Kwanzan Cherry Tree: Description, Cultivars, and Tree Care

Discover how to plant, prune, and care for a Kwanzan cherry tree.

Blooming Pink Japanese Cherry or Sakura Flowers (Prunus Serrulata or Kanzan)

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The Kwanzan cherry, also known as the Japanese flowering tree, is native to Japan but commonly found in many parts of North America. It is popular for its double-pink flowers, which bloom in the springtime. The Kwanzan cherry has an upright-spreading form and can reach up to 25 feet tall.

This guide includes information about this majestic tree, as well as some tree care tips if you want to grow your own on your property.

Kwanzan Cherry Tree Facts

  • Scientific Name: Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’
  • Common Name: Kwanzan cherry
  • Family: Rosaceae
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9
  • Origin: Japan
  • Uses: Bonsai; container or above-ground planter; near a deck or patio; trainable as a standard; specimen; residential street tree


The Kwanzan cherry can grow to about 15 to 25 feet tall and is considered to have a medium growth rate. Its upright, vase-shaped crown spreads 15 to 25 feet wide. It has a symmetrical canopy with a regular, smooth outline.

Kwanzan cherry trees have alternate, simple leaves with serrated margins and an ovate shape. Kwanzan cherries are deciduous trees, so they shed their leaves each year. The leaves are green until the fall when they turn copper, orange, and yellow.


There are several Kwanzan cherry cultivars, and some might be locally available. Here are the ones you can look for:

  • Amanogawa (Erecta): This tree produces semi-double, light pink, fragrant flowers; has a narrow columnar habit; and grows to be about 20 feet tall.
  • Shirotae (Mt. Fuji, Kojima): Flowers of a shirotae are double to semi-double, white, ruffled, about 2.5 inches across.
  • Ukon: This tree is distinctive for its pale yellow flowers.

Tree Care Tips

It is not too challenging to care for a Kwanzan cheery tree of your own. The most important conditions are the soil, lighting, and watering.

Neither stress-tolerant nor highly drought-tolerant, Kwanzan cherry should be located on a site with loose, acidic, well-drained soil and plenty of moisture. Clay, loam, and sand are all good soil choices for this tree. It should not be planted in an urban parking lot or exposed street where borers and other problems may attack.

Kwanzan cherry also thrives in full sunlight, so make sure to plant or transplant your tree to an open-enough area.


Kwanzan cherry typically needs little pruning and will develop a strong structure on its own. Its branches are of medium thickness and fairly resistant to breakage.


While Kwanzan cherry does require much pruning, growers will want to watch out for common pests and diseases. These pests include aphids which distort new growth, deposits of honeydew, and sooty mold. Bark borers can attack flowering cherries, and scale insects of several types can infest cherries. Spider mites can cause yellowing or stippling of leaves, and tent caterpillars make large webbed nests in trees and then eat the foliage.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How big does a Kwanzan cherry tree get?

    Naturally, Kwanzan cherry trees typically grow 15-25 feet tall. Grafted trees may reach six and a half feet tall.

  • Does Kwanzan cheery bear fruit?

    No, the Kwanzan cheery tree does not produce fruit—only flowers and leaves.