May 13, 2023. The most interesting, most magical, longest in bloom cherry tree around right now is ‘Shiro-fugen’. These opened with white flowers and bronze leaves. Many still had white flowers when the leaves started to turn green. Then the flowers started to turn luminescent pink from the centres. Eventually, the trees are becoming ‘Kanzan’-coloured pink, with green or bronzy-green leaves. Yet new flowers keep opening, white, so it’s easy to see them when you’re looking closely at the flowers. From close-up, the ‘Shiro-fugen’ flowers won’t look as withered as soon. Thanks to Shirley Willard, Taka Naidu, Anne Eng, Yong Hui, Lisa Lennie, May Lin and Wendy Cutler for the photos.
Anne Eng, VCBF Cherry Scout, introduces us to Shosar cherry trees on the UBC Neighborhood Blog for Burnaby:
The two trees of ‘Shosar’ are in full bloom on the south side of Sherban Crescent, east of Holdom, at March 26, 2022.Anne Eng, VCBF Cherry Scout
Bright “cerise” pink flowers with red sepals and calyxes, and veins on the petals.
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.
This visual timeline features the estimated blooming period for ten of the most common cultivars of cherry trees in Vancouver: Whitcomb, Beni-Shidare, Accolade, Akebono, Umineko / Snow Goose, Shirotae, Shirofugen, Kanzan, Kiku-shidare-zakura, Shogetsu.
Happy cherry blossom viewing!
(Click the image to expand the timeline)
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.
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.
McSpaden Park is a great destination if you want to see Whitcomb cherry trees this week. You’ll find about ten trees planted along Victoria Drive. Part of the canopy hangs over the fence, offering a nice picnic spot.
Besides cherry blossom viewing, there are also plenty of options for outdoor sports and a playground for the little ones. When I arrived on a cloudy Saturday morning, the crows were occupying the soccer field, the tennis courts were busy, and a dog walker was sitting on a park bench enjoying the view.
Among the fallen flowers, I found a Whitcomb blossom with a petaloid. A petaloid is a small, unformed, sixth petal occasionally found on young flowers (such as Akebono). The petaloid usually falls off at an early stage, so you rarely see them. It was the first time I saw a petaloid on a Whitcomb flower. It was quite exciting… like finding a four-leaf clover.
The cherry petals will start falling soon, so visit your local Whitcomb cherry trees this week. Find them on the neighbourhood map.
Next: it’s almost time to see Accolade and Akebono flowers, so keep checking the Blog and Blooming Now page for more news. And don’t miss our Cherry Jam downtown concert under the beautiful canopy of Akebono trees at Burrard skytrain station on April 4nd.
Easter Week-end is always a great time to go cherry blossom viewing in Vancouver. The Akebono cherry trees are in bloom and looking spectacular.
My favorite location is Georgia and Denman which has a beautiful reflective pool:
At the entrance of Stanley Park, at Alberni, young akebono will allow you to take close-ups:
Instead of entering Stanley Park (cherry trees in that location always need a few more days to bloom), I opted to wander in the West-End where you can encounter Akebono in bloom at various street corners, such as here in Nelson and Broughton:
There are lots of buds in the Downtown trees, which means you still have time to visit. They should be in full bloom within 2-3 days.
Attend one of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival’s Tree Talks and Walks to learn more about cherry trees.
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.