Prunus ‘Kanzan’ Flowering Cherry

The beautiful Kanzan Japanese Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata ‘Kanzan’) is a double pink ornamental flowering cherry from Japan. It is also known as ‘Sekiyama’. This deciduous tree has a number of seasonal highlights and is one of the most popular flowering cherries for good reason. We have one in the centre of our rose garden and its clustered ruffled deep pink blossoms on long stalks are a sight to behold in spring (from mid October here on the farm). We enjoy it in the house in vases mixed with lilac, apple blossom, sweet peas and other spring flowers.

Strong branches have an upright habit and can grow to 12 m tall. The creased leaves with toothed edges emerge in spring as a bronze colour, form shady dark green foliage in summer and then turn lovely reds, oranges and hints of yellows in autumn. As the tree matures, it forms a broadening vase shape on a clear trunk.

• Uses: ornamental tree, shade tree, specimen tree, avenue tree, vase arrangements, tub tree, parks, gardens
• Size: 12 metres high depending on conditions
• Flowering: from mid October
• Tolerances: pruning if required
• Features: beautiful double pink cherry blossom, leaves with lovely reds, oranges and hints of yellows in autumn

Garden News Blog

Eight Things You Probably Don’t Know About Flowering Cherry Trees

By Brian Funk | May 2, 2014

Thousands of visitors have been flocking to Brooklyn Botanic Garden this spring, and every spring, to view our collection of flowering cherries. They may be the most beloved trees in New York City. Still, there are many things most people don’t realize about these beautiful pink- and white-blossomed plants. Here are some little-known facts.

They make fruit.

Well, many of them do, anyway. Though these trees were bred for flowers, not fruit, some do produce small cherries, which appear during the summer. They’re too sour for people to eat, but birds like them.

Any given tree may only be in full bloom for about a week.

Cherry blossom season usually lasts about a month from the earliest bloomers—this year the ever-blooming cherry (Prunus sargentii ‘Fudan-zakura’)—to the latest, usually the ‘Kanzan’ (P. ‘Kanzan’) and the ‘Ukon’ (P. serrulata ‘Ukon’). But an individual tree may only be in bloom for a week or two, depending on the weather. Of course, if they were in bloom all the time, they wouldn’t be so special.

Which cherries are blossoming right now? Visit the CherryWatch Blossom Status Map to find out.

They don’t live long.

Like their blossoms, flowering cherry trees themselves are fairly ephemeral too, at least as trees go. Most cultivars live only 30 to 40 years. Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s collection includes some of the oldest specimens in North America, though—the two weeping higan cherries (Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’) at the north end of Cherry Walk. Those were part of the original 1921 planting.

Flowering cherries actually don’t belong in a traditional Japanese garden.

Conifers, maples, azaleas, and mosses are all much more common in traditional Japanese gardens, which are created to showcase year-round seasonal interest. In Japan, flowering cherries, with their short blooming period, symbolize the ephemeral. They’re more likely to be planted in parks, where Hanami is pretty much celebrated as a drunken picnic. Office workers make their interns go out early in the morning with a blanket to stake out a spot under the cherry trees—kind of like movie nights in Bryant Park. Then later everyone shows up with the food and sake. Still, compared with cherry festivals in the U.S., they are rather solemn events where everyone contemplates the impermanence of life.

Here in Brooklyn, it would be hard to have a Japanese garden without including a plant so closely associated with Japanese culture. That’s why BBG horticulturists have always included flowering cherries in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden.

The blossoms change colors.

Many are dark pink when in bud, lighter pink when they first blossom, and then eventually pale pink or white. There are some interesting variations on this, though. The blossoms of ‘Ukon’, for instance, progress from greenish yellow to white, and then pink.

The trees on Cherry Esplanade have five times the typical number of petals per flower.

Cherry blossom species naturally have five petals, but some cultivars are bred for fuller blossoms and have many more. The pink double blossoms of ‘Kanzan’ have as many as 28 petals each. Interestingly, in Japan, many people would consider this rather gaudy. There, the most popular cherry blossom is the Yoshino (Prunus x yedoensis), which has five white petals and is treasured for its delicate, simple form.

