Imagine: Pink clouds have descended from the heavens and upholstered the trees with flowers. Bubblegum pink. And the foliage, in celebration, takes on a reddish hue as it erupts from the stems to applaud the show. The Kanzan Cherry Trees are in bloom.
Name: Prunus ‘Kanzan’ aka Kwanzan cherry.
Type of Plant: A Japanese flowering cherry that flowers in May on Cape Cod. This tree typically grows between 20 and 25 feet high and wide. It is in glorious flower for about two weeks in the spring, and has lovely fall foliage color in October.
Why I Love this plant: Let’s admit it: spring on the Cape and Islands can be cruel. Damp, cold and cloudy. Cold nights that threaten to kill the summer flowers and vegetables we so optimistically put in the ground. But here are the Kwanzan cherry trees, dressed in frilly pink outfits, ready to party. In fact, they shed their celebration attire with the entire venue as they carpet the area with pink petals.
I also love these because in an area where the genus Prunus typically doesn’t do well, where most weeping cherries die within five years of planting and they and their cousin plums typically fall to bacterial canker, it’s nice to have a cherry that usually lives.
A Word to the Wise: Plant these at least 15 feet from other trees or buildings…this tree starts out with upright branches but those drop to more a horizontal structure as the plant ages. So over time, expect that these cherries will be at least 20 feet wide or wider.
Water deeply once a week. Don’t hit the foliage with irrigation frequently and don’t over-fertilize.