Tips for planting a cherry blossom tree (or something similar) in your garden

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If you’re interested in adding a cherry tree to your property, here’s what you should consider, according to Casey Trees urban forester Keith Howerton.

A three-year, $113 million project will soon launch with the mission of restoring sinking levees along the Tidal Basin and Potomac River through West Potomac Park. Part of this project will involve the removal of 140 of DC’s famous cherry blossom trees.

While fans of the District’s beloved flowers offered a A tearful goodbye to several iconic natural sites such as the grieving Stumpyalthough there is no way to move a Tidal Basin cherry tree to your home is it possible to adopt a cherry tree. Doing so will allow your money to fund the National Park Service’s work to preserve the thousands of cherry trees along the National Mall in DC.

But for those who want to be able to enjoy the views of flowering trees from their personal property, casey trees Urban forester Keith Howerton told WTOP there are resources for local landowners to do just that. Casey Trees is a DC-based nonprofit urban forestry organization committed to restoring, enhancing, and protecting the tree canopy of the nation’s capital.

First, Howerton said cherry trees are not the focus of a nonprofit’s work. In fact, “we have very limited ability to plant cherry blossoms simply because our work focuses so much on native species,” Howerton said.

Even so, Casey Trees has a tree rebate program for property owners in the District. The program allows those who purchase and plant a tree on private property (residential or commercial) in DC to receive a partial refund from the nonprofit organization. There is a limit of 25 trees per property and the amount of rebates depends on the species.

If you are interested in adding a cherry tree to your property, Howerton said to consider the following:

  • There must be adequate space away from power lines, sidewalks and retaining walls.
  • The tree should be in a very well-lit area to receive natural sunlight.
  • Avoid low, swampy areas for cherry trees.
  • Understand the tree varietyand check exactly how big the tree could get before planting it.

However, there are other similar-looking trees that can be planted, Howerton said: “They’re definitely not as spectacular in spring as Japanese cherry blossoms are.”

Four alternatives to consider include: black cherry treeswhose flowers bloom later in spring, but live longer than cherry trees; redbud treesthat they are “reasonably easy” to grow, reasonably hardy in the city and adaptable; flowering dogwoods, which is a popular native tree, but can be a bit finicky and needs to be well watered; and finally, there is a great variety of magnolias that bloom in spring To choose from.

The cost of planting a new tree depends on its size, where you buy it, and whether you will plant it professionally.

Cherry trees can be more expensive because they can take longer to grow. According to Howerton, street cherry trees in DC can cost at least $150 to $200 for the tree alone, depending on the quality and not including the cost of the process to plant it.

“I encourage people, if you live in DC, to consult our planting programs also. You can get trees planted for free. by our team, professionally installed, very, very high quality work, free, not including cherry blossoms,” Howerton said. “I’m sorry, but many other trees we have that are native to here are planted for free. That’s a service that would cost you more than $500 most of the time. [per] tree if you had to pay a private contractor for it.”

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