The cherry blossom tree is one of the most popular landscape trees with beautiful and amazing spring flowers. The young blooming flowers of the cherry blossom tree come in attractive pink, light pink, or pacifying white colors. These clusters of these beautiful shiny colorful flowers make the ambiance picturesque with their presence, and they add to this beauty by spreading their wonderful subtle fragrance with blowing spring breezes.
The cherry blossom trees have many different species that exhibit their specific tree structures, flower colors, and blooming periods. The cherry blossom tree is a great flowering tree choice for your garden, lawn, or backyard. This tree looks incredibly stunning when it is in its full bloom; the display of beautiful pink flowers mesmerizes one and all.
The cherry blossom tree is believed to have originated from Asia, and it is still very popular in many parts of Asia like Japan, China, and India. The cherry blossom flower is the national flower of Japan. This tree is deeply related to the culture and traditions of Japan. The short life of the cherry blossom tree depicts the life of famous Japanese Samurais, who even die for their masters, without any second thoughts.
Around the year 1910, the Japanese sent about 3000 cherry blossom trees to the United States of America’s capital city Washington D.C. as a token of friendship and love. And since then the cherry blossom tree is deeply embedded into the history of the United States. Since the year 1935, the cherry blossoms are celebrated annually for a period of two weeks at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC.
This festival is organized for the celebration of the springtime and the friendship between the citizens of the United States and Japan. These trees are cultivated for beautiful flowers, tasty fruits, and ornamental purposes in many European, American, North African, and Asian countries. The cherry blossom tree is widely grown in more than 20 countries like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, France, USA, Australia, Canada, Brazil, and India.
Cherry Blossom Tree – Basic Description
The cherry blossom trees are many species of small to medium-size deciduous trees that belong to the genus ‘Prunus’ of the ‘Rosaceae’ family, or the ‘Rose family’. This genus Prunus includes many valuable trees such as almond, apricot, plum, peach, and nectarine. The cherry blossom tree blooms in the spring season and loses almost all its leaves in the fall.
The flowers are typically white or pink in color. The fruits are berry shaped and they have a deep stem cavity, they vary in color from light yellow to dark red to purplish-black. The cherry trees have distinguishable barks; their bark is quite dark, generally gray to dark gray in color. It is also quite scaly and it chips off very easily.
Famous Species of Cherry Blossom Tree
The cherry blossom tree is one of those trees which come in many varieties. There are various species of these trees all around the world. In the United States also there are different species and cultivars of the cherry blossom tree. Especially, the area around the capital Washington D.C. is home to many such species. Let’s have a look at some of the famous species of the cherry blossom trees.
Yoshino Cherry Blossom Tree (Prunus x Yedoensis)
This species is the most famous species of the cherry blossom tree. It is a tall and wide growing species. It has single white flowers that grow in clusters of two to five. It can grow as tall as 8 to 10 meters at maturity.
Kwanzan Tree (Prunus Serrulata)
This species is also very famous and widespread. These cherry trees grow from 5 to 10 meters high and they also grow quite wide. They have double clear pink flowers with about 30 petals, in pendulous clusters of 3 to 5 blooms.
Takesimensis Tree (Prunus Takesimensis)
These cherry blossom trees have white flowers that grow in large clusters. These are tall and broad trees that can reach 10 to 14 meters in height. These trees grow well in locations with high rainfall and they are tolerant of excessive moisture.
Autumn Flowering Tree (Prunus Subhirtella)
The autumn flowering cherry tree is a beautiful flowering tree that blooms twice a year, it is a fast-growing variety which is heat resistant and lives longer than the other ornamental cherry trees. It has semi-double flowers with bronze to yellow gold leaves.
Akebono Cherry (Prunus x Yedoensis)
These cherry blossom trees can grow as tall as 10 to 12 meters; they have a round and wide-spreading crown. They have single-colored pale pink flowers that grow in clusters of two to five blooms and fade to white color.
