Cherry Trees have a very fine texture and even in autumn they reward gardeners with excellent fall color. There are an immense number of varieties but the main ones for gardeners to consider are:
- Prunus ‘Okame’: the Okame cherry is one of the most commonly planted cherries and the first to bloom in Philadelphia - usually in late March or early April. It has dark pink flowers that fade to pale pink as they open. It grows to 25 feet at maturity. Okame was introduced to the United States through the Morris Arboretum in the 1940s.
- Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’: the weeping Higan cherry is the most common of the weeping cherries and one of the most graceful garden trees. Its small April-blooming flowers are pale pink and cover the branches, giving the plants a beautiful overall look. These plants grow to 25-30 feet.
- Prunus ‘Snofozam’: SNOW FOUNTAINS weeping cherry is a slower growing and smaller weeping tree, making it useful in smaller spaces. Its branches are held more stiffly than the weeping Higan cherry, but the overall effect is very attractive. Its small white flowers completely cover the branches, making a fantastic display.
- Prunus x yedoensis, the Yoshino cherry is probably the best known flowering cherry, famous for the display surrounding the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. This is a medium-sized tree that will grow to 40 feet. Its flowers are pink in bud, opening to a pale pink-white at full flower. A common variety of Yoshino cherry is Daybreak (‘Akebono’) known for its soft-pink, semi-double flowers that cover the branches.
- Prunus sargentii: Sargent cherry is native to northern Japan and is among the hardiest and largest of the flowering cherries. Its single rose-pink flowers emerge in mid April before the foliage and at the same time as the Yoshino cherries. The deep red-brown lustrous bark of Sargent cherry adds interest throughout the year.