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Cherry Scouts Photos

Blooming Now: a visual timeline for cherry blossom viewing in Vancouver

This visual timeline features the estimated blooming period for ten of the most common cultivars of cherry trees in Vancouver: Whitcomb, Beni-Shidare, Accolade, Akebono, Umineko / Snow Goose,  Shirotae, Shirofugen, Kanzan, Kiku-shidare-zakura, Shogetsu.

Happy cherry blossom viewing!

(Click the image to expand the timeline)

Timeline_2020_Vancouver_Cherry_Blossoms_Tremblay
Timeline of Vancouver Cherry Blossoms blooming date for 2020. Photos by Jessica Tremblay, dates from https://www.vcbf.ca/neighbourhood-maps

 

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Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Pandora cherry blossoms

20200321_fairlawnbrentlawn_pandora_tremblay_IMG_1459 20200321_fairlawnbrentlawn_pandora_tremblay_IMG_1466

The six Pandora trees behind Brentwood mall (at Fairlawn and Brentlawn) are 100% in bloom

One of the main characteristics of the Pandora is that the tip of the petals is slightly darker pink. However, as the flower progresses on the trees (and also once the flower is fallen) it’s hard to see this since the flowers turn white.

Most Pandora flowers fall WHOLE. You’ll find the grounds covered in flowers.

20200321_fairlawnbrentlawn_pandora_tremblay_IMG_1547 20200321_fairlawnbrentlawn_pandora_tremblay_IMG_1592   20200321_fairlawnbrentlawn_pandora_tremblay_IMG_4531 20200321_fairlawnbrentlawn_pandora_tremblay_IMG_1482 20200321_fairlawnbrentlawn_pandora_tremblay_IMG_1521 20200321_fairlawnbrentlawn_pandora_tremblay_IMG_1494

 

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Photos

Another beautiful day of cherry blossom viewing

After a first day of teleworking, I reward myself with one hour of cherry blossom viewing.

At this time, the instructions from the city of Vancouver regarding the control of COVID-19 say you’re allowed to go outside as long as you maintain social distancing and don’t congregate in groups.  This means no cherry blossom picnics, but  a quick walk by yourself in the neighbourhood is fine.

The Whitcomb cherry trees at Ayshire and Aubrey are fully bloomed. The flowers are beautiful. They’re buzzing with bees! Petals haven’t started to fall yet.

20200319_ayshireaubrey_whitcomb_tremblay_IMG_4439 20200319_ayshireaubrey_whitcomb_tremblay_IMG_4444

 

This Accolade tree at Halifax and Kensington might be missing a branch or two, but the blossoms are splendid! Accolade are only about 20-30% bloomed in Burnaby, so you have another 7-10 days to visit.

20200319_halifaxkensington_tremblay_IMG_4449 20200319_halifaxkensington_tremblay_IMG_4457

 

The Okame cherry tree at Charles and Fell might be slightly past its prime — lots of tiny petals on the ground, and most remaining blossoms have missing petals — but it’s such a rare tree that it’s worth a trip.  Visit within 5 days.

By the way, Okame have some of the smallest petals I’ve ever seen on the ground. So cute!

Tip: Visit in the morning or early afternoon. The sun set behind the house, which blocks the light. These pics were taken about 5 pm and there was only one ray of sunshine at the top of the canopy.

Also make sure to take a photo of the long calyx (the back of the flower), since that’s what this flower is famous for.

20200319_charlesfell_okame_tremblay_IMG_4494 20200319_charlesfell_okame_tremblay_IMG_4477 Okame cherry petals cover the sidewalk at Charles and Fell in Burnaby. 20200319_charlesfell_okame_tremblay_IMG_4491

I hope you’re taking care of yourself in these difficult times.If you are feeling stressed, go out and visit a cherry tree in your neighbourhood. (You can use the VCBF Neighbourhood map to find the trees blooming now in your area). And pleasee maintain social distancing.

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Photos

Accolade Cherry Blossoms at 5th and Nootka

The news comes at noon.

“You can leave, now. You’re gonna work from home.”

“For how long?”

“We don’t know.”

Like many people, I’m sent home as the Province of British Columbia closes the schools and other businesses in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

The skytrain is nearly empty with only six people, sitting far from each other. A few wears surgical masks.

