It’s cherry blossom time in DC! All the trees are blooming, pink and magenta ones, and most of all the white ones that are so prominent in the Annapolis / Bowie area. There are just tons of these on Route 50 just past the development. We’ll take a trip this weekend to scout out whether anyone has planted them yet in the neighborhood — but we are definitely going to!
Cherry blossom trees are apparently notorious for being difficult. But we do have one leg up in that we know for sure – obviously! famously!! – that our climate is suitable to grow them. Beyond that, best practices seem to be:
- Have a professional do the actual planting, to make sure it gets a good start
- They do best in pairs or groups, since they can pollinate each other. So we’ll do 2-3 in the back yard, where there is the most space. Possibly we could flank the front driveway with a pair, but it might be best to instead put a Japanese magnolia up front.
- Space them 10 – 20 feet apart, and make sure they have plenty of sun. Again, this suggests the back yard. We have the advantage of having some good space between us and the neighbors on the back and one side. So this should work.
- As for the type of tree: Yoshino are the archetypical DC type, and they are gorgeous. They’re also highly recommended as fast growing when young – possibly 3 feet a year!
- Some sites recommend paying attention to drainage. This means that we’d have to put them closer to the house than just on the back border of the yard – since that’s the way the drainage functions, according to the plan. We could possibly do them in a row down the side as well, though this might cut down on their sun.
- Seems like you want to plant in the early spring, water a lot in the summer to ensure the roots take deep hold, then fertilize them every year with slow-release fertilizer just at the beginning of spring. This is something to consult the professionals on, of course
We’re working on a list of other flowering plants, with the plan being a rotational series that will have interest at any point in the year. Brainstorm:
- japanese magnolia
- cherry blossom realness
Some point soon we’ll have to sit down with the site plan and do some sketches. The developers have already planned a more extensive landscaping (from a tree perspective) than seems to be the normal case. They’ve put a lot of thought into the general look of the neighborhood, so you’re not allowed to remove anything. But you can add. So we will!