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Yesterday’s news – large single flowers

April 9, 2022. Two late-mid-season cultivars today, with relatively large single flowers. ‘Mikuruma-gaeshi’ are goblet-shaped trees, not large, generally not healthy-looking. The beautiful mostly single flowers can reach 6cm across, and they occasionally have some extra petals, which caused the royal carriage of its name to return to check whether the flowers were single or double. The old ‘Ojochin’ in Stanley Park has similar-looking flowers, to 5cm, but they hang lantern-like befitting the meaning of their name. You can share your finds on our forums at VCBF Neighbourhood Blogs | UBC Botanical Garden Forums.

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‘Mikuruma-gaeshi’ in the Kensington-Cedar Cottage neighbourhood, photo by Anne Eng.
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‘Ojochin’ at the Stanley Park Japanese Memorial in the West End / Stanley Park neighbourhood, photo by Shirley Willard.

These have been featured photos on the Blooming Now page.

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Yesterday’s news – ‘Umineko’ and ‘Snow Goose’

April 8, 2022. It’s still mid-season. Here is another single-white cherry – ‘Umineko’, with petals supposedly reminiscent of a seagull’s wing, for which it is named. The petals are so rounded that the flowers appear to have a star-shape formed where they overlap. The trees’ upright shape distinguishes it from other single-white-flowered cherries. ‘Snow Goose’ has the same parents and looks identical. That the flowers in these photos look different is really just early and late stages of flowering. You can share your finds on our forums at VCBF Neighbourhood Blogs | UBC Botanical Garden Forums.

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‘Umineko’ at VanDusen Botanical Garden in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood, photo by Anne Eng.
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‘Snow Goose’ at VanDusen Botanical Garden in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood, photo by Anne Eng.

These have been featured photos on the Blooming Now page.

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Yesterday’s news – mid-season blooms

April 7, 2022. It’s still mid-season. Though late bloomers are starting to open, you can still see the mid-season ‘Rancho’ and ‘Takasago’ looking good. You can share your finds on our forums at VCBF Neighbourhood Blogs | UBC Botanical Garden Forums.

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‘Rancho’ in the Sunshine Coast neighbourhood, photo by Shirley Willard.
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‘Takasago’ in the West End neighbourhood, photo by Shirley Willard.

These have been featured photos on the Blooming Now page.

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Yesterday’s news – mid-season double-blooming cherries

April 6, 2022. Today featured double blossoms. Most of the early and mid-season cherry bloomers have single flowers – five petals, while most of the late bloomers have double blossoms, some with even up to 100 petals. Here are two double-bloomers from mid-season: ‘Takasago’ and ‘Shirotae’.

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‘Takasago’ in the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood, photo by Lisa Lennie.
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‘Shirotae’ in the Sunshine Coast neighbourhood, photo by Shirley Willard.

These have been featured photos on the Blooming Now page.

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Yesterday’s news – fragrant blossoms

April 5, 2022. Today features fragrant blossoms. ‘Shirotae’ makes its fragrance particularly obvious in groups of the trees. ‘Washi-no-o’ are much more rare but are a delight to find. The name means “eagle’s tail”, presumably referring to the jagged petal edges. You can share your finds on our forums at VCBF Neighbourhood Blogs | UBC Botanical Garden Forums.

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‘Shirotae’ in the Marpole neighbourhood, photo by Anne Eng.
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‘Washi-no-o’ in the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood, photo by Yong Hui.

These have been featured photos on the Blooming Now page.

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Pandora Cherry Blossoms at Mount Pleasant Park

What a gorgeous Saturday afternoon! The sun came up just as I reached Mount Pleasant Park.  I love this location: there are three Pandora  cherry trees you can photograph with the North Shore mountains in the background.

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You can identify Pandora cherry blossoms by the hint of dark pink at the tip of their petals. This dark pink is visible when the flowers just opened up — later on, the flowers will get whiter — so come see them early!

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Another feature of the Pandora cherry tree is that the flowers fall WHOLE.  If you look under a tree and you see only FALLEN FLOWERS (no petals!), it’s likely that the cherry tree is a Pandora cultivar.

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There are plenty of fresh buds on the trees, which means it will be blooming for a while, but don’t wait too late: visit this location within the next week and make sure to bring your picnic. There are lot of picnic tables in the park and the views of the North Shore mountains are amazing!

