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Pandora cherry blossoms at Fairlawn/Brentlawn in Burnaby

 

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There are six Pandora cherry trees blooming behind the Brentwood Mall at Fairlawn/Brentlawn in Burnaby.

How to identify Pandora cherry trees

I’ve been wondering for the past three years what type of cherry trees they were. Since I’ve recently completed my cherry scout training with the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival,  I decided to visit the trees again to try to identify them.  Here’s how I determined they were Pandora cherry trees.  I hope these tips will help you recognize Pandora cherry trees in your neighbourhood.

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Season

When you want to identify a cherry tree, the time of the year when the tree is blooming can be a clue: some trees bloom earlier than others. The guide to Ornamental cherries in Vancouver lists all cherry trees in order of blooming time, so it’s very helpful for cherry scouts.  At this time of the year, I know there are only a few possibilities: Whitcomb, Accolade, Pandora, Akebono…

The six trees on Fairlawn bloom  early  in the season, usually at the same time of plum trees.  Since it’s too soon for Akebono at the time, and the blossoms don’t have any extra petals (a sixth incomplete petal that sometimes grow on Akebono blossom at the beginning of the season), I eliminate the possibility of them being Akebono.

The number of petals

Because the blossoms on Fairlawn street have only five petals, they cannot be Accolade – Accolade have more than 5 petals – so I eliminate this possibility.

 

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The color of the blossoms

The tip of the petals are a darker shade of pink (which is the main characteristics of Pandora cherry blossoms).  If these were Whitcomb blossoms, the blossoms would be completely dark pink. At this stage, I’m pretty sure these are Pandora cherry blossoms. I only have to look at my feet to confirm it…

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How the blossoms fall

Pandora cherry blossoms are particularly easy to identify because their blossoms fall intact on the ground. You won’t find petals under Pandora tree, but grass covered in flowers!

The more cherry trees you visit, the better you will be at identifying them. The fact that I had already seen Pandora cherry trees at Mount Pleasant Park  last year  helped me identify the Pandora trees in Burnaby today.

Pandora cherry trees are in bloom everywhere in the city. Find them now on our neighborhood map.

 

All photos by Jessica Tremblay

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Cherry Scouts Photos

Pandora cherry trees at Mt. Pleasant Park

After hearing that Pandora cherry trees were blooming in Vancouver, I used the neighborhood maps to find a location and decided to go to Mt. Pleasant Park.

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At Mount Pleasant Park (Ontario, between 15th and 16th), I found three Pandora cherry trees. With the Northshore mountains in the background, it’s a beautiful location to take pictures.

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At first glance, this Pandora cherry tree (a modern hybrid) may look like Akebono. You’ll have to get closer to see the main difference…

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The main characteristic of the Pandora cherry blossom is that the petals are deeper pink at the end. Can you see in this picture how the tips are darker pink?

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The tree on 15th and Ontario has low branches, so you’ll be able to take shots like this in macro (without using a zoom).

It’s important to identify the Pandora cherry trees early (thanks to the darker pink at the end of the petals), because the flowers will usually turn white before falling…

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Another main characteristic of the Pandora is that (most) blossoms fall intact!

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On some of the fallen flowers, you’ll still be able to see the darker pink at the tip of the petals. But most flowers will be completely white when they fall.

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There were lots of flowers under the tree.

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You’ll notice something odd about