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Yesterday’s news – ‘Kanzan’ and ‘Pink Perfection’

April 16, 2024. Pink ‘Kanzan‘ blossoms are still running the show. These are so widely planted here because they are generally healthy trees, relative to some of the other cultivars, and are able to withstand extremes of weather and a certain amount of truck pruning. These can be large trees, very often forming a canopy over the street when planted on both sides. They open bright pink, but gradually fade to a very pale colour.

Kanzan_ BrookswoodPark_maylin_20240413_IMG_5934
Kanzan_ BrookswoodPark_maylin_20240413_IMG_5934

Not in competition at all, but with similar-looking flowers, are ‘Pink Perfection‘ trees. These much more delicate trees will never form a canopy over a street. So far, they have not been particularly hardy here, but UBC Botanical Garden has propagated some on their own roots (not grafted, as all previously seen ones here were), to see if they will be more healthy. When these first open, they create a raspberry swirl ice-cream effect with their red buds, dark pink outer petals, and lighter inner petals.

20240406_PinkPerf_TisdallW45_Eng_0151
20240406_PinkPerf_TisdallW45_Eng_0151
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Yesterday’s news – ‘Kanzan’

April 11, 2024. You might have noticed – ‘Kanzan‘ blossoms are starting to appear. The City of Vancouver Street Trees Portal shows 10,000 of them planted as street trees, many of them lining whole blocks on both sides of the street. Since they’re also planted in parks and are popular in private yards, it gets pretty pink around here.

20240409-Beatty Mews - Kanzan 7 - Yaletowner
20240409-Beatty Mews – Kanzan 7 – Yaletowner

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Yesterday’s news – ‘Shirotae’ and ‘Ukon’

April 7, 2024. Still everything is blooming at once, still mid-season and late-season trees. Moving on to double flowers now, having more than five petals. Here is a comparison of fragrant white ‘Shirotae‘ blossoms, usually opening in the mid-season …

Shirotae_ 56AveEastleighCre_maylin_20240405_IMG_5125
Shirotae_ 56AveEastleighCre_maylin_20240405_IMG_5125

… , and ‘Ukon‘, with pale yellow flowers, usually appearing a little later. These often look white, unless there is something white to which to compare them. But as they age, they may take on some up-close colour interest with green and red stripes.

20240404_Ukon_VDAutumnStroll_Eng_0129
20240404_Ukon_VDAutumnStroll_Eng_0129

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Yesterday’s news – single whites

April 6, 2024. Still catching up here, with everything blooming at once – at least mid-season and late-season trees. Here are some single White flowers, all pretty rare in this area, with the top one just added. The ones with “nioi’ or “no-o” in their names are fragrant, a fairly unusual feature of cherry trees.

‘Sendai-shidare’ are easily distinguished from the others here – they are usually short dense pendulous trees with thick very contorted limbs.

20240404_Sendai_BalsamW22_Eng_0105
20240404_Sendai_BalsamW22_Eng_0105

The wizened ‘Jo-nioi’, at the RCMP Headquarters property has sent up a new shoot. Here’s hoping the only other known example in Vancouver does the same. This looks similar to the ‘Washi-no-o’ featured just below, but it blooms later and the flowers are more likely to show the extra half-petals you can see in this photo.

20240404_Jo-nioi_RCMPHeatherW33_Eng_0127
20240404_Jo-nioi_RCMPHeatherW33_Eng_0127

‘Washi-no-o’ are fairly rare, but our Cherry Scouts have found ten locations in the area. The name means “eagle’s tail”, suggestive of the ruffled petal edges.

20240331_Washi-no-o_VDRhodoW_Eng_0057

‘Surugadai-nioi’, only two known so far, one very private tree in Fairview, and its offspring at UBC Botanical Garden.

20240322 UBCBG Surugadai-nioi Willard IMG_8937
20240322 UBCBG Surugadai-nioi Willard IMG_8937

‘Umineko’ are usually older trees than ‘Snow Goose’ but their parents are the same and they look identical. The young ones that come in labelled ‘Snow Goose’ get that name. Note the round overlapping petals that result in fat stars in the centres. Young trees are distinctively narrow and upright. Here are
20240329_Umineko_QEParkDuckPond_Eng_0027
20240325 Snow-Goose_Cedarhurst&MarineDr_Taka7

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Cherry Scouts Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Yesterday’s News – ‘Whitcomb’

March 6, 2024. Even though most of the earliest to bloom ‘Whitcomb’ cherry trees were hard hit by the January freeze, there were some nice-looking blossoms, sparsely distributed on most of the trees. Here is a recent photo from Richmond.

20240304 Hazlebridge Alexandra Whitcomb Willard IMG_7963
20240304 Hazlebridge Alexandra Whitcomb Willard IMG_7963
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Yesterday’s news – ‘Shiro-fugen’

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.

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Shosar

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.
Bright “cerise” pink flowers with red sepals and calyxes, and veins on the petals.

Anne Eng, VCBF Cherry Scout
Photo: Anne Eng.
Photo: Anne Eng.
Photo: Anne Eng.
Photo: Anne Eng.
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Photos

Akebono at Coal Harbour

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
Photo: Lisa L.
Photo: Lisa L.
Photo: Lisa L.
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Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

The Indicator Tree

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.

Photo: Douglas Justice.
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Cherry Scouts Photos

Blooming Now: a visual timeline for cherry blossom viewing in Vancouver

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)

Timeline_2020_Vancouver_Cherry_Blossoms_Tremblay
Timeline of Vancouver Cherry Blossoms blooming date for 2020. Photos by Jessica Tremblay, dates from https://www.vcbf.ca/neighbourhood-maps