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Photos: Jessica Tremblay

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Pandora cherry trees spectacular at Mount Pleasant Park

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Mount Pleasant Park is a great location to see three beautiful Pandora cherry trees in bloom right now.

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The Pandora trees are bursting with blossoms (and bees!)

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This location can get quite windy (it’s a huge park), so you might have to be patient when you try to do close-ups:  the wind makes the branches move.

As you take your pictures, prepare to be (gently) smacked in the face by falling cherry blossoms.

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One characteristic of Pandora cherry blossoms is that the flowers fall whole.

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You will rarely see fallen cherry petals under a Pandora tree: only fallen blossoms.

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Mount Pleasant Park (Ontario, between 15th and 16th) is a great location for a hanami picnic: lots of picnic tables, park benches, a kids park and community centre nearby.  With its incredible views of the cherry trees with North shore mountains, this is quickly becoming one of my favorite locations (see my pictures of Mount Pleasant Park from 2014)

Visit within the next week.

Photos by Jessica Tremblay

 

 

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Accolade cherry trees in bloom at Vancouver City Hall

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Accolade cherry trees are in bloom at Vancouver City Hall, a five minute walk from Broadway-City Hall skytrain station.

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The main entrance – where the Accolade trees are located – is facing North, so the trees near the stairs will most likely be in the shade when you visit.

If you climb the stairs, you can get great close-ups of the blossoms.

 

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There are two Accolade on the East and West sides of the building. These trees might be drenched in sunlight depending on when you visit (these photos were taken between 1.30 pm-2.00pm). This is the tree on the West side.

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The cherry tree on the West side has so many Accolade blossoms that they are all squished in.

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There are two park benches on the East side of the property, for those who want to rest or have a quick snack. Prepare to be showered with cherry petals!

At this location, you can get a cool shot of George Vancouver pointing at the blossoms, but my photo didn’t turn out well this year, because of the sun glaring in the lens (you can see more photos of the Vancouver City hall blog post from 2014).

This location should be blooming for another week.

Photos: Jessica Tremblay

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Cherry blossoms yarn bombing at UBC bus loop

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It’s spring in Vancouver: even the poles are blooming. Nice yarn bombing at the UBC bus loop shelter featuring crochet and knitted cherry blossoms.

Photo by Jessica Tremblay

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Pandora cherry blossoms at Fairlawn/Brentlawn in Burnaby

 

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There are six Pandora cherry trees blooming behind the Brentwood Mall at Fairlawn/Brentlawn in Burnaby.

How to identify Pandora cherry trees

I’ve been wondering for the past three years what type of cherry trees they were. Since I’ve recently completed my cherry scout training with the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival,  I decided to visit the trees again to try to identify them.  Here’s how I determined they were Pandora cherry trees.  I hope these tips will help you recognize Pandora cherry trees in your neighbourhood.

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Season

When you want to identify a cherry tree, the time of the year when the tree is blooming can be a clue: some trees bloom earlier than others. The guide to Ornamental cherries in Vancouver lists all cherry trees in order of blooming time, so it’s very helpful for cherry scouts.  At this time of the year, I know there are only a few possibilities: Whitcomb, Accolade, Pandora, Akebono…

The six trees on Fairlawn bloom  early  in the season, usually at the same time of plum trees.  Since it’s too soon for Akebono at the time, and the blossoms don’t have any extra petals (a sixth incomplete petal that sometimes grow on Akebono blossom at the beginning of the season), I eliminate the possibility of them being Akebono.

The number of petals

Because the blossoms on Fairlawn street have only five petals, they cannot be Accolade – Accolade have more than 5 petals – so I eliminate this possibility.

 

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The color of the blossoms

The tip of the petals are a darker shade of pink (which is the main characteristics of Pandora cherry blossoms).  If these were Whitcomb blossoms, the blossoms would be completely dark pink. At this stage, I’m pretty sure these are Pandora cherry blossoms. I only have to look at my feet to confirm it…

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How the blossoms fall

Pandora cherry blossoms are particularly easy to identify because their blossoms fall intact on the ground. You won’t find petals under Pandora tree, but grass covered in flowers!

The more cherry trees you visit, the better you will be at identifying them. The fact that I had already seen Pandora cherry trees at Mount Pleasant Park  last year  helped me identify the Pandora trees in Burnaby today.

Pandora cherry trees are in bloom everywhere in the city. Find them now on our neighborhood map.

 

All photos by Jessica Tremblay