I make a quick visit to the Accolade cherry trees on 5th and Nootka. A last attempt at cherry blossom viewing before the city declares a state of emergency.

Unfortunately I’m too early. There are lots of buds, but only a few blossoms. The Accolade are not “ready”.

accolade cherry branch in front of a building accolade cherry branch in front of a building accolade cherry branch in front of a building accolade cherry trees with Burnaby skyline

What about me? Was I “ready” for what would come next? The long period of isolation, the frustration at not being able to go outside, empty grocery store shelves, the closures of libraries and movie theatres, the cancellation or concerts and festivals, and any gathering of more than 50 people…

Accolade cherry trees

How can anyone ever be ready for this?

We don’t have to be ready. We just have to accept it.

When I look closely, I do find some blossoms, which makes me feel better.

accolade cherry trees with Burnaby skyline  Accolade cherry blossoms

***

Before heading back, I take one last photo.  My camera whirs and shows me five different colourful versions of the same photo.  I accidentally set my camera to “Creative Shot” mode. The last photo is surreal.

This is the new reality. It might not be what you expect, but it’s what you get. You have to accept it. And, you know what, it’s not that bad.  Different, but not that bad.  We can get through this.

Accolade cherry tree

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Cherry Scouts Photos

Accolade cherry blossoms in Vancouver (infographics)

infographics featuring Accolade cherry blossoms
Photo, text and infographics by Jessica Tremblay

Accolade cherry blossoms in Vancouver

Accolade is one of the first cherry trees to bloom in early March in Vancouver, Canada. It’s recognizable by its bright pink double flowers with up to twelve petals.

The most popular location to view Accolade cherry blossoms are

  • Chilco Park
  • Vancouver City Hall

Accolade cherry trees bloom in March and look great, especially against a blue sky, and will please photographers. Visit them in mid-March for peak bloom.

 

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Cherry Scouts Photos

A full day of cherry blossom viewing in Vancouver

First, I visit the Accolade cherry trees at Chilco Park (Chilco/Comox). “Hey, the cherry blossoms are out!” said a man cycling by.

Tip: The Accolade blossoms are 70% in bloom. Visit this location within 10 days to enjoy peak blossom.

Accolade cherry trees at Chilco park Accolade cherry blossoms at Chilco park

 

Then, I check on the Akebono cherry trees at Burrard skytrain station.  Mostly buds, but the trees at the front (which are exposed to the sun) already have a few flowers.

Tip: It looks like the cherry blossoms will be fully open in 10 days. Visit around March 25 to experience peak bloom.

Akebono chery buds at Burrard skytrain

Akebono chery buds at Burrard skytrain

Akebono chery blossoms at Burrard skytrain

 

Whitcombs cherry blossoms at Ayshire and Aubrey in Burnaby are finally open. The trees are bloomed at 70%.

Tip: Visit within 7 days to catch peak bloom and 10-15 days to be showered in petals.

Whitcomb cherry blossoms at Ayshire and Aubrey in Burnaby

Wow! That was an exciting day of cherry scouting!  At night, I sort through my photos. The next day, I post my findings on the UBC botanical garden forum.

Tip: Did you know you can see what’s blooming in your neighbourhood by visiting the UBC botanical garden forum? Click on your neighborhood and navigate to the last page to see what was posted recently.

Additional tip: Create a login and you’ll be able to subscribe to a thread to receive news of blooming trees in your neighbourhood.

If you’d like to learn how to identify cherry trees, visit the VCBF cherry scout page.

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Cherry Scouts Photos

Six stages of cherry blossom development from buds to flowers (infographics)

Six stages of cherry blossom development from buds to flowers (infographics)
Six stages of cherry blossom development from buds to flowers (infographics by Jessica Tremblay)
Six stages of cherry blossom development from buds to flowers (Infographics)
Six stages of cherry blossom development from buds to flowers (Infographics)

 

Six stages of cherry blossoms

Forty thousand cherry trees bloom in Vancouver in the spring. Find a cherry tree in your neighbourhood and watch as the buds develop into fully grown flowers in just a few weeks.

