Plant Profile: Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossoms are one of the most beloved and celebrated flowering trees in the world. With their delicate pink and white petals, they have become a symbol of spring, rebirth, and renewal. In this plant profile, we will explore the beauty and characteristics of cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms are one of our favorite trees to plant, and I love visiting our Nation’s Capitol and seeing the thousands of cherry blossoms that are planted all over the city!


Cherry blossoms, also known as sakura, are flowering trees that belong to the genus Prunus. They are native to Japan, but have become widely popular throughout the world due to their beauty and cultural significance. Cherry blossom trees typically grow up to 20-40 feet tall and 15-30 feet wide, with a vase-shaped crown. The flowers bloom in early spring, typically around late March to early April, depending on the location and weather conditions.


There are many different varieties of cherry blossom trees, each with their unique characteristics. Some of the most popular varieties include:

  1. Yoshino Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis) – the most common variety, with pale pink to white flowers and an upright growth habit.
  2. Kwanzan Cherry (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’) – a popular ornamental variety with pink, double flowers and a vase-shaped growth habit.
  3. Weeping Cherry (Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’) – a graceful, weeping variety with pale pink flowers.
  4. Autumn Cherry (Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’) – a variety that blooms twice a year, once in early spring with pale pink flowers and again in fall with white flowers.
  5. Okame Cherry (Prunus x incam) – a hybrid variety with pink flowers and a vase-shaped growth habit.

Cultural Significance

cherry blossom woods in japan

Cherry blossoms have a deep cultural significance in Japan, where they are a national symbol. The tradition of hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, has been a part of Japanese culture for over a thousand years. During this time, people gather under the blooming cherry blossom trees to appreciate their beauty and enjoy picnics with friends and family. Cherry blossoms also hold spiritual significance in Japanese culture, representing the transience and impermanence of life.

Landscaping Uses

Cherry blossom trees can add beauty and elegance to any landscape. They are often used as specimen trees, planted as a focal point in a yard or garden. They can also be used to line driveways or walkways, creating a beautiful entrance to a property. Cherry blossom trees prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.

Care and Maintenance

To keep cherry blossom trees healthy and vibrant, proper care is necessary. They should be planted in well-drained soil and given regular watering. Pruning should be done in late summer or early fall to avoid removing flower buds. Fertilization can also promote healthy growth and blooming.

Cherry blossom trees are a beautiful and beloved flowering tree with cultural significance in many countries. With their delicate pink and white petals, they add a touch of elegance and grace to any landscape. By planting and caring for cherry blossom trees, you can bring the beauty and symbolism of these beloved trees to your own outdoor space.

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