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Tips for Growing Yoshini Cherry Trees

Yoshino Cherry Trees are deciduous trees with white or pink flowers. It is a hybrid between Prunus speciosa (Oshima cherry) and Prunus subhirtella (Rosebud Cherry). This article provides basic information about Yoshino cherry trees and how to grow them.

Yoshino Cherry Information
Scientific name Prunus x yedoensis
Common name Yoshino Cherry
Height 35 – 40 feet
Spread 30 – 40 feet
Flower color Blush pink or white
Soil Needs Sandy / non-compact
Water Needs Moderate
Climate Temperate
Hardiness Zone 5 through 8

Where did Yoshino Cherries come from?

Yoshino Cherries are believed to have their origin in Toshima ward (subdivision of cities) of Japan. Farmers in Toshima sold these Yoshino trees between the 17th century and 20th centuries. 

It was during this period, Yoshino cherry trees got the name “Somei-Yoshino”. Somei is the name of one of the districts in Toshima.

In 1912, Japan gifted Yoshino Cherries to the US as a mark of their friendship. This was when DC became famous for Yoshino trees and the cherry blossom festival started being celebrated.

Yoshino cherry bloom

How long do Yoshino Cherries live?

Yoshino Cherry trees usually live for 15 to 20 years and are rather short-lived compared to other trees. However, when taken care of and pruned by an expert, they can live longer.

Hirosaki in Japan is home to the world’s oldest Yoshino cherry tree. The tree is over 130 years old and is alive with proper care and pruning.

Do Yoshino Cherry Trees grow fast?

Yoshino Cherry Trees grow at a moderate to fast rate. They grow fast to 15 – 20 feet tall during the first 3 to 4 years.

After 4 years, the growth slows down and these trees grow almost 4 feet each year.

How tall are Yoshino Cherry?

Depending on how long they live, Yoshino Cherry Trees can grow 35 – 40 feet tall.

Does Yoshino Cherry bear fruit? Is Yoshino Cherry fruit edible?

Yes, Yoshino Cherry Trees bear small round black-colored fruits. The fruit is edible but humans avoid it due to its sour taste. However, birds like to eat this fruit.

Yoshino Cherry Tree for Landscaping

A landscape with Yoshino cherry in rows and grass covered ground

Yoshino Cherries are large trees growing up to 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide. They are suited for long walks and large gardens.

The branches spread wide grow upright, making the tree suitable to stand alone and provide shade. 

These exotic trees present a sight to behold when they are in full bloom. They grow pink-white flowers between March and April.

Yoshino Cherry Flowers

Pink yoshino cherry flowers

The color of Yoshino Cherry Flowers is white. The flowers may have a pale pink tinge in the center. Before shedding from the tree, the color changes to pale yellow or orange. 

They have a mild almond scent and bloom in early spring. The trees present a sight to behold during the bloom season. The branches are almost entirely covered with white or pale pink flowers.

What is the best way to grow Yoshino cherry?

The best way to grow Yoshino Cherry is through grafts. Choose a branch that has a healthy trunk and a good color of leaves and buds. 

Soak the branch in water for few hours to improve rooting. And then plant the branch in prepared soil.

If you want to plant the Yoshini cherry in a pot, choose a large pot (approximately 57 liters). Layer the bottom with sand or stone for good drainage. Put soil fertilized with organic matter on top and place your plant inside.

The best time to plant Yoshino Cherry is from November to December or from late February to mid-March. 

How much sunlight does Yoshino cherry need?

They need a lot of sunlight for best growth. For the plant to grow uniformly from all sides, it should get full sun. If it receives sunlight for only some part of the day, the side that does not get enough sun may show poor growth.

What are the water needs for Yoshino cherry?

These trees do best with sufficiently drained soils, but not in compact soil that retain moisture for long. They can also survive mild drought.

What kind of soil do Yoshino cherry need?

The trees adapt well to most soil types like – loamy, sandy, clay, and acidic soils. 

If you can, prepare a soil that is mostly sandy and top with humus. Avoid using soil that is too compact and retains too much moisture because Yoshino cherry roots are prone to rotting.

In what climate do Yoshino cherry grow?

Yoshino Cherry trees grow in temperate climates. They can bear annual maximum temperatures of up to 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) and minimum temperature of -12 degree Celsius (10-degree Fahrenheit).

How to add fertilizer?

Add the fertilizer while planting the Yoshino cherry. We recommend adding organic fertilizer or slow-acting fertilizer. Add the fertilizer above the middle layer of soil above the roots.

When and how to prune Yoshino cherry trees?

The best time to prune Yoshino cherry is from December to March. Pruning is simple and you need to prune only extra, diseased, or unhealthy branches. Cut with the help of garden scissors.

The cut or exposed branches are prone to infection from pathogens. Make sure you apply a pruning sealer after pruning.


  1. Toshima International City of Arts & Culture: All about Somei-Yoshino
  2. University of Florida: Prunus x yedoensis: Yoshino Cherry

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