every day (in the afternoon), apparently this is to much. I live in a area where tempertures are in the high 90’s to 100. My questions are: Am I watering to much? Is there anything else I should be doing? Please advise before my tree dies because of over watering on my part or if you can provide any other information or technics you think I can try. Thank you.

  10. Laura Heidorn

    August 23, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I have a Yoshino Cherry Tree that is 19 years old and is about 15′ tall. It has always bloomed beautifully and has always been healthy. This summer, however, we noticed it’s been struggling. It didn’t flower like it normally does and the leaves have been yellowing and falling off. The only change we’ve made was planting Hostas around the base of the tree 2 years ago. The Hosta were small when originally planted but this year have really taken off. Is it possible they are draining the nutrients from the tree? Should I remove the Hostas from around the base of the tree? We live in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Any help would be appreciated. I don’t want to lose this tree. It has great sentimental value. Thank you for your help.

  11. Marcie

    August 23, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Hi folks,

    Well, I found out the issue with my Yoshino was it had gone into dought mode. I had to deep water it for a couple of days and now it’s fine.
    It seems that since we’ve had an abundance of rain that when we didn’t have rain for a few days the tree went into drought mode.
    So when we’ve had several days of heat and no rain I give it a good drink of water.

  12. Paul

    September 12, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    My two Yoshino Cherry trees are approximately 25-30 years old and have grown out of shape possibly due to shade from taller trees across the street. Is it safe for the health of the trees to cut large limbs about 20 ft up in the tree? Some of the limbs are about 5 inches in diameter. Thank you.

  13. Precy

    October 14, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Hi, I’ve been searching online the last few days on what variety of cherry tree to plant, could you also help me by suggesting a variety of cherry tree for a limited space? We live in a townhouse, and it says online that San Diego is Zone 10 – 11 >.<

    I like yoshino, snow fountain, and mt. fuji.

    I would love any input and suggestions. ^-^

    (Also, been wondering why, most of the online stores doesn't ship cherry trees to CA) (?)

    • Diana Gardner-Williams

      October 15, 2009 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Precy,

      I would suggest growing a cherry tree in a VERY large pot since you are in a townhouse, at least 2 feet in diameter. If you move the tree can easily be transported to the new home.

      Thank you for stopping by
      Diana is Digging Dirt

  14. Don Hogue

    November 8, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Dear Diana,

    I have a mature Yoshino cherry tree which needs to have a couple of branches removed to aid its structure. I live in New England. Can I prune now in November or is it best to wait for March/April?

    Also, the tree was planted around 1991/2. What is the life expectancy of this tree?


    • Diana Gardner-Williams

      November 9, 2009 at 2:28 pm

      Good Morning Don,

      If you intend to just remove a few limbs, you can do so now. I would not prune anything else at this time because you will be decreasing the amount of blooms next spring. It is always safe to prune right after flowering.

      I would not worry about life expectancy. These are the same trees planted around the tidal basin in Washington, DC.

      Good Luck and Happy Planting!

  15. Erin

    November 21, 2009 at 5:20 am

    Hello Diana,

    I am hoping you can help. Last Spring I planted a Yoshino Cherry sapling, about a foot tall. Over the winter rabbits ate most of the tree and it is now growing back in more of a bush form, there are approximately 6 main stems and it is now about 4 feet tall. I am wondering what to do with this tree; should I keep it trimmed into a large bush or can I let it grow as is? Do I need to get rid of it and start over? Any help you can provide would be appreciated.

    Thank you!

  16. Sandra

    December 10, 2009 at 6:38 pm


    So glad I found this blog! This past April we planted 2 Yoshino Cherry Trees in our front yard. We had a few issues with fungus, japanese beetles, and also too much rain this summer, but now we are finally ok. This fall the leaves did not turn bright yellow, like I was hoping (but I’m not sure if that had something to do with all the rain we got here in Atlanta this year). Now that the temp is dropping and the leaves have fallen, what now? Should I prune, fertilize, water?? Or just let my trees ‘sleep’ this winter. And how do I know if the trees are still healthy and happy? Please let me know if you have any recommendations. Thanks!


    • Diana Gardner-Williams

      December 10, 2009 at 7:56 pm

      Hello Sandra,

      Let it sleep. The tree is dormant and not actively growing. Fertilizer will harm the tree and natural water fall will be sufficient.
      The absolute best time to prune is right after they have flowered, however, there are always exceptions. If you see 2 branches crossing, prune to one most damaged. If you need to reshape the tree, do it now when it is easier to see. If you notice a diseased branch, prune it.

