A couple of weeks ago I had photos of my newly pruned ornamental cherry. That tree is one of the most special trees on our property even though it has no intrinsic wildlife value. It was given to us as a gift to commemorate the death of my Dad in 1999.
It was already quite mature in 1999 when it was gifted to us and it has only matured more beautifully in its place. It blooms quite nicely every spring (and I am looking forward to this year’s bloom now that it has been pruned!) Its beautiful weeping canopy is visible from 1/4 mile away.
We live on a curvy street–and as soon as a car turns the curve and heads in the direction of our house, if that tree is in bloom, it’s visible. It’s like a beacon. It’s just amazing.
Small trees are something of a rarity in the landscape simply by definition. A tree is a tree partly because of its height. But this tree has stayed nicely under 7 feet, although its spread is much wider.
Cherry trees have a storied past in our country, although whether our first President really did cut one down is perhaps more an urban legend–or self–promoting myth–than reality. Still, they play a role in our American history.
While we do have native cherries, most were brought here from Europe. And the lovely small ornamental flowering cherry trees that many home gardeners now covet today are generally imported from Asia. For a great post on ornamental cherry trees, and the great selection available to home gardeners, here is this primer from Trees.com.
Our ornamental cherry has proven to be free from every type of disease and insect (with the exception of an occasional nibble from a passing Japanese beetle–but nothing too troublesome). It has survived several droughts without supplemental watering and has never received fertilizer–but then again, everything in my yard gets tough love. Worst of all, it has been mangled by pruning from The Spoiler and his lawn mower.
Sometimes, just like with house plants, too much love (once a plant is established) can be a bad thing!
The Cherry Blossom Festival used to be an important celebration in Japantown in San Jose, as well as Seattle. Flowering cherry trees do not do as well in San Jose as they do in Seattle, but were planted as street trees in Japantown, and are doing reasonably well. There is an old pair of flowering cherry trees here that are so old and so popular, that I need to write an obituary for them when I cut them down.
That’s sort of how our flowering native dogwoods are here. Again, they are supposed to be short lived but a few live to a ripe old age. Our spring festivals are about bulbs, which is ridiculous when you think about it (and also explains why I have never attended. ) But we are fairly blessed with a riot of spring color from the trees. Maybe they couldn’t decide.