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Everything You Need to Know About Kwanzan Cherry Trees

Kwanzan cherry trees have deep pink double-blossoms, are low maintenance, and their leaves change color throughout the year.

Author Image Written by Brenda Woods Updated 05/22/2024

If you miss the Yoshino cherry trees bloom in spring, you’ll have the chance to catch another flowering cherry tree. Kwanzan cherry trees show off their deep pink double-blossoms about two weeks after their single-bloom cousins. Although these trees have a short lifespan, they’re low maintenance and their leaves change color throughout the year. In this article, we’ll cover how to care for Kwanzan cherry blossom trees, how long they live, and what they look like throughout their growth cycle.

Kwanzan Cherry Trees at a Glance

Double blossoms
Don’t bear fruit
Low maintenance
National Cherry Blossom Festival staple
Leaves change color year-round


Kwanzan cherry trees grow in a lovely vase shape, with serrated leaves that grow to roughly 4–5 inches in length. Their leaves emerge reddish-copper before turning a glossy, deep green in the summer to yellow and bronze in the fall. The trees grow to be 30–40 feet tall with a 30–40 foot spread, and have a moderate growth rate of 12–24 inches per year.

Kwanzan Cherry Tree Specifications


Vase shape, leaves change throughout the year from red-copper to green and yellow. Double blossoms are deep pink and bloom in large clusters of three or five.


30–40 feet

Hardiness Zones

Zones 5–9

Type of tree


Sunlight requirements

Full sun to partial shade

Soil composition

Moist, well-drained, loamy, sand and clay soils


15–25 years

Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness Zones indicate the determined regions where different types of plants will thrive. Kwanzan cherry trees flourish in Zones 5–9, across the country as far north as Nebraska and south as Texas.

Planting Tips

Kwanzan cherry trees can be planted as stunning specimen trees in rows, along buffer strips and driveways, or even as a bonsai in a container. When planting your cherry tree, choose a location with well-draining soil and full sunlight. If you plant several, space them 12–15 feet apart from the center of the trunk.

Kwanzan cherry trees’ roots have a difficult time competing with grass, so plant them in a raised mound bed, especially if you’re worried about poor drainage. The mound should be 12–18 inches above the surrounding soil. If your climate is hot, spread a layer of mulch that is 3–4 inches deep.

Make sure it’s moist after planting by poking your finger into the soil and checking the moisture. If it feels moist, you don’t need to water. If it feels dry, water deeply.

Kwanzan cherry trees are relatively low-maintenance, able to grow in a range of sunlight hours and soil. However, they are short-lived due to their susceptibility to pests and disease.

Sun and Shade

Kwanzan cherry trees thrive in full sunlight, with at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day. However, they can also tolerate partial shade.


The key aspects of soil for these cherry trees are well-draining and moist. Other than that, Kwanzan cherry trees aren’t too picky. They will do well in loamy, sand, or clay soils, and can tolerate both acid and alkaline pH levels.


Water your Kwanzan cherry tree deeply but irregularly, one to two times per week. If the top 2 inches of soil are dry, it’s time to water.


You won’t need to fertilize your Kwanzan cherry tree for the first year or two, but after that, fertilize with a slow-release, nitrogen-rich blend in the spring to boost growth.


Kwanzan cherry trees do not require pruning unless you see diseased or dying limbs, which should be cut immediately. However, you can prune cherry trees to shape and cut off any limbs that are growing too heavy for the base of the tree. Only prune after the tree has flowered for the season.

Pests and Diseases

Troublesome pests that target Kwanzan cherry trees include aphids, caterpillars, borers, scale, spider mites, and Japanese beetles. Common diseases include powdery mildew, root rot, leaf curl, and fireblight.

Our Conclusion

Japanese flowering cherry trees show off pink blooms and vibrant leaves every season. With a short lifespan of 15–20 years, they thrive in direct sunlight but do well in partial shade gardens too. We recommend you water your tree deeply one to two times per week and fertilize in the spring. If you live in Hardiness Zones 5–9, you can plant Kwanzan cherry trees in containers or in the ground and enjoy their double-blooms every spring without having to make the trek to the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

FAQ About Kwanzan Cherry Trees

How fast do Kwanzan cherry trees grow?

Kwanzan cherry trees grow at a moderate rate of 13–24 inches per year.

Do Kwanzan cherry trees bear fruit?

Kwanzan cherry trees are sterile and do not bear fruit.

How big do Kwanzan cherry trees get?

Kwanzan cherry trees grow to be about 30–40 feet tall.

How do you care for a Kwanzan cherry tree?

Make sure Kwanzan cherry trees receive adequate irrigation and full sunlight, and that their prevalent pest and disease issues are dealt with.

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