Tree talks & walks

Live, in-person guided walks

Tree Talks & Walks are free guided tours led by local experts that focus on not just the cherry tree but the other various trees that make up our urban ecosystem. It’s an opportunity to explore Vancouver’s neighbourhoods and parks, to better understand how our trees play a vital role in our city, and to learn about the history of the land we inhabit.

We invite you to take a moment out of your day to pause and appreciate the natural beauty all around us.

This new series of Walks will be in partnership with Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.

Do-It-Yourself and Virtual Tree Walks

If you’re not inclined to join us for the guided walks, the photos and videos below show featured sights from of some of our great walk locations. These photos and videos are from previous years. Dates, location and photographer names are in the photo names.

To see which cultivars are blooming near you, select the neighbourhood and dates you wish to visit on our Vancouver Cherry Blossoms Finder.

Haiku Walk from Joy Kogawa House in Marpole

Winnipeg poet Sally Ito would have led this walk as part of her author residency at Historic Joy Kogawa House. Unable to travel west due to restrictions at the time, Sally wrote haiku to accompany locations on a self-guided walk of the Marpole neighbourhood that begins and ends at the heritage house. There are haiku for the full set of stops, one for each day of self-quarantine. Here is a map of the whole route.

See also Cherry Trees and Haiku: A Digital Haiku Hedge by Lesley Donaldson.

Stanley Park –
early to end of April

Nina Shoroplova, author of Legacy of Trees: Purposeful Wandering in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, would have led this walk in 2021. The stars of the show in Stanley Park are the grove of ‘Akebono’ on Chilco at Alberni, near the Welcome to Vancouver sign on Highway 99; the grove of ‘Akebono’ trees in the Shakespeare Garden across Pipeline Road from the Rose Garden; the allee of ‘Shirotae’ leading to the non-grafted and rare ‘Ojochin’ at the Japanese-Canadian War Memorial near the aquarium. The final week featured ‘Shiro-fugen’ and rare ‘Gyoiko’ and ‘Shujaku’.

Strathcona –
2nd half of March

One of the highlight trees of this walk are the ‘Accolade’ trees on Pender between Princess and Campbell and at Strathcona Liner Park, blooming late March or early April.

Downtown and West End – mid April

‘Akebono’ trees might start to open at Burrard Station at the end of March; later, the West End features ‘Shirotae’, ‘Umineko’, Sendai-shidare’, ‘Takasago’, ‘Mikuruma-gaeshi’, wrapping up with ‘Ukon’ and a flood of ‘Kanzan’.

UBC – end of March, beginning of April

Featured here are the iconic ‘Somei-yoshino’ block on Lower Mall. You get to compare those with young infill ‘Akebono’ trees. Around the corner are two ‘Shirotae’ outside the Fraser Parkade. Walk a bit to the Chan Centre to see two more magnificent ‘Somei-yoshino’. The first video features several cultivars at the Peter Wharton Cherry Grove at UBC Botanical Garden.

See also: UBC Nitobe Garden Tree Talks and Walks.

Queen Elizabeth Park – early to mid-April

One of the highlight trees of this walk are the ‘Accolade’ trees on Pender There are many exotic and native trees at Queen Elizabeth Park’s arboretum. Founded in 1949, it contains tree species from around the world. Cherries you should see starting in April include ‘Somei-yoshino’, ‘Akebono’, ‘Shirotae’ and ‘Umineko’.

Programs subject to change.

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