Many cherry blossom festivals have selected a special tree to serve as an “index tree” (Tokyo) or “indicator tree” (Washington D.C.) When over 70% of its flowers are in bloom, they declare that cherry trees are officially in bloom in the city.
The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival does not have an official indicator tree so, for the purpose of the First International Cherry Blossom Prediction Competition, the Akebono trees in Maple Grove Park, at the corner of SW Marine Drive and Yew Street, were designated as the Vancouver location. In a way, these trees will serve as our first indicator trees.
Douglas Justice is monitoring the trees and will declare their official blooming date. Stay tuned for the big reveal.