Be a Georgia Tree Know-It-All: Yoshino Cherry

Each month, we feature some of the most popular trees in the state, including the Paperbark Maple, Sugarberry Tree, and Eastern Redbud

Today, we are shining a spotlight on the crown jewel of flowering cherry trees, the Yoshino Cherry (Prunus × yedoensis), also known as the Japanese Flowering Cherry.


The Yoshino Cherry tree is known for its elegance and splendor. Of all the flowering cherry trees, this one is surely the standout, boasting an abundance of white-pink blossoms that bloom during a memorable two-to-three-week period in springtime.

In fact, the Yoshino is often the star of National and International Cherry Blossom Festivals, including some in Macon! On top of their beautiful appearance, they are also known to produce a light almond fragrance.

Yoshino Cherry trees typically grow to 40-50 feet, at a rate of around 13 to 24 inches a year. Meanwhile, their spread can reach around 25 to 40 feet. These trees are chosen for their spectacle, so if you want to turn heads, consider this for your next landscaping project.

Since they are highly ornamental, you can make the most out of these trees by placing them as the main spotlight of your yard, or along streets or decks where they can provide shade as well as knockout beauty.

Growing Conditions

The Yoshino Cherry accepts a variety of soil conditions, including acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils. This soil-forgiving tree does, however, prefer moist soil.  

The Yoshino tree can also reliably grow in Hardiness Zones 5-8 (North Georgia is in Zone 7). Although partial shade is permissible, they grow their best in a setting with full sun. At the very least, your Yoshino Cherry tree should receive four hours of direct sunlight a day.

Tree Care

Heavy pruning isn’t necessary to maintain the Yoshino, but if you notice dead or crowded branches, hand pruning may help. It is best to prune during the summer months after the tree has reached full bloom, so that you don’t risk trimming away any flower buds.

Even though relatively easy to grow, the Yoshino and other ornamental cherry trees are known for their relatively short lifespan. You can expect them to thrive for approximately 15-20 years, though some have much longer lifespans. The cherished and well-protected Yoshino Cherry trees in Washington D.C., for example, were originally gifted by the Mayor of Tokyo in 1912, and are thriving to this day! 

Signs of Distress

While Yoshino Cherries have some drought resistance, it is best to keep them in moist soil. Avoiding extremely hot or cold weather is also important for the health of your Yoshino, and they generally do not do well in cold climates.

Insects — including scale, aphids, and mites — can be a large problem for these lovely trees. Neem and horticultural oil, as well as insecticidal soap, are all great options to help keep these pests at bay. Tent caterpillars and cankerworms may also prey upon your Yoshino Cherry, but luckily there are some organic pesticides that can help treat these issues.

In the case of more intense infestations, consult with a tree professional before administering a heavier pesticide, to make sure you don’t damage the tree, surrounding soil, or the rest of your lawn. 

You can also prevent insect predators by minimizing the amount of mulch touching the trunk of your tree. Though mulch is good for helping to lock moisture in the surrounding soil, it can contribute to disease and infestations if improperly placed.

Contact Us

To ensure your Yoshino is ready for the spotlight, you can call Premier Tree Solutions at 404-252-6448. You may also schedule maintenance through our website.

How Trees Protect Wildlife

Aside from providing shade and greenery on warm days, trees are constantly busy at work benefitting our ecosystem and environment, in part by converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, and removing pollutants from the air we all breathe. 

But trees aren’t only beneficial to humans — they’re also vitally important to wildlife. No matter their place in the ecosystem, there is a multitude of species that depend on trees for survival. Here we’ll get to the root of why, and explain how. 

Trees Keep Animals Cool

There are many examples of how people enjoy and appreciate a tree’s cooling shade. But animals also have to use trees to stay cool, particularly as the temperatures in their environment rise. 

Combined in a forest environment, trees’ leaves and branches create an insulating canopy and protect the ground below from excessive heat by absorbing and reflecting solar radiation. This keeps animals safe from extreme hot or cold temperatures. Koalas (and possibly other tree-dwelling animals) also directly use trees to keep their body temperatures lower

Trees may also be a means by which some species can better adapt to the increasing temperatures of climate change. According to a 2018 study published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, mountainous forests may allow tree-climbing animals “to bypass temperature constraints imposed by geography by virtue of where they live, which could lead to broader distributions and greater resilience to climatic change and variability as compared with ground-dwelling species.”

Wildlife’s Bountiful Buffet

As humans, we depend on a wide variety of food from trees like apples, oranges, bananas, coconuts, avocados, and pears. Birds, squirrels, deer, and many other wildlife also enjoy the plentiful nuts, fruits, and berries provided by trees. But trees provide other kinds of food for wildlife that we might not even consider, including twigs, leaves, and even bark

Even after a tree’s lifetime, they continue to be an important part of the food chain. Decaying logs provide food for decomposers, such as worms, snails, millipedes and fungi who, in turn, provide food for larger animals like birds. The process of decomposition also provides essential nutrients to the soil, which fosters growth for more trees — and more food for wildlife.

Home Sweet Home

Many mammals, including spider monkeys, flying lemurs, squirrels, sloths, orangutans, and raccoons are lifelong tree-dwellers or depend on trees for shelter. Several birds also build their nests high up to stay safe from predators, protect their unhatched eggs, and take care of their offspring before they are ready to fly. Cavity nesters, such as woodpeckers and bluebirds like to form nests in holes that they find or make inside trees themselves — even those that have fallen or are dead. Trees are also sources of food and shelter for several insects, reptiles, and amphibians — including and especially Georgia’s state amphibian: the green tree frog.

The caring relationship between wildlife and trees goes both ways, however. As trees provide animals with food and shelter, wildlife also helps trees survive by spreading seeds, pollinating flowers, and keeping tree-destroying pests in check!

You can help your own trees thrive with Premier Tree Solutions. Honor all that your tree does for the environment and wildlife by calling 404.252.6448 or reaching out to us for quality care and a free assessment.