4 Best Flowering Cherry Trees to Grow in the South

If would take the better portion of a day to name every variety of cherry tree. All of them lovely and all originating from China and Japan.

Some grow small and compact, others grow tall and provide shade, some produce cherries while others are strictly ornamental.

All varieties of this flowering tree will grow well when planted in full sun and well draining soil, but certain varieties do better in certain climates and growing zones.

These 4 are the best cherry trees to grow in the southern climate and soil.

Weeping Cherry

All varieties of the weeping cherry tree grow pendulous-style branches, but that is where their similarity ends. The flowers might be pink or white: single or double blooms.

The tree may be a grafted onto a Higan cherry root stock (P. x subhirtella) or it may be grown on it’s own root stock.

Pink weeping cherry blooms.
The flowers may be pink or white and singles or doubles, and the branch structure upright or drooping, depending on the exact cultivar.

The weeper may grow to look like an up-shooting fountain or give a more formal look with branches cascading down to the ground, either can reach a mature height of 12 feet or 40 feet.

A small, pale pink weeping cherry in bloom, with green grass and various shrubs and trees in the background.

Fall foliage is also spectacular on a weeping cherry tree. With leaves that turn either golden yellow or orange. Make sure you are purchasing the variety of weeping cherry tree that you want for your landscape.

Yoshino

The star of annual cherry festival in Washington, D. C. and other spring celebrations around the south, the Yoshino flowering cherry (Prunus x yedoensis) is fast growing and starts producing blooms the first spring after planting.

Closeup of a pale pink 'Yoshino' cherry blossom, with yellow pollen on white anthers.
With its slightly pink tinted white petals, ‘Yoshino’ is one of the more classic and stately varieties, rather than-in-your face punk-rocker blazing pink like some of the other cultivars.

Yoshino cherry trees will reach a mature size of about 35 feet tall and wide and produce clouds of pinkish-white blooms each spring before the branches leaf out. Fall foliage colors range from yellow to reddish-brown.

Yoshino cherry tree in bloom, covered in blossoms in a shade of very pale pastel pink.

Okame

This is the ornamental flowering tree that signals the arrival of spring in the south. Okame cherry trees ( P. Okame) blooms at different times each spring, often as early as Valentine’s Day.

Producing thousands of deep pink blooms on leafless branches, the tree will grow to a mature size of about 20 feet tall and wide, growing into a neat oval shape.

Okame cherry blossoms, in shades of pink.
With its single blossoms and delicate deep pink petals, there is perhaps no cultivar more lovely than ‘Okame.’

Okame is heat tolerant and does exceptionally well in the hot, humid, drought-prone southern climate. This ornamental tree produces orange-red fall foliage and it’s bark turns a glossy reddish-brown color as part of its fall color display.

Looking up through the canopy of a tall 'Okame' cherry tree, covered in pink blooms.

Kwanzan

Huge, ruffled, doubled deep pink blossoms make this cherry tree resemble a southern belle dressed up for prom night. Kwanzan ( P. serrulata) blooms in late spring after the branches have begun to leaf out.

'Kwanzan' cherry blossoms, ruffled with double blossoms, in clusters at the ends of the branches, against a light blue sky, with light green young spring leaves.
With its double pink blossoms, ‘Kwanzan’ fills every single space with springtime color.

This flowering ornamental will reach a mature height of about 30 feet and grow in a vase-shape pattern, leaving planty of head-room under its glossy, deep green leafed branches. Fall foliage is reddish-brown in color.

A large 'Kwanzan' tree, with every branch covered in pink blooms, arching in a wide canopy with branches starting close to the ground. With a green manicured lawn in the foreground, and a house with brick chimney and white siding to the right.

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