Cherry blossom trees are perfectly adapted to the UK’s climate and will flourish in your garden. As cherry trees can be quite large, it is important is to choose a location large enough to accommodate the variety you choose. The most important message to take home is the need to regularly water young trees, especially in the months after planting.
Location, Location, Location
Be sure to check the eventual height and spread of your tree before deciding on a suitable location. Cherry trees can be very large. Prunus ‘Kanzan’, for example, can grow to above 10m tall.
Cherry trees benefit from full sun, but will suffice in shady locations.
Planting in a sheltered location is recommended to prevent uprooting in strong winds. Avoid waterlogged soils.
Planting near a building should be fine, but the distance away should be based on a tree’s spread. Most cherries are grafted onto rootstocks, which ensures the roots are weak and are unable to damage foundations.
If you are worried your tree will be too large for your garden, you can always plant in a large pot (40-60cm+ depending on the variety) which will constrain a tree’s growth.
Water, Water, Water
The message we wish most to convey to your customers is the need to water your tree regularly and thoroughly in the months after planting. This will help your tree recover from the effects of transplant shock in which a tree loses much of its water absorbing capacity.
Planting Your Tree
Follow steps A for containerised trees and steps B for bare root trees.
- Ensure your tree is hydrated before planting.
- Give the rootball a good watering. Free up any spiralised roots.
- Leave your tree’s roots to soak in water for half an hour. Pruning woody roots back a few inches can help stimulate the growth of new water-absorbing roots.
- Dig a square hole three times the radius of the rootball, but only a few inches deeper than the rootball. Loosen any compact soil around the sides.
- Place your tree in the hole. Ensure the graft point is above the soil. The highest roots should be no more than an inch below the ground. (Containerised trees roughly level.)
- Fill your hole with a mix of garden soil and compost. Do not compress the soil!
- Plant a stake with the stake facing away from the prevailing wind.
- Give your tree a good watering.
- Add a layer of mulch. Mulch helps improve moisture levels. Ensure the mulch doesn’t touch the base of the tree.
- Depending on your location, a rabbit guard can be useful as hungry rabbits will nibble on bark come winter.
- Cutting back branches will produce a better balance between the root system and top growth, ensuring your tree does not rock in the wind. Cut the central stem back up to a third and branches by half, snipping right above buds.
Jorge works in the Primrose marketing team. He is an avid reader, although struggles to stick to one topic!
His ideal afternoon would involve a long walk, before settling down for scones.
Jorge is a journeyman gardener with experience in growing crops.