The Q&A Archives: weeping cherry tree and pests

Question: I am contemplating buying a weeping cherry tree.
I have a very small yard, but want something 'asian'
for my japanese garden. I have one japanese maple.
l. Can a weeping cherry be pruned to stay short?
2. Do the cherries attract pests? We have an
opposum who appears in May/June, many squirrels and
3. The pink blossom cherry tree I understand grows taller than the white???

Answer: Rather than trying to keep a standard weeping cherry tree small, why not plant a dwarf variety? Standard weeping cherry trees attain a height of 20'-30' and a spread 15'-25'.

"Snow Fountains" weeping cherry (Prunus 'Snow Fountains' or 'Snofozam') is smaller in size: Height 8'-15', spread 6'-8'. Snow Fountains blooms best in full sun and well-drained soil. A slow-growing ornamental, the branches of this weeping cherry cascade right down to the ground.

If that is still too large for your landscape, you might consider Weeping Japanese red maple tree (Acer palmatum dissectum 'Tamukeyama'), a weeping, laceleaf type of Japanese maple, bearing purple foliage that turns red in the fall. Weeping Japanese red maple reaches a height of 8'.

The "Red Jade" weeping crabapple (Malus 'Red Jade') grows 10-12' high and bears a white flower that becomes an ornamental red fruit. This fruit persists throughout the winter, attracting wild birds that eat them in February and March as emergency food. Not only does it sport a weeping habit, but its contorted trunk lends additional interest to your landscaping, even in winter when the tree is bare.

Except for the crabapple, none of the other trees reliably produce fruit so your neighborhood opposum and squirrel shouldn't be interested in them. As for bees, if the weather is above 40F when the trees are in bloom, bees will be active.

Best wishes with your new tree!

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