18 of the best cherry blossom trees (2022)

There is nothing quite as uplifting as a branch of cherry blossom silhouetted against a blue spring sky. Japanese cherry blossom trees, known in Japan as sakura, are among the most beautiful of all of the blossom-bearing trees.

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The Japanese celebrate the arrival of the cherry blossom every year with a blossom festival, known as sakura matsuri. Every year many make pilgrimages to see these iconic trees, planted in famous temple gardens or besides ancient castles, and picnic beneath them to view their blossom – a tradition known as hanami.

The idea of hanami is now catching on in the UK – this year, the National Trust's #BlossomWatch day is on 23 April 2022, and the public will be asked to share pictures of beautiful blossoms on social media.

Where to plant a cherry blossom tree

Plant your cherry blossom tree in a sheltered, sunny spot. Be sure to check the height and spread.

When to plant a cherry blossom tree

Container-grown cherry blossom trees can be planted all year round, although spring and autumn are best as the soil is warm and moist. You're likely to find container-grown trees at garden centres in the spring. Bare root trees (which are often cheaper) need to be planted during the dormant season, from November to March. These are available from specialist tree nurseries and online.

How to prune a cherry blossom tree

Cherry blossom trees do not need pruning, but you can cut out crossing or dead branches in spring or summer, when the tree is less likely to suffer from silver leaf disease or canker.

18 of the best cherry blossom trees

Plant expert Val Bourne selects some favourites from the collection at Batsford Arboretum, with details on how to buy cherry blossom trees.

1

Prunus 'Pink Shell'

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (1)

A small, elegant cherry blossom tree with spreading branches that dangle cup-shaped, pale pink, shell-shaped flowers. The blooms turn paler as they age, and as they are single, they are highly attractive to early pollinators. The attractive pale-green, serrated foliage appears at the same time as the flowers and turns beautiful shades of orange before falling in autumn.

From a seedling of uncertain origins, Prunus 'Pink Shell' is one of the loveliest cherries and is widely sold. It's an ideal tree for a lawn or front garden. 4m. RHS H6, USDA 6a-9b.

2

Prunus 'Tai-haku'

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (2)

The blossom of this great white cherry looks fabulous when held erect against bronze-green, new leaves. It was reintroduced to Japan by British cherry tree expert Collingwood Ingram. 6m. AGM (Award of Garden Merit). RHS H6, USDA 6a-9b.

Buy Prunus 'Tai-haku' from Primrose

Buy Prunus 'Tai-haku' through the RHS

Buy Prunus 'Tai-haku' from Crocus

3

Prunus x yedoensis

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (3)
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Widely planted in Japan, this cherry blossom tree is short but wide spreading on poorer soil, but it can grow much larger if given better conditions. It has spectacular, almond-scented, blush-pink flowers. 8m. USDA 8a-9a.

Buy Prunus x yedoensis from Primrose

Buy Prunus x yedoensis from Crocus

4

Prunus 'Shogetsu'

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (4)

This spreading cherry blossom tree, which is wider than it is tall, flowers later than most. Its light-pink buds, which open to white flowers, are sometimes likened to little ballerinas. Also sometimes known as 'Oky-Miyako'. 4m. AGM. RHS H6, USDA 6a-9b.

Buy Prunus 'Shogetsu' from Primrose

Buy Prunus 'Shogetsu' through the RHS

5

Prunus 'Gyoiko'

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (5)

Its name, which translates as the imperial yellow costume, refers to the delicate, creamy-white colour of its blossom, which resembles the greenish-yellow court robes worn in the emperor’s palace. The cherry tree flowers are also touched with cerise and green so it’s sometimes sold as ‘Tricolor’. Introduced in 1914, it’s similar to the larger-flowered ‘Ukon’. 6m.

Buy Prunus 'Gyoiko' through the RHS

6

Prunus sargentii

A large, early flowering cherry blossom tree with substantial, single pink flowers that appear in March as new foliage opens to bronze. Good autumn colour follows, when the leaves turn maroon-red. It’s named after the American botanist Charles Sprague Sargent.
12m. USDA 4a-7b.

Buy Prunus sargentii from Primrose

Buy Prunus sargentii from Crocus

Buy Prunus sargentii through the RHS

7

Prunus incisa 'Fujimae'

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (7)
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A large, slow-growing shrub or very small cherry blossom tree that is smothered with pale-pink buds that open to white in early spring. Colours up to orange in autumn and could be grown in a container. 3m. AGM. RHS H6.

