How to Care for a Yoshino Cherry Tree

Yoshino cherry trees are some of the few trees in the United States that attract an audience. Each spring, Americans from all over the country head to Washington, D.C. to see the trees in all their glory. Yoshino cherry trees are fast growers and will reach a final height of 35 to 45 feet with a 30- to 40-foot spread. The U.S. Department of Agriculture places the Yoshino in hardiness zones 5b through 8a.

The Yoshino cherry trees in bloom in Washington D.C. are a sight to see.

Step 1

Check the pH of the soil around the Yoshino cherry tree. It should be between 6.5 and 7.0. If the soil pH is lower, or more acidic, add a soil amendment, such as dolomitic lime, to raise the pH. If the soil has a higher pH, it is more alkaline and will require the addition of elemental sulfur. Contact your county cooperative extension office for advice on which and how much amendment to use.

Step 2

Water the Yoshino cherry tree until the top 12 inches of soil are moist. Water again when the top 2 inches is dry.

Step 3

Wait until the Yoshino cherry is 2 years old to fertilize it for the first time and then fertilize every other spring. Use a 5-10-10 formula fertilizer, spread on the soil beneath the tree, out to the dripline. Water after fertilizing.

Step 4

Prune the Yoshino cherry in the fall, removing dead or weak branches. Cut off any branches in the middle of the tree that cross over others. These can rub against each other during windy periods, rubbing the bark away and allowing boring insects to invade.

Step 5

Add a 3-inch layer of mulch to the soil around the Yoshino cherry tree. Place it 6 inches from the trunk and spread it out to the dripline. In the fall, rake it up and dispose of it after pruning and apply a fresh layer.

Step 6

Manage insects as soon as you see them. Aphids and spider mites are common pests on Yoshino cherry trees and can be killed with horticultural oil, at the rate suggested on the product's label.