  • Stage one: green round buds
  • Stage two: florets visible
  • Stage three: extension of florets
  • Stage four: peduncle elongation
  • Stage five: fluffy white petals
  • Stage six: peak bloom

Since stage one can last a long time it’s when florets become visible at stage two that we can predict peak bloom is about 20 days away.

The photos feature the buds and blossoms of an Akebono cherry tree, but the stages of development are very similar for all cultivars of cherry blossoms.

 

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Photos

Our five favourite spots to see Whitcomb cherry trees

Whitcomb cherry trees are blooming in the city. At Nicola Park the trees are fully bloomed while in other areas the Whitcomb have just started to show bright pink blossoms. Visit these five locations in the next week or two to see peak bloom.

1. Nicola Park (corner Pendrell, Downtown)

Whitcomb cherry trees at Nicola Park
Whitcomb cherry trees at Nicola Park (February 15, 2020).

2- Denman (Seawall, Stanley Park)

Whitcomb cherry tree on the seawall at the end of Denman street.
Whitcomb cherry tree on the seawall at the end of Denman street (February 29, 2020).

3. Nicola/Beach (Downtown)

Whitcomb cherry tree at Nicola and Beach.
Whitcomb cherry tree at Nicola and Beach (February 15, 2020).

4. Aubrey/Ayshire (Burnaby)

Whitcomb cherry trees at Aubrey and Ayshire in Burnaby.
Whitcomb cherry trees at Aubrey and Ayshire in Burnaby (February 29, 2020).

5-McSpaden Park

Whitcomb cherry trees at McSpaden Park
Whitcomb cherry trees at McSpaden Park (March 3, 2020)

 

Happy cherry blossom viewing!

Whitcomb cherry blossoms on the seawall at the end of Denman street in Vancouver.
Whitcomb cherry blossoms on the seawall at the end of Denman street in Vancouver (February 29, 2020).

 

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Photos

Beautiful Accolade cherry blossoms at Vancouver City Hall

Vancouver City Hall on a Saturday morning. Perfect time to go see Accolade cherry trees that are starting to bloom on the North Face!

Accolade cherry blossoms Accolade cherry blossoms Accolade cherry blossoms and buds on a branch. Accolade cherry blossoms at Vancouver City Hall

During my visit on February 29, only five percent of the flowers are open.  Visit between March 10-21 to see spectacular blossoms during peak bloom.

You might also be interested in photos of this location in 2019, 2018, 2016, 2015.

Happy cherry blossom viewing!

 

 

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Cherry Scouts Photos

Autumnalis Rosea on Georgia street (Willingdon to Boundary)

It’s time to visit Autumnalis Rosea, our winter-blooming cherries. The tiny blossoms are starting to open.

Autumnalis Rosea cherry blossom on the ground with a nickel

At Georgia street, between Willingdon and Boundary, you’ll find two dozen Autumnalis Rosea cherry trees spread over eight blocks.  Closer to Willingdon, every five trees is an Autumnalis Rosea, but when you reach MacDonald, there are more and more trees closer together, which means more blossoms!

Autumnalis Rosea cherry blossoms at Georgia street with MacDonald street sign. Autumnalis Rosea cherry trees with MacDonald street sign.

If your keep walking towards Ingleton, the city of Vancouver appears at the end of the street.

Autumnalis Rosea cherry trees lining up Georgia street (between Willingdon and Boundary) Autumnalis Rosea cherry trees lining up Georgia street (between Willingdon and Boundary)

During my visit, birds were playing in the trees. Occasionally, I was showered with blossoms.

Autumnalis Rosea cherry blossoms fallen on the ground (Gerogia street, corner Willingdon) Autumnalis Rosea cherry blossom on the ground at Georgia street

Peak bloom. At this location, the flowers peak starting mid-January and should last 2 weeks. Visit on a sunny day for better pictures (Autumnalis Rosea cherry blossoms look great with a blue sky!).

Wanna visit later?  You can expect to see Autumnalis Rosea at this location up till the beginning of April, but the leaves will be out (and Akebono on this street will be stealing the show).

You might also be interested in: Sunny photos of Autumnalis Rosea on Georgia street from January 28 2015.

Check the VCBF neighbourhood map to find Autumnalis Rosea cherry trees in your neighbourhood.