How to Buy a Flowering Cherry Tree

Three Methods:Consider Planting and Growing ConditionsDecide on a MerchantExamine the Condition of the Tree

Flowering cherry trees are excellent additions to a landscape. During the spring blooming season, they are vibrant and showy, making them prized by gardeners and arborists. The cherry blossom tree, also called the Sakura, is the official flower of Japan, and much celebrated. Flowering cherries bloom in the spring in a burst of white and pinks. The trees grow well in U.S. Hardiness zones 5 through 8, and do well in general in cooler temperature zones. Before you buy a flowering cherry tree, consider where you want to plant it.

Method 1
Consider Planting and Growing Conditions

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    Examine the sunlight conditions. Cherry trees prefer full sun, except in extreme southern areas, where they can tolerate partial late afternoon shade.
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    Check the soil. Test your soil if you are unsure of its type. Flowering cherries are adaptable to different soils, but prefer well-drained, loamy soil. They thrive best in a neutral or slightly acidic soil, between 6.2 and 7.0. Use a soil pH testing kit to determine your soil's makeup.
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    Contact your local extension office or a professional arborist. A tree specialist in your area will have knowledge about the local growing conditions and if they are best suited for flowering cherries. They will also be able to help you choose the best type of cherry tree to buy.

Method 2
Decide on a Merchant

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    Phone your local garden centers and nurseries and inquire about the types of cherry trees they carry. Discuss your planting scheme with the professionals at the nursery or garden center prior to shopping there. Once you decide to buy, have the salesperson help you pick a healthy tree.
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    Buy online. Try websites such as or, which offer a variety of plants and trees available for shipping with guarantees of quality. Reputable online nurseries will provide descriptions and growing conditions for the plants and trees, and should also provide detailed shipping information and prices.

Method 3
Examine the Condition of the Tree

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    Inspect the cherry tree once it is purchased.
    • Check the roots. Saplings with a root ball should have lots of root growth, but the ball should not be broken. Potted trees should have adequate root growth, but not so much that the roots encompass the outside of the container. The roots and soil should be joined together, and the soil should be moist.
    • Examine the trunk and branches, especially in mature trees. Look for healthy bark that is bright in color. Avoid leggy and spindly top branches, and look for well-developed leader branches (those coming from the top of the trunk).


  • Before choosing a flowering cherry, be aware that it has a shorter lifespan than many other flowering trees. An average lifespan is approximately 15 to 20 years, and cherries are susceptible to diseases such as aphids, borer, tent caterpillars and other pests and fungal diseases. Regular maintenance and fertilizer can help control the spread of diseases.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil pH test kit

Article Info

Categories: Gardening