The Q&A Archives: Kwanzan Cherry

Question: About 6 years ago I bought a Kwanzan Cherry from my local HD and planted it in a full sun location. For the first 2 years the tree flowered, but as time went on, it flowered less and less. The last 2 years, there was barely any flowers at all. The tree is very healthy and growing strong and is green and full -- and beautiful. However, the main reason I bought this particular tree was for its blooms. I do not give it fertilizer -- do I need to? If so, what type and when? Thanks much for any information. --tucker spirito

Answer: Kwanzan cherry is rated to grow in your zone 5 gardening region and should be one of the most free flowering cherry trees around so I'm a little confounded by its behavior. Your cherry needs full sunshine and well draining soil. If it is healthy looking, it is probably getting the sun and water it requires. If it's not getting all day sunshine, is it possible to remove limbs from nearby trees to reduce the shade? Sometimes excess nitrogen can result in lots of green growth, at the expense of flowers. Although I get the impression that you don't intentionally fertilize, if it is growing near a lawn it can be getting too much nitrogen by virtue of having roots in the vicinity of the lawn. Late frosts can sometimes nip the flower buds before they have a chance to open so that's something to consider, as well. A final though is about pruning. Winter or early spring pruning will remove the flowering potential - at least on the branches you prune. Aside from the above considerations, I can't think of any other reason for your otherwise healthy Kwanzan not to flower. Wish I had more ideas!

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