P80324KI would say that this is our own private Cherry Blossom Festival, but it really gets a crowd. These two old trees are at the edge of the main roadway through town, so several people driving by stop to take pictures. They may not seem to be very impressive compared to healthier flowering cherry trees, but they are what we have, and we are happy to get the bloom.

Decades ago, fruiting cherries were some of the more common orchard trees in the Santa Clara Valley. Flowering cherries were only somewhat popular in home gardens, and might have been less popular without the Japanese influence. They are more popular in cooler climates, not only because they are happier in cooler climates, but also because those who live where winters are harsh have a better appreciation for bloom that so happily celebrates the end of winter.

