‘Accolade’ are blooming now at City Hall.Willard, UBC Botanical Garden Forums Blog for Mount Pleasant
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”.
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…
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vancouver City Hall on a Saturday morning. Perfect time to go see Accolade cherry trees that are starting to bloom on the North Face!
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.
Happy cherry blossom viewing!
On 5th avenue (corner Lilooet), you’ll find two different kinds of trees: Accolade and Akebono cherry trees (notice the different colours on the photo).
It’s a good location to appreciate the difference between the two cherry trees:
- Akebono cherry trees are lighter and blossoms have five petals.
- Accolade cherry trees are darker and blossoms have more than five petals.
When I visited, the Accolade were declining and the Akebono were peaking.
From the top of the hill, you get an amazing view of the highrises in Burnaby Brentwood area.
Visit soon to be showered with petals or use our neighbourhood map to find Akebono trees near you.
Kick off your cherry blossom viewing season with a visit to Vancouver City Hall to see the beautiful Accolade cherry blossoms and get your iconic photo of Captain George Vancouver pointing at the blossoms!
It’s a busy location so visit on the week-end or in late afternoon (when city hall is closed) for a better experience.
If you’re in the Downtown West-end, it’s a good time to visit the Accolade cherry trees in Chilco Park.
There are a few chairs in the park, so sit, take a deep breath, and check out the flowers.
Some blossoms have started to fall, but there are plenty of blossoms and buds in the trees. Visit this location within seven-ten days to see the flowers at their best.
Visit the VCBF neighborhoud maps to find other Accolade cherry trees in your area.
With a forecast of 12 degrees and partly cloudy, I headed to Vancouver City Hall to look at the Accolade cherry trees. The trees were in full bloom!
If you walk up the steps towards the entrance, you’ll be able to take close-ups of the buds and the flowers.
There are park benches where you can have a snack and look at the blossoms over your head.
It’s always fun to try to get a picture of the statue of George Vancouver pointing at the Accolade cherry blossoms.
The petals and flowers are starting to fall. Visit this location within the end of the week.
Wanna know where you can find Accolade cherry trees in your area? Browse the VCBF neighborhood map.
Photos: Jessica Tremblay
Accolade cherry trees are in bloom at Vancouver City Hall, a five minute walk from Broadway-City Hall skytrain station.
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.
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.
The cherry tree on the West side has so many Accolade blossoms that they are all squished in.
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