Vancouver City Hall in bloom

At Vancouver City Hall, the Accolades cherry trees are in bloom!



From the bottom of the stairs, the view is beautiful.


There are lots of people coming and going (it’s city hall, after all), so if you’re going to take pictures on a weekday, you might have to be patient to get a photo without people in it.


The statue of Captain George Vancouver makes this a fun location: with the right angle, you can get him pointing to the cherry blossoms!



You can do really nice close-ups of the Accolade cherry blossoms from the top of the stairs: you’re at the same height as the canopy!



The 12 storey city hall building makes a nice background.


Good spot for Hanami picnic?  Absolutely!


There are two park benches under the cherry trees, so it’s a great place to have a picnic.



You can enjoy your lunch as cherry petals fall gently around you.


If you stay there long enough, cherry petals will fall in your open palm.


Location: Vancouver City Hall, 453 West 12th Avenue.  The building is served by the Broadway–City Hall Station on SkyTrain’s Canada Line, 99-B line bus and #9 bus.
Go by this week-end, but definitely within the next week.


Accolade cherry tree (near China Creek Park)


This Accolade cherry tree is located on BC Parkway (near Glenn), across  China Creek Park. It’s only 2 minutes from VCC-Clark skytrain station.


The branches crawl up towards the balcony of an apartment building.


You’ll get beautiful pictures if you go on a sunny day. Unfortunately, it was quite windy when I visited, so a lot of my shots turned blurry.


80% of the blossoms are out, but there are a few buds left.


The blossoms have just opened, and yet, they are already falling. So sad!


Examining fallen blossoms is a good way to get familiar with cherry trees. The thing sticking out of the flower is called a pistil.


Photo tip: This Accolade cherry tree is 80% bloom and the blossoms have already started to fall. Visit in the next 2 days for the best pictures. In 7 days, you can expect a shower of petals.

Cherry Scouts Photos

Accolade cherry tree (Broadway and McLean)


The blossoms have just opened on this Accolade cherry tree, located on Broadway and McLean.


At the beginning of spring, it’s fascinating to observe how Accolade cherry buds turn into blossoms.



Accolade cherry buds start bright pink, but when the flowers open, they get more pale. In this picture, you can see the various shades of pink – from the bud (dark) to the blossom (pale).


This newly-opened blossom has a major case of “bed hair” — the petals curl up a bit – but it’s so adorable!  Once opened, Accolade blossoms turn pale pink. You can still see a bit of dark pink at the edge of the petals on this photo. Proof that this blossom is very young and was still a dark pink bud yesterday.


Accolade cherry blossoms are my favorite flowers to photograph. The flowers are quite big and on a sunny day, they give you the best photo opportunity. Too bad it was cloudy during my visit.


Accolades are the second cultivars of cherry trees to open in Vancouver in the spring , right after the Whitcombs.  Since at the beginning of spring, there are only two cultivars of cherry trees blooming, it’s easy to identify them: the Accolades have large pale pink blossoms, the Whitcombs have small dark pink blossoms.

For more information about Accolade and other Vancouver cherry trees, check out the 2014 guide to Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver.


Photo tip: there are two Accolade cherry trees at this location.  The branches crawl up towards an apartment building, so it’s not a good location for wide shots.  The branches have very few blossoms, but there are plenty of opportunities for good close-ups, especially if you go now, to capture the buds.

Accolades blossoms look their best when they just opened. For best results, visit this location within 2-3 days.The tree should be in bloom for another 7-10 days, but then you shouldn’t expect much.

Is it a good spot for hanami picnic? No. The trees are on a private property with a fence and next to the busy Broadway street.

Find Accolade cherry trees in your area on our neighborhood maps.


Accolade on Halifax (corner Moore)

Accolade cherry tree on Halifax street (corner of Moore street) in Burnaby North,  March29 2013

I hope you’ll have time to enjoy some cherry blossom viewing during the Easter week-end. The weather is just perfect!

Accolade cherry tree on Halifax street (corner of Moore street) in Burnaby North,  March29 2013

These three Accolade cherry trees on Halifax street (corner Moore) in Burnaby North are now at their peak.

Accolade cherry tree on Halifax street (corner of Moore street) in Burnaby North,  March29 2013

With the sun out, it’s the perfect time to take nice pictures at this location.

Accolade cherry tree on Halifax street (corner of Moore street) in Burnaby North,  March29 2013

Photography tip: set your camera on macro and get as close as you can to the blossoms. You might  even catch a glimpse at a bee pollinating the cherry blossom! There were several bees hovering around the flowers this afternoon.

