Cherry Scouts Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Three ways to plan a cherry blossom walk: Do-it-yourself walks, Blooming Now, Neighbourhood Maps

Our cherry scout leader Wendy Cutler wrote that because of precautions regarding COVID-19, “all Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival 2020 community events that involve people getting together have been cancelled, and that includes the Tree Talks and Walks. This year, they will be Do-it-Yourself walks.”  You’ll be able to go on your own cherry blossom adventure guided by instructions and photos provided on our website.

If you want to experience cherry blossoms digitally, check out the Blooming Now page. All the photos come from public forum postings by our Cherry Scouts.  Wendy wrote, “We have had some stunning photos posted already – have a look at the threads at the top of that Neighbourhood Blogs forums page. Click the highest page number to see the recent postings.”

If you want to create your own cherry blossom viewing walk, Wendy suggests: “You can find the festival’s favourite locations on the Neighbourhood Map. The map opens with the favourites, defined as good photo-op locations.” They’re identified by red markers.

So, cherry blossom viewing is still happening in the city, just in a different format: either a do-it-yourself walk (taking care of maintaining social distancing) or a digital visit on our website or on social media.

Cherry Scouts Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Stanley Park Tree Talk and walk

It was a gorgeous day for our Stanley Park Tree Talk and Walk.

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About 35 people attended the tour lead by Bill Stephen (Park Board Superintendent of Urban Forestry) for a history of the park and a closer look at the cherry trees.

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Akebono cherry petals were falling: at the slightest breeze, we were showered with petals. It was magical.

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The Akebono blossoms (nearing the end of season) were totally white, luminescent.

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Cherry Scout Wendy Cutler was wearing her blossom shoes for the occasion.


Between the rose garden and the pavilion, we stopped to see a small Takasago (hidden by other trees) on a trail.

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Along the way, Bill talked about other types of trees in Stanley Park like the sycamores and Douglas firs.


The white Shirotae leading to the Japanese memorial were in full bloom.

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At the Japanese memorial, we concluded our walk with the Ojochin cherry tree (also in full bloom). You could see copper leaves coming out.

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Cherry petals are falling fast in Stanley Park (that’s why we had to reschedule the walk for today so people would get a chance to see the blossoms). Visit within the next 2 days to be showered with petals.


Check out our webpage for regular updates on the upcoming tree talk and walks.




Your guide to cherry blossoms in Vancouver



With the cherry blossoms season only one month away, it’s time to order your copy of Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver. This essential guide, written by Douglas Justice (Associate Director & Curator of Collections at UBC Botanical Garden) will help you identify the most popular cherry blossoms cultivars in Vancouver.

This 124-page third edition boasts:

  • An additional 19 cultivars, bringing the total to 54 different varieties of flowering cherry trees that can be found in Vancouver neighbourhoods
  • New Japanese index

If you love cherry blossoms or want to know more about them, you will enjoy this guide! It’s really easy to use (all cherry blossoms are listed by month of blooming), with beautiful photos that make identification really easy.

Our cherry scouts should definitely buy this new edition since it contains 19 new cultivars not included inthe 2nd edition.

Happy cherry blossom viewing!


Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Blossom Biology workshop


The Blossom Biology workshop took place at the VanDusen Botanical Garden classroom in the evening of April 11, 2013.

Douglas Justice, a technical advisor for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, came in with a bucket full of cherry blossoms that he had collected from the garden!

He started the session with a presentation during which we learnt about:

  1. Resources
  2. Cherry look-alike
  3. Photographing cultivars for ID purposes
  4. How to use the dichotomus key
  5. Important identification features
  6. Common cultivars

Blossom Biology with Justice Douglas (April 11, 2013)

Then, he laid out the various cultivars of cherry blossoms on the table and we got to see them up close and identify them.

Blossom Biology with Justice Douglas (April 11, 2013)

I’ve learnt a lot about cherry trees. Did you know that 80% of cherry trees are grafted? It’s a nursery practice to take a seedling cherry and to graft it to a stomp (from which many branches will grow). This explains the odd appearance of the trunk.

Blossom Biology with Justice Douglas (April 11, 2013)

Are you able to identify the different types of cherry blossoms in that bucket?

  • Tai Haku, aka Great White Cherry (top right, green leaves and big white flowers… up to 5 cm large!)
  • Beni-shidare, aka weeping cherry (at the very top, teeny tiny pink flowers, they’re the most common in the garden)
  • Yae-beni-shidare, aka double weeping cherry  (left side, branch of dark pink blossoms drooping)
  • Akebono
  • Japanese flowering cherries
  • Kiku-shidare-zakura, aka chrysanthemum cherry
  • and many more.

There are 35 cherries in the book Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver but Douglas Justice says they’ve identified 20 more cultivars since.  Aren’t we lucky to have so many cherry trees in Vancouver?

Tip: For more information about cherry tree identification and other things we’ve learnt at the workshop, type “Blossom Biology” in the search box on the left to view other posts on the subject.