Take virtual tours and see cherry trees at peak bloom in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden and on Cherry Esplanade.

The flowering cherries on sale at home improvement stories are Franken-trees.

You see these around a lot—they look like mops or umbrellas or octopus trees. They are probably weeping higan branches grafted onto to a cherry with a straight trunk that was cut off at five feet tall. I don’t blame people for buying them because they’re one of the only widely available options. It’s a shame, though, because they are often really weak and unhealthy. If you look around a little, you can probably find upright higan or Yoshino cultivars for sale, which I think are much nicer options.

This year aside, they are blooming earlier every year.

Lots of people think this year’s cherry blossoms are “late” since the trees flowered so much later than they did last year. But this year’s bloom times are actually pretty close to what used to be normal. The overall trend is for them to blossom a little earlier each year. That’s due to climate change. It wasn’t that long ago that Sakura Matsuri was scheduled for the first weekend in May, which corresponded pretty well with Cherry Esplanade’s being in bloom. Now, more often then not, it’s sometime in April.

Get cultivation tips and learn to choose the right flowering cherry cultivar for your own garden.

Learn how experts identify different cultivars of cherry trees.

Apricots, peaches, crabapples, and other trees also flower in the spring. Learn how to tell them all apart.

Brian Funk is a landscape designer and master ­gardener. He is also the curator of the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden and the Japanese tree peony collection at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Kwanzan Cherry Tree

Hardiest Cherry Blooms Welcome Spring

Why Kwanzan Cherry Trees?

The hardiest of the Cherry Tree family, the Kwanzan heightens springtime each year, welcoming the new season with unmatched color. In fact, it’s also the showiest of all Cherry Trees. And its flowers aren’t just pink…but double pink, meaning that you get twice the petals and twice the blooms of other trees.

Your new Kwanzan Cherry Tree blooms in huge clusters of 3 to 5 flowers. These clusters are the thickest of all pink trees and resemble carnations in hue and volume.

Kwanzans begin to bloom in April, with full florals that can last weeks at a time. In the fall, golden autumn leaves take hold, captivating neighbors and guests alike. Basically, the Kwanzan offers four seasons of visual interest, giving you the best yard on the block.

And it’s one of the easiest flowering trees to grow! The Kwanzan Cherry thrives in almost any soil and climate, so you don’t have to spend hours in your garden spraying, fertilizing and pruning. When it comes to the Kwanzan, there’s no guesswork in growing.

Why Fast-Growing-Trees.com is Better

But the best part about your Kwanzan? We’ve planted and grown your Cherry Tree at our nursery for months, long before it ships to your doorstep. Now, you get a well-developed root system (no bare-root!) and better branching than ever before.

Unlike other big-box retailers and chain garden centers, we’ve put in the extra work so that you get a Kwanzan Cherry Tree that thrives in your landscape.

The only work for you is selecting the perfect spot for your Kwanzan Cherry. Order your own Kwanzan Cherry Tree today!

Planting & Care

1. Planting: Kwanzans grow best in moist, well-drained soil and full to partial sun (at least 4 hours of sunlight daily).

Dig your hole just as deep and twice as wide as the root ball. Leave a small mound of dirt in the center of the hole to set the root ball on and carefully spread the roots in the hole. Backfill your hole, place your tree, and water the surrounding area. Do not cover the crown with the soil…only cover the roots. Finally, spread mulch over the surrounding soil to conserve moisture.

2. Watering: Water your tree when the top 2 inches of soil dries (a slow trickle with a garden hose for about 10 minutes is recommended).

3. Fertilizing: Flowering Cherries will not require fertilizer for the first two years. After that, apply 1/10 pound of actual nitrogen per year for each year of the tree’s age, with a maximum of 1 pound per year. Apply it once in the spring, or spread the nitrogen into 2 to 4 equal applications over the spring and summer.

4. Pruning: Removal of the current year’s old, faded flowers and fruit clusters will promote flower buds for the following season. Prune the tree during in winter to remove dead or damaged branches.

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