Benefits and Uses of Cherry Blossom
The cherry blossom tree is an amazing gift of nature; it spreads love and happiness through its beauty in the whole world. And it is not just beautiful; it is also very beneficial for us if used properly. It can help to promote the overall health of the body in many different ways. Let’s have a look at some of the uses and incredible health benefits of the cherry blossom tree.
1. Cherries contain flavonoids that are likely to prevent neurons from dying and even strengthen their attachment to other neurons, which ensures the smooth functioning of your nervous system.
2. The timber from the cherry blossom tree has a good demand in the market. It is used for making furniture items, musical instruments, and other miscellaneous items.
3. Regular consumption of cherries provides the body with many different types of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. They are great sources of Vitamin C, Potassium, Manganese, Copper, Vitamin K, and Magnesium.
4. The wood from the cherry blossom tree is used to smoke and barbeque foods such as meats and cottage cheese. The wood of the tree has a pleasant and aromatic scent to it which creates a distinct flavor in the food.
5. The antioxidants present in the cherries, especially anthocyanins can help to reduce the inflammation in the entire body. They have potent anti-inflammatory abilities that help to reduce many types of serious diseases such as heart disease.
6. Cherries can also help to promote better sleep when consumed regularly. This is because they contain good levels of different phytochemicals such as melatonin that can help to regulate our sleep. Also, they help us to wake up feeling more refreshed and relaxed.
7. The antioxidants in the cherries help in lowering the risk of some types of cancers including colon cancer, pharynx cancer, larynx cancer, mouth cancer, and lung cancer. It also battles mental diseases related to dementia like Alzheimer’s disease.
8. Cherries can help you to get over the hangover, they help you replenish the lost electrolytes in the body. They also contain natural fructose which is believed to catalyze the metabolism of alcohol.
9. The anti-inflammatory properties in the cherries help your body to speed up the recovery process after an extensive workout. They help the body by repairing your muscles quickly and they also prevent muscle damage.
10. The bark of the cherry tree has many uses too; it is used as a substitute for chewing gum. The inner bark is used for making concoction to treat many illnesses like cold and cough, headaches, common cough, chest pain, and bronchitis.
Cherry Blossom Fruit
The cherry blossom trees are one of the most popular fruit trees in the world, especially in the spring and summer months. These fruits are very famous for their sweet and delicious taste. Along with being delicious and appeasing, cherry fruits are known for their nutritional properties. The bioactive compounds present in the cherry fruits make them unique amongst the other popular fruits.
There are many different types of cherries, but they are broadly categorized into two main categories. These two categories are ‘Sweet Cherries’ and ‘Sour Cherries’ or ‘Tart Cherries’. The sweet cherries have a delicious taste and these cherries are generally consumed directly, people love to snack on these tasty cherries.
The sweet cherries are also used for garnishing desserts, cakes, and cocktails. Sour cherries or tart cherries also have a lot of applications in the food industry and the pharmaceutical industry. They are often used for cooking mouth-watering desserts, and for manufacturing cherry syrup used in medicines to mask the original flavor.
How to Grow Cherry Tree
The cherry blossom trees generally do not grow well in areas where summers are long and hot. They need long periods of winter temperatures for their proper growth. Most of the sweet and tart cherry varieties have chilling requirements of hundreds of hours during the winter.
Cherry trees can grow in wide varieties of soils, the soil should be well-drained, and the pH should be between 6.2 to 6.8. Cherry tree roots are extremely sensitive to excessive moisture, and excessive moisture can stunt the tree growth and it can even kill the tree.
The cherry trees can be propagated from their seeds, it is considered quite difficult to propagate these trees from the cuttings. For growing the cherry trees commercially the rootstocks are budded or grafted with the desired variety of the cherry tree.
The cherry trees require moderate to full sunlight for their proper growth. These trees are susceptible to low-temperature injury, the warm sunny days followed by rapid cooling in the evening can injure the tree.
Cherry trees do not have high water requirements; they can be grown with even less amount of water. Young trees grow properly and mature trees are more productive with supplemental irrigation, where soils have the poor water-holding capacity.