Prunus Avium are sweet cherry, also called Mazzard Cherry.
Prunus avium are easily recognizable by the recurved sepals (which means the leafy part that would usually cover the back of the flowers, like a star shape, is sticking up instead).
Prunus Avium can be pretty, but we don’t consider them ornamental. They’re the European tree that’s used as the rootstock for a lot of our ornamental cherries, and cultivars of which provide the cherries we eat (like the “Bing” cherries).
Usually they come out at ‘Kanzan’ time, so you can see lots of trees that are half pink, half white, where the vigorous white avium rootstock trunk is starting to take over the ‘Kanzan’ on top. The two-tone trees are mid-takeover.
You’ll also see a street of pink ‘Kanzan’ with one white avium tree. That avium probably started life as a ‘Kanzan’.
Prunus Avium can be even more beautiful than ‘Akebono’ because generally they’re not grafted (well, in orchards, they’re grafted, as there are all those different eating cherry cultivars).
There are lots of other things to confuse them with – Sargentii hybrids (not in our book), O-yama-zakura (in our book as Sargentii), ‘Somei-yoshino’, but those trees usually bloom earlier than avium trees.
Some people may confuse them with ‘Tai Haku’, but that cultivar’s flowers are much larger. More likely, you will confuse them with pears and crab apples. Look at the bark, and look at the back of the blossoms.
This Akebono cherry tree located outside Burrard sky train station (facing Robson street) is starting to bloom.
It’s a great location to take pictures of budding blossoms but it’s essential that you go in the morning to catch the morning sun (otherwise the tree will be shaded by nearby buildings).
The light was just perfect this morning at 9.30am.
The cherry tree is mostly buds at the moment, but if you have a good zoom on your camera you can do closeups of fully formed blossoms.
These budding cherry blossoms will delight visitors in a few days!
Photography tips: great location to catch budding Akebono cherry blossoms. A few blossoms are also open. It’s essential to visit in the morning before the tree get shaded by neighboring buildings. (These pictures were taken at 9.30am).
Cherry blossom viewing tip: wait 5-7 days to visit this location (the blossoms will be fully formed then).
Did you know? This Akebono cherry tree was planted by VCBF Director Linda Poole in March 2006. Look how tall it has grown since!
The rumors are true. There’s an Accolade cherry tree blossoming in January! The tree is located on Richards street (corner Robson) right across from the Starbucks. Here are pictures I took this morning.
Are these big news – these ‘Accolade’ blossoms on Richards south of Robson? Apparently they are – CBC radio called Douglas Justice downtown to interview him about them. The interview should be on The Early Edition on Monday, January 21, some time between 5am and 9am. Photo taken on Richards street south of Robson, across from Starbucks.