Beyond their alluring appearance, cherry trees lend themselves well to the art of bonsai. They adapt well to pruning and training and are generally low-maintenance specimens.
However, there is a reason why a lot of people find it difficult to care for bonsai trees despite their love and appreciation of them. That’s because they don’t have the right knowledge on how to carry out these procedures.
This is why I wrote this article. It contains all the right information you need in order to care for your cherry bonsai tree.
What is A Cherry Bonsai Tree?
A cherry tree bonsai is a miniature version of the cherry trees that grow in the wild. These trees are grown with the same care and attention to detail as any other bonsai tree.
In order to maintain this type of tree, you should have a basic understanding of how they grow in nature.
Popular Varieties of Cherry Trees:
There are several different types of cherries that can be used for bonsai creation. Naturally, it is best to choose a variety of cherry, that will survive in your given climate.
The most popular cherry bonsai variety is Prunus serrulata (commonly called sakura).
Some of the other popular varieties are :
- Prunus x yedoensis (Yoshino cherry)
- Prunus ‘Kanzan’
Why Grow Japanese Cherry Bonsai:
The Japanese Flowering Cherry is a popular specie of bonsai tree, mainly because it produces beautiful pink blossoms each year during the spring months.
The Japanese Flowering Cherry is also known as Prunus Serrulata and is native to Japan, Korea, and China.
The flowers produced by the Japanese Flowering Cherry are very fragrant and range in color from white to bright pink.
Each flower contains 5 petals that bloom during early spring. The flowers are 2” across and they appear before any leaves emerge on the tree.
Cherry Bonsai Care Guide
Cherry trees are popular bonsai tree species because they come in many varieties and their small leaves are attractive. Cherry bonsais are also fairly easy to care for, as long as you keep a close eye on them.
How Often Should I Water Cherry Bonsai?
The amount of water needed depends on factors such as the season, weather, and size of the tree. However, you should keep the following tips in mind:
Cherry bonsai trees do not like wet feet, so make sure that they are planted in a well-draining mixture. It is best to use a combination of equal parts loam soil, sand, and akadama.
Water more frequently during the spring and summer months but only when the topsoil has dried out
Never allow a cherry tree bonsai to dry out completely. If you are not sure whether your tree needs watering then stick your finger into the soil up to your first knuckle. If it feels damp then leave it for another day before watering again. If it feels dry then it is time for watering.
Use rainwater if possible, as cherries don’t like very calcareous water.
Ideal Location For Cherry Bonsai Trees:
The cherry bonsai needs full sunlight and should be protected from strong winds that can damage its branches. If you want to keep them outdoors, protect this plant from frost during the winter months.
In summer they can be kept outside in the dappled shade, or a place where they get some sun in the morning and some in the evening, but none during the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest and most intense.
If you are keeping your cherry bonsai indoors, expose the plant to as much natural light as possible. If you’re struggling to provide enough sunlight indoors, supplement with strong artificial lighting.
Cherry bonsai trees need the right growing soil to survive. The ideal growing soil for cherry bonsai trees has a pH between 5.5 and 6.5, which is slightly acidic.
It also needs to be able to drain well, so that it never stays too soggy or waterlogged after watering or rainfall.
Fertilize your bonsai with an organic fertilizer twice a year during the spring and summer, avoiding the fall and winter months when your tree is dormant.
You can use a fertilizer specifically formulated for bonsai trees or any other high-quality organic fertilizer, just make sure that they have low nitrogen levels and high phosphorus and potassium levels.
How Do You Prune Cherry Bonsai?
Pruning is one of the most important parts of the process when it comes to cherry bonsai trees. You should prune your tree at least once every three months to encourage new growth and keep it looking neat and trimmed.
Without proper pruning, a cherry tree bonsai will grow into an unmanageable mess of branches and stems. This is especially true with old trees that have grown large and are starting to develop unsightly growths.
The goal of cherry tree bonsai pruning is to maintain the overall aesthetic of the cherry tree bonsai.
The time of year when you choose to prune your cherry tree bonsai can make a difference in how well it performs over the long term. Wait until the tree has finished blooming to begin pruning.
During this time, you can safely remove any dead or diseased wood without damaging the health of your cherry tree bonsai. However, reserve any heavy pruning of main branches or stems for the winter months.
The best way to begin pruning a new cherry tree bonsai is to inspect each branch thoroughly for signs of disease or rot. Clip off any dead or damaged branches and try to leave leaf buds on branches you want to keep.
Be extra cautious while pruning new growth and never remove all of the shoots from a given branch as this will damage the health of your bonsai.
Be sure to disinfect your cutting tools between uses with a 10 percent bleach solution.
Shaping Cherry Bonsai
Shaping a cherry bonsai can be a bit tricky. If you try to wire the trunk too tightly it may break down as it is too brittle to hold the shape.
Instead, wrap the wire around the branches to shape them or to train them down from the top of the canopy. This will make it easier for you to maintain your cherry bonsai’s elegant form.
The best time to wire a cherry bonsai tree would be when there are no leaves on the tree. it will make the whole process easier.
Can You Defoliate Cherry Bonsai?
Defoliating cherry trees is not recommended because it is difficult for them to recover from this process. As long as you keep your bonsai healthy and free from pests, the foliage will stay healthy.
How Often Should I Repot Cherry Bonsai?
every two or three years, older trees less often. Avoid cutting the woody roots of old cherry trees.
After you have repotted a cherry tree bonsai, ensure that it is kept in a partially sheltered location until the tree has become established. Freshly repotted cherry tree bonsai are especially susceptible to over-exposure.
Pests and Diseases:
Cherry trees are generally quite resistant to pests and diseases, but they can still be affected by aphids and other sap-sucking insects like caterpillars.
Some of the most common diseases of a cherry tree are blossom wilt and taphrina wiesneri.
We hope that this detailed care guide has provided you with a better understanding of Cherry Bonsai trees and how to take care of them.