Buy Prunus incisa 'Fujimae' through the RHS

8

Prunus 'Fudan-zakura'

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (8)

A small tree that, unlike most Japanese cherries, doesn’t blaze with lots of flowers at the same time. Instead between November and April, a succession of pink buds appear, which develop into blush-white flowers. 8m.

Buy Prunus 'Fudan-zakura' through the RHS

9

Prunus 'Umineko'

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (9)

This stunning white cross between P. speciosa and P. incisa, was bred by the British cherry blossom tree expert Collingwood Ingram in 1928. The April flowers are pure-white on an upright tree, and its name translates as seagull. 8m.

Buy Prunus 'Umineko' from Primrose

Buy Prunus 'Umineko' through the RHS

10

Prunus 'Kiki-shidare-zakura'

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (10)

Fully double, pink cherry blossom appears as the new leaves break on branches that cascade downwards to form an umbrella. The green foliage also has attractive bright-red stems. 3m. USDA 3a-8b.

Buy Prunus 'Kiki-shidare-zakura' from Primrose

Buy Prunus 'Kiki-shidare-zakura' through the RHS

11

Prunus 'Pink Perfection'

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (11)

Raised in 1935 at Waterers nursery in Surrey, and thought to be a hybrid seedling of ‘Shogetsu’ and ‘Kwanzan’. Its rose-pink, very double flowers last longer than most, beginning in early May. 5m. AGM. RHS H6.

Buy Prunus 'Pink Perfection' from Primrose

Buy Prunus 'Pink Perfection' through the RHS

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12

Prunus 'Hokusai'

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (12)

This pink cherry blossom has a hint of apricot to its flowers. A vigorous, spreading tree, smothered in large, semi-double, pale-pink flowers that show up well against brownish-bronze leaves. 8m. AGM. RHS H6

Buy Prunus 'Hokusai' from Primrose

Buy Prunus 'Hokusai' through the RHS

13

Prunus 'Edo-zakura'

This April-flowering cherry blossom tree has been grown in Japan since the the 17th century; its name is the former name for Tokyo. It is the best known of the pink frilly cherries with an inner tier of petals that is almost white. 5-6m.

14

Prunus 'Kiku-shidare-zakura'

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (14)

Its flowers open slowly and peak in May, offering densely packed, soft-pink petals. The name means chrysanthemum cherry and is a tree the cherry expert Collingwood Ingram found to be ‘slow and stubborn’. 3m.

Buy Prunus 'Kiku-shidare-zakura' through the RHS

Buy Prunus 'Kiku-shidare-zakura' from Primrose

15

Prunus 'Horinji'

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (15)

Its name refers to an ancient Buddhist temple in Kyoto. The soft-pink, semi-double cherry blossom flowers are held in purplish buds so the neatly arranged flowers on this small, upright tree have a unique two-tone effect. 5m.

Buy Prunus 'Horinji' through the RHS

16

Prunus 'Shosar'

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (16)
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This strong fastigiate cherry blossom tree – a cross between a P. incisa x P. campanulata hybrid and P. sargentii – was bred by Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram. It bears beautiful pink blossom in early March. 12m. AGM. RHS H6.

Buy Prunus 'Shosar' from Primrose

Buy Prunus 'Shosar' through the RHS

17

Prunus ‘Takasago’

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (17)

‘Takasago’ refers to a song associated with an ancient Japanese card game. The abundant pink cherry blossom tree, held in clusters of three to six flowers, appears in April against young bronzed foliage on a slow-growing tree. 3m.

Buy Prunus 'Takasago' from the RHS

18

Prunus 'Shirotae'

18 of the best cherry blossom trees (18)

A vigorous, strong cherry blossom tree with an unmistakable flat-topped, spreading habit and pure-white, semi-double, fragrant flowers. It’s one of the earliest cherry trees to flower in spring.

As the blooms fade, the pale green, long-toothed leaves emerge. These become darker as they age over the summer, then produce a vivid orange and red display in the autumn before falling. Prunus 'Shirotae' is a good choice for a medium-sized garden or a Japanese-style garden. It looks good grown as a specimen tree in a lawn.

10m. AGM. RHS H6, USDA 6a-9b.