Cherry viewing tip: the Accolade cherry blossoms are at their peak.  Hurry up!


Accolade on Broadway (near McLean)

Accolade Broadway McLean by JT March 19 2013

It’s that time of the year when suddenly there seems to be Accolade cherry trees blooming everywhere, so make sure to carry your camera with you at all times!

Accolade Broadway McLean by JT March 19 2013

During a short ten minute walk to the Broadway/Commercial skytrain station, I came across this Accolade cherry tree on Broadway (between McLean and Clark) in Vancouver.

Accolade Broadway McLean by JT March 19 2013

The tree doesn’t have much blossoms, and the branches are thin and climbing towards an apartment building, so it’s not a great photography spot, but…

Accolade Broadway McLean by JT March 19 2013

… I find that sometimes it’s with the oddest tree that you get the best cherry blossom pictures.


Accolade on Halifax (Burnaby)

Accolade cherry blossoms

Have you seen the first signs of spring in your neighborhood yet?

Last week, during a bus ride onboard #136, I noticed a bit of pink in a tree on Halifax street (corner of Kensington) in Burnaby. Today was a sunny day so I decided to go investigate (first rule of cherry blossom viewing: if it’s sunny, you HAVE to go out and take pictures!).

At first, the tree didn’t look like much:


But as I got closer, I noticed the pink blossoms here and there:

Accolade cherry blossoms -halifax-kensington-march-3-2013-by-jt-IMG_9266

There were lots of buds on this Accolade cherry tree and the blossoms were blooming earlier than usual:

Accolade cherry blossoms

I was there at around 12.30pm. The sun was high and it was perfect to take some close-ups.

Accolade cherry blossoms

All the pictures on this post were taken today at 12.30pm on Halifax street, corner Kensington, in Burnaby.

Check out the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival interactive map to find cherry blossoms in your area and see what’s blooming now.


Crazy for cherry blossoms!

Accolade cherry blossom on Richards (corner Robson) in Vancouver.

After five years of cherry blossom viewing in Vancouver, I’ve learned two things:

  1. cherry blossoms don’t last
  2. sunny days are rare.

So if you’re lucky enough to have both sunshine AND cherry blossoms, you just have to pick up your camera and go because it’s a scientific fact that cherry blossoms won’t wait for you and the next day will (probably) be overcast.

Yesterday I picked up my camera to visit the Accolade cherry tree on Richards (corner Robson) for the third time.  This Accolade tree (which is blooming exceptionally early)  is doing well.

Accolade cherry tree on Richards (corner Robson) in Vancouver.

As some petals fall gently with the breeze, new blossoms are opening.  It is not fully bloomed yet.

Accolade cherry blossom on Richards (corner Robson) in Vancouver.

The cherry tree is surrounded by tall buildings in Downtown Vancouver so the tree will be in the shade for most of the day. The best time to go is between 3.00-4.00 when the sun shines directly on the tree from down the street. (All these pictures were taken between 3.15-3.30pm.)

Accolade cherry blossoms on Richards (corner Robson) in Vancouver.

As I was taking picture, a passerby shouted: “YEAH! SPRING!”

Accolade cherry tree on Richards (corner Robson) in Vancouver.

So get out there Vancouver and say hello to spring! (We’re lucky to have cherry blossom blooming so early this season!)


Accolade on Richards (corner Robson)

Today I took advantage of the sunny weather to check up again on Vancouver’s first blooming Accolade cherry tree on Richards street (corner Robson), right across the coffee shop.

There are lots more blossoms than when I first reported on the tree on January 21 2013.

I was hoping this tree would mean an early cherry blossom season. However, besides a couple of Autumnalis Rosea blooming near Lost Lagoon, I haven’t seen much blossoms in the city yet. This Accolade was exceptionally early and is giving us a nice taste of spring.

Accolades cherry tree on Richard (corner Robson) on Feb 10 2013 in Vancouver, B.C.

Accolades on Richard (corner Robson) on Feb 10 2013


First Accolade (Richards and Robson)

The rumors are true. There’s an Accolade cherry tree blossoming in January!  The tree is located on Richards street (corner Robson) right across from the Starbucks. Here are pictures I took this morning.

Tip: to find out where you can find Accolades cherry trees in Vancouver, check out the VCBF Cherry Blossom Viewing map.