Nice curve of Akebono along the seawall at Coal Harbor this morning. Many people out taking photos by them!Lisa L. on the UBC Botanical Garden Forums Blog for Downtown
Many cherry blossom festivals have selected a special tree to serve as an “index tree” (Tokyo) or “indicator tree” (Washington D.C.) When over 70% of its flowers are in bloom, they declare that cherry trees are officially in bloom in the city.
The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival does not have an official indicator tree so, for the purpose of the First International Cherry Blossom Prediction Competition, the Akebono trees in Maple Grove Park, at the corner of SW Marine Drive and Yew Street, were designated as the Vancouver location. In a way, these trees will serve as our first indicator trees.
Douglas Justice is monitoring the trees and will declare their official blooming date. Stay tuned for the big reveal.
Akebono cherry trees at Burrard Skytrain Station are now ready for their closeups reports Wendy Cutler, VCBF Cherry Scout leader, on the UBC Botanical Garden Forums Blog for Downtown.
Point Grey resident Lesley Donaldson is usually displaying haiku on her hedge during cherry blossom season, but this year is different. She writes:
“I can’t assemble my Haiku Hedge this year because of social distancing and no gathering rules. So instead I am organizing a digital Haiku Hedge.”
Since March 25, Lesley sends to her family and friends a daily e-mail featuring a photo of her cherry trees and a haiku written by herself or by haiku masters. Here are some photos and haiku shared by Lesley.
Listen! Hear the voices
six feet apart –
between the blossomed trees
In these latter-day
Kobayashi Issa (1763 – 1828)
Pale mountain sky:
cherry petals play
as they tumble earthward
Kusama Tokihiko (1920 – 2003)
The light of a candle
Is transferred to another candle—
Yosa Buson (1716 – 1784)
Lesley, whose hedge has been featured in the Georgia Straight, wrote about her beautiful Akebono cherry trees:
“I have four huge cherry trees planted over 30 years ago along the west side of my house. I live on a corner lot and I remember when I planted them my mother saying “people going places will say, ‘turn at the corner where the cherry trees are’”. I liked that idea.”
She might have been wrong though – I think people mainly notice my deep green yew hedge, 6 feet high that encloses my property. It is clipped and maybe 200 ft long (…) and in the spring, when the pink blossoms fall from the cherry trees, it reminds me of sprinkles.”
At a time when the global order is in chaos (…) I find comfort in looking out of my windows at the giant cherry tree trunks “
Lesley has been participating in the VCBF Haiku Invitational for many years, winning an honourable mention in 2008:
The carpet of blossoms—
my granddaughter in her pink dress
does a twirl
Lesley Donaldson (VCBF haiku invitational 2008 Adult Honourable Mention)
You too! You can share your love of cherry blossoms through haiku. Submit your poem to the VCBF haiku invitational.
Our beautiful Akebono cherry trees are blooming at Burrard Skytrain station.
Since the Vancouver City issued an order to respect physical distancing due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we thought we’d offer you a safe way to do cherry blossom viewing. . . online.
Click on this interactive map for a virtual visit of Akebono cherry trees outside Burrard Skytrain station.
Burrard skytrain station is a truly special location for cherry blossom viewing in Vancouver. There are thirty-four Akebono cherry trees outside the station: one tree at the front, then three rows of trees. Walking under the canopy is a true pleasure.
The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival usually holds its festival launch — the popular Cherry Jam concert — at this location, but unfortunately we had to cancel this year because of Covid-19 (please read the VCBF COVID-19 Event Information).
If you go cherry blossom viewing, please be safe and maintain physical distancing.
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.
The atmosphere was very festive for The Big Picnic at the Queen Elizabeth Park. Hundreds of people gathered under cherry trees to enjoy a community picnic and watch musical performances while Akebono cherry petals quietly fell all around.
Join us for more fun under cherry blossoms such as Bike the Blossoms and more activities featured on our community events page.
Akebono cherry trees have reached peak bloom in downtown Vancouver. It’s a lovely time for a walk.
Want to know more about Vancouver cherry trees? Join our free Cherry Talks and Walks starting this Sunday April 7.
At the rose garden in Stanley Park, Akebono cherry trees are full of buds. The blossoms will reach peak bloom in a few days, just in time for our Tree Talk and Walk on Sunday April 7.
Meanwhile, at the entrance of Stanley Park, Akebono trees are in full bloom. The blossoms are glowing in the sun.
Check out the Akebono in your neighborhood this week-end to be covered with petals. Or, better, attend The Big Picnic at Queen Elizabeth park on April 13. There will be food, music, dance, and blossoms
Happy cherry blossom viewing!
It was a magical evening as Hfour illuminated Queen Elizabeth Park cherry trees for Spring Lights Illumination. Lights were projected on the canopy, lanterns were glowing, and giant mirror balls reflected the blossoms.
Interpretative dancers performed under the lit up trees. A walkthrough experience allowed visitors to move from under the canopy to various pathways.
The pathways lead you back to the canopy where you could enjoy more illuminations.
Thank you for joining us.
Check the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival website to see more information about events and activities.