Where to see cherry blossom trees

Batsford Arboretum, near Moreton-in-Marsh in the Cotswolds, holds an extensive Plant Heritage collection of Japanese cherry blossom trees. These are planted in an oriental setting complete with an authentic Japanese rest house and a traditional bridge. Japanese cherry trees have been planted at Batsford since the 1960s, so the garden boasts a large collection displayed to perfection on the south-facing slope. Most cherry blossom trees flower in April, when many magnolias are out too, making for a stunning display.

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Batsford Arboretum, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 9QB.

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FAQs

What is the message of cherry blossom? ›

Cherry blossoms are a symbolic flower of the spring, a time of renewal, and the fleeting nature of life.

Are cherry blossom trees the same as cherry trees? ›

Essentially, both trees are related and produce similar flowers and fruits. However, cherry trees are grown for their tasty fruits, while cherry blossom trees are grown for their beautiful flowers, and neither can compete with the other in the opposing category.

What does the cherry tree symbolize Ruskin Bond? ›

Narrated in the third person, The Cherry tree is a beautiful and inspiring story by Ruskin Bond. It deals with the theme of struggle, resilience, dedication, conflict, growth, responsibility and pride. Here the cherry tree is a symbol of survival.

Which cherry tree has the best blossom? ›

Their most popular and acclaimed cherry blossom is the Yoshino (Prunus x yedoensis), which has five white petals and is treasured for its delicate, simple form. The same cultivar may display single flowers with 5 petals on one specimen, but 15 petals per flower on another specimen.

What does cherry symbolize? ›

The symbol of the ruby-red Cherry is also popular in western culture and the gift of a Cherry tree is said to bring good fortune and future happiness to the days to come!

Does cherry blossom mean love? ›

What Do Cherry Blossoms Mean? Cherry blossoms hold elevated status in China, signifying love and the female mystique (beauty, strength and sexuality), but nowhere in the world are the elusive flowers more cherished than in Japan, home to thousands of cherry blossom trees.

Can dogs eat cherry blossoms? ›

Cherry Blossoms

The stems, leaves, and blossoms are all poisonous to your dog. So while they are beautiful to look at, rake them up if you have an outside dog. Dogs don't go seeking plant life for consumption, but they have been known to get into a plant or two.

Can you eat cherry blossoms? ›

The cherry blossoms and the leaves are edible and used in many traditional Japanese sweets and tea. They are first pickled and then used in recipes for mochi cakes, candies, and even cookies. You can also brew sakura blossom tea or make cocktails with preserved blossoms.

Why is it called cherry blossom? ›

In 1973, the following year of the Japan–China Joint Communiqué, Japan sent cherry trees to China as a symbol of friendship, and they were planted in the Yuyuantan Park in Beijing. After that, the cherry trees were proliferated and planted, and the park became famous for cherry blossoms.

What is the central idea of the story the cherry tree? ›

Answer: The Cherry tree is a symbol of survival and it escapes almost eaten by a goat and being cut with the grass. Just as human beings struggle in life so too does the cherry tree. But the cherry tree shows resilience and the ability to withstand adversities.

Why was the cherry tree so special answer? ›

The cherry tree was so special for Rakesh because his grandfather advised him to plant the last seed of the bunch of cherries which Rakesh bought on his way home from school for fifty paise and following his grandfather's advise he planted it.

Who is the hero of the cherry tree? ›

The cherry tree myth is the most well-known and longest enduring legend about George Washington. In the original story, when Washington was six years old he received a hatchet as a gift and damaged his father's cherry tree. When his father discovered what he had done, he became angry and confronted him.

Where is the best place to plant a cherry blossom tree? ›

Cherry blossom trees do best in a sunny, sheltered spot – strong winds can strip a tree of its blossom. Trees that produce sour edible fruits, such as the Morello cherry, can tolerate some shade. Cherries can tolerate a wide range of soil types, as long as it is moist and well drained.

How long do cherry blossom trees live? ›

Most cherry blossom trees only live for 30 to 40 years, according to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (which is home to some of the oldest cherry blossoms in the United States). But some species can live longer: black cherry trees can live up to 250 years.

What is the fastest growing cherry blossom tree? ›

Best fast-growing for flowering tree for spring

The Kwanzan cherry, officially known as Prunus serrulata 'Kwanzan', erupts in a profusion of frothy pink blooms in spring.

Is cherry a symbol of love? ›

Cherries are a symbol of love; to kiss under a blossoming cherry tree is a must for all lovers. Thus, if you want to enjoy a moment with your loved one, but there is no cherry tree around, you can at least enjoy these delicious fruits in the new McDonald's deserts such as our lovely couple did.

