An Introduction to Yoshino Cherry

Identify and Manage Your Yoshino Cherry

yoshino cherry tree flowers
Yoshino cherry tree in flower. (Uberlemur/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Yoshino Cherry grows quickly to 20 feet, has beautiful bark but is a relatively short-lived tree. It has upright to horizontal branching, making it ideal for planting along walks and over patios. The white to pink flowers blooming in early spring, before the leaves develop, can be damaged by late frosts or very windy conditions. The tree is glorious in flower and has been planted along with "Kwanzan" Cherry in Washington, D.C. and Macon, Georgia for their annual Cherry Blossom Festivals.


Scientific name: Prunus x yedoensis
Pronunciation: PROO-nus x yed-oh-EN-sis
Common name: Yoshino Cherry
Family: Rosaceae
USDA hardiness zones: 5B through 8A
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: Bonsai; container or above-ground planter; near a deck or patio; trainable as a standard; specimen; residential street tree


‘Akebona’(‘Daybreak’) - flowers softer pink; ‘Perpendens’ - irregularly pendulous branches; ‘Shidare Yoshino’ (‘Perpendens’) - irregularly pendulous branches


Height: 35 to 45 feet
Spread: 30 to 40 feet
Crown uniformity: symmetrical canopy with a regular (or smooth) outline, and individuals have more or less identical crown forms
Crown shape: round; vase shape
Crown density: moderate
Growth rate: medium
Texture: medium

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: bark is thin and easily damaged from mechanical impact; droop as the tree grows, and will require pruning for vehicular or pedestrian clearance beneath the canopy; showy trunk; should be grown with a single leader;
Pruning requirement: requires pruning to develop strong structure
Breakage: resistant
Current year twig color: brown
Current year twig thickness: thin


Leaf arrangement: alternate
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: double serrate; serrate
Leaf shape: elliptic oval; oblong; ovate
Leaf venation: banchidodrome; pinnate
Leaf type and persistence: deciduous
Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches


Light requirement: tree grows in full sun
Soil tolerances: clay; loam; sand; acidic; occasionally wet; alkaline; well-drained
Drought tolerance: moderate
Aerosol salt tolerance: none
Soil salt tolerance: poor

In Depth

Best used as a specimen or near the deck or patio for shade, Yoshino cherry also works nicely along walks or near a water feature. Not a street or parking lot tree due to drought-sensitivity. Large specimens take on a weeping habit with delicate branchlets arranged on upright-spreading branches affixed to a short, stout trunk. A lovely addition to a sunny spot where a beautiful specimen is needed. Winter form, yellow fall color, and pretty bark make this a year-round favorite.

Provide good drainage in an acidic soil for best growth. Crowns become one-sided unless they receive light from all around the plant, so locate in full sun. Select another tree to plant if soil is poorly drained but otherwise Yoshino cherry adapts to clay or loam. Roots should be kept moist and should not be subjected to prolonged drought.