      Hope this helps

  17. Dan Gosselin

    May 6, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I planted a Yoschino cherry tree last year, and some worms ate the leaves. Many were still in tact at the end of the season. I’m in Massachustts, and it’s May, and the tree has not blossomed. I peeled some bark away from a small branch, and it is still green underneath. The soil is rocky.
    Am I in trouble?

    • Diana Gardner-Williams

      May 7, 2010 at 10:32 am

      Hi Dan,

      Did you amend the rocky soil with the good stuff before planting the tree?

      I would not worry about the cherry tree blooming, we do not want the specimen to waste energy on the flowers when the overall health is in jeopardy.

      Incorporate composted soil at the base and keep an eye on the worms. A pesticide may help this situation.

      Happy Planting!

  18. Dan Gosselin

    May 8, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Hi Diana,
    Yes I did add garden soil and compost when planting. My worry is that there are no leaves either.
    I did spray the tree along with a few others for worms.
    Thanks for replying.

  19. Ericka

    June 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    can you eat the cherries off of this tree? is it safe for human consumption?

  20. dora

    July 24, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I have a yoshino cherry tree we have had about 4 years and its always been pretty healthy other than the attraction of ants. but for some reason all the sudden it has globs of sap coming out of different spots about 20 or so from the trunk. None from the branches or anything what could be causing this? Dora from Kentucky

  21. Sheila

    August 3, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    How would this tree do in a maritime climate? I believe the zone is A3 (Juneau, AK).

  22. Peggy Stricker

    February 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Hi, I have a 3 year old Okami Cherry Tree that has bloomed beautifuly. This year there are blooms only on one side of the tree. It looks and appears to be healthly all over. What can I do for it?

  23. Ashley

    March 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Could I possibly use this picture in a powerpoint if i cite it? I have to do a school project on plants. Thank you!

  24. Kimberly

    April 16, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    I have a 20 year old Yoshino cherry that is gorgeous every spring but for the past 2 years it hasn’t bloomed. There doesn’t seem to be any other issues with the tree. Not sure why this is happeneing? Is the tree just getting old?

  25. Tanya

    May 17, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Dear Diana,
    We live in Salt Lake City, Utah. Our neighbor has a beautiful grouping of 3 cherry trees (Kwanzan or Yoshino) in the front yard. We want to use the same grouping and are thinking about including three cherries on one side of a path to our front door and a single Eastern Redbud on the other side of the path. The neighbor does not know the variety of cherry they have. Would you recommend the Kwanzan or Yoshino in this application and do you think it will look nice with a Eastern Redbud (specimen tree) opposite the grouping (as you face the house?
    I would be grateful for your help!!
    Thank you. Tanya

    • Diana Digs Dirt at Cornerstone Garden

      May 28, 2011 at 11:16 am

      Hi Tanya,

      It all depends on the amount of space you have. Yoshino Cherry Trees grow low and wide, Kwanzan are more upright and vase shaped. As a designer, Eastern Redbud is not a specimen tree and may not balance the overall landscape. Can you send a picture?

  26. Jessica

    May 31, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Hi, I recently bought and planted a Yoshino flowering cherry tree. It’s been only 2 to 3 weeks since planted, but the leaves now have brown spots and some have holes. I’m new to gardening and unsure what is happening and what I should do? Please help.

  27. Tracy

    March 14, 2012 at 6:32 am

    I planted my Yoshino tree about 3 year ago. It bloomed the first year and has not bloomed since. I thought because it grew so much the first year that maybe it just needed to rest, but I looked at it the other day and still no flowers. All of the other cherry trees are blooming prefectly. Do you have any idea as to why it is not producing flowers.

  28. Michelle

    April 20, 2012 at 2:20 am

    I planted a 5 ft Kwanzan about a week ago. I notice tonight when watering that there were some ants crawling up the trunk (little black ants not carpenter ants) Is this a problem? Should I be looking into a pesticide? Will a pesticide harm the tree and/or growth? Please help!

  29. Mrs. Phylis Abate

    January 30, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Wilmington,N.C- January’s extreme warmth produced blooms on one side of my Kwanzan Cherry tree. Is this a problem?

  30. PT

    October 8, 2013 at 4:59 am

    i live in Zone 8 and just bought a Yoshino cherry tree, will it be all white or have pink color? how long will it reach a full ideal size like from those from google photo (


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