What does 2 cherries mean? ›

In Act III, scene ii, Helena compares her friendship to Hermia like two joined cherries that grow from the same stem. She means that they are like sisters, even though they aren't really sisters. At this moment in the play, Helena thinks that Hermia and the boys are making fun of her, and she feels hurt.

Why does cherry mean virgin? ›

The first references to "cherry" are found in the 16th century when the word may have referred to the dark pubic hair of a woman. The more modern version of the phrase became popular in the 19th century, however, when a woman was considered "ripe for plucking" if she was a virgin (and her "cherry" was intact).

What does blossom mean in the Bible? ›

The biblical meaning of bloom is about our hearts and a reconciled relationship between us and God. These bible verses about blossoming show us that God desires to heal us, to forgive our sins when we repent, and to love us. And because of Jesus, that is possible.

Do cherry blossoms represent death? ›

Cherry blossoms symbolize both birth and death, beauty and violence. They are a central motif in the Japanese worship of nature, but they have also historically signified the short but colorful life of the samurai.

What does cherry blossom emoji mean from a girl? ›

When sexting, this flower emoji is often interchanged with the 🌷 to represent female genitalia. If someone's using sexual language and a 🌺, they're likely referring to sex with a woman.

How poisonous are cherry trees? ›

All members of the Prunus genus, which includes cherries, are poisonous. All members of this genus carry the same warning about the ingestion of leaves, twigs or seeds of fruit. These parts of the plants contain cyanogenic glycoside or cyanogens that are highly toxic and may be fatal if eaten.

What happens if my cat eats a cherry? ›

Health Concerns Of Cherries for Cats

The biggest concern with cherries and cats is cyanide poisoning. Cherry pits, stems, and leaves contain significant amounts of cyanide. Cats and dogs are especially sensitive to this and can become extremely sick or even die from it.

Is cherry toxic to cats? ›

Steer clear of: Cherries are toxic to cats and dogs, and grapes and raisins can cause kidney damage. Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and grapefruit as well as persimmons can cause an upset stomach. All the following fruits are safe for your dog or cat to eat.

Are sakura poisonous? ›

Cherry blossoms, or sakura flowers, are not known to be poisonous to humans.

Why did Japan give us cherry blossoms? ›

The tradition of celebrating the blooming of cherry trees in Japan is centuries old. The planting of cherry trees in Washington DC originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an important flowering plant.

Do cherry blossoms smell? ›

Cherry blossom trees typically have an incredibly short blooming season, lasting only between early March and even into April for up to a ten-day period. During this time, cherry blossom trees do smell when in bloom. The blooms and their flowers give off a very faint scent of vanilla, lilac and rose.

Which country has cherry blossom? ›

When you first think of cherry blossoms, your mind might go to Japan. Indeed, one of the most scenic times to visit is during the few weeks each year when the country is transformed by cherry blossoms blooming en masse.

Is cherry blossom always pink? ›

15 They aren't always pink. The Takesimensis variety, known for its white flowers, is actually more common than you might think in the U.S. Other blossoms change colors throughout the blooming period, such as Ukon, which go from greenish yellow to white before turning pink. 16 Each tree may only bloom for up to a week.

Why do cherry blossoms smell like fish? ›

These compounds are derivatives of ammonia, which coincidentally, is also present in semen. Certain amines are associated with fishy smells or the stench of decayed flesh. And, when the weather's warm and its flower are blooming, the tree wafts them out freely.

What is the spiritual meaning of cherry blossoms? ›

Cherry Blossom Symbolism and Meanings. 1. Symbol of Hope, New Life, and New Beginnings. 2. Symbol of Honor, Discipline, and Sacrifice.

What do Japanese cherry blossoms represent? ›

Cherry blossoms symbolize both birth and death, beauty and violence. They are a central motif in the Japanese worship of nature, but they have also historically signified the short but colorful life of the samurai. Sakura emblems also adorned the planes of kamikaze pilots during World War II.

What does it mean to blossom as a person? ›

When people blossom, they become more attractive, successful, or confident, and when good feelings or relationships blossom, they develop and become stronger: She has really blossomed recently. She is suddenly blossoming into a very attractive woman.

What does a cherry blossom tattoo symbolize? ›

Popular Cherry Blossom Tattoo Meanings. The Japanese symbolize the cherry blossom, or Sakura, as being short lived and believe it is representative of life. It is used as a way to say, “Life is short, live every second as if it is your last”.

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