Weeping cherries are members of the rose family. Producing showy pink flowers in spring or fall depending on cultivar, they grow in nearly any soil conditions. Tree forms reach heights of 20 to 40 feet with a spread of up to 25 feet depending on variety.
Varieties of Weeping Cherry
Weeping cherries come in two basic forms. There are naturally weeping trees and weeping trees created by top grafting. The growth rate of each type is different.
Most pink-flowered weeping cherries are created by grafting a weeping cultivar such as "Pendula" to an upright rootstock such as "Mazzard." Terminals (weeping branches) are grafted onto the top when rootstock trees are 4 to 6 feet tall. Rootstock trees have a medium growth rate of 13 to 24 inches per year. Larger grafted branches may have a medium growth rate while weeping stems grow very rapidly—25 inches per year.
Naturally Weeping Trees
Cultivar "Snofozam," also known as "Snow Fountains," is a naturally weeping variety with a slow growth habit of 12 inches or less per year to a height of only 8 feet. Pruning the faster-growing weeping shoots back yearly allows you to grow it in smaller gardens.
Ground Cover Weeping Cherry
Rooted cuttings of "Snow Fountains" left unstaked so that they cascade form ground cover. The cascade form's trunk will show the same slow growth habit as the staked upright form. The creeping branches have a rapid growth rate of up to 25 inches per year.
Factors Affecting Growth
Weeping cherries grow faster without competition for their roots from underplanted grass.
- Univ. of Florida IFAS Extension: Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula': Weeping Higan Cherry
- Ohio State University Horticulture & Crop Science: Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula'
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Prunus ‘Snofozam’ Snow Fountains
- Yavapai County Arizona Coop Extension: Ornamental Tree Care
- Woodland Farms: Double Weeping Cherry
- North Carolina Coop Extension: Grafting and Budding Nursery Crop Plants, Produce certain plant forms
- Yale University Marsh Botanical Gardens: Weeping Cherry
- Lake County Nursery: Versatile Is Its Middle Name
Beth Asher began writing in 1972 for a catalog company. She has written for schools and charities, including Star Workshop Foundation. She was a John Deere representative for nine years, manager of Brown's Blueberries and an advisory member of King County Small Farms Board and the Washington Association of Landscape Professionals. Asher holds a Bachelor of Science in computer networking from City University.