International Cherry Blossom Prediction Competition
The 2023 Second International Cherry Blossom Predition Competition closed on February 28. Vancouver’s location for the competition is again the ‘Akebono’ trees in Maple Grove Park, at the corner of SW Marine Drive and Yew Street. The overall consensus for the blooming date for these trees in 2023 is April 5. On March 20, the Cherry Blossom Prediction Competition’s Jonathan L. Auerbach spoke with CBC Radio’s Gloria Macarenko about trying to figure out when the Instagram-worthy blossoms will appear. Here is the 6-minute interview: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-46-on-the-coast/clip/15973390-what-day-think-cherry-blossoms-bloom-year.
Douglas Justice, Associate Director, Horticulture & Collections at UBC Botanical Garden, and Wendy Cutler, VCBF Cherry Scout Co-ordinator, have begun following the blooming progress of these trees; Douglas will report the “official” peak bloom date for this location for this year.
Here are photos from Douglas Justice taken on March 27. I think the first one features the same two flower clusters as just above. It was below 10C degrees in the intervening days, and little progress has been made.
Douglas Justice’s March 29 photos show a little more blooming progression, and another area with some open flowers. These two days had temperatures a few degrees above 10C.
Pedicels in this photo have definitely elongated, are 1-2 cm, buds are a lighter pink shade.
April 1 – there are enough open flowers to offer nice photos. But, we’re not even at 25% open. The photos are by Wendy Cutler.
April 4 – the advancement in blooming is noticeable now in Douglas Justice’s photos compared with three days ago. It’s been cold (below 10C degrees) but progress is now inexorable.
April 5 – not much sun today, wind bringing in the predicted rain for the next few days.
April 7 – surely far more than half these flowers are open. Our spec for “peak bloom” is 70% open. Douglas Justice has now called it – peak bloom on April 7. Wendy Cutler got to photograph them.
A sunny moment on the trees complete changes the colour in photos. This is the same photoshoot as the previous photo.
You can find last year’s photos at https://vcbf.ca/2022-cherry-blossom-prediction-competition/.