March 20th through April 14 marks the greatest springtime celebration in D.C.; The National Cherry Blossom Festival. In honor of the Cherry Blossom Festival, this week’s Plant of the Week is the Yoshino Cherry tree. Besides being known as the main focal point of the festival, Yoshino Cherries are also known for their fragrant white-pink flowers and oriental branching pattern, and rank among the best of spring flowering trees. Cherry trees are native of Japan and the Japanese word for cherry blossom trees is Sakura, roughly translated as “Japanese flowering cherry.” The cherry blossom tree is known for its short yet beautiful blooming season which ends with an inevitable fall to the ground. For Japanese people, this symbolizes the way of human life where rising, blossoming, and falling are part of our natural destiny.
Small spaces can be greatly enhanced with the addition of a Yoshino Cherry. That’s because it’s a relatively small flowering tree usually only reaching 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide at maturity. Because of its compact size it will easily fit into most residential landscapes. The Yoshino is best planted in moist, well-drained soil in full sun. It has a rapid growth rate and typical life expectancy of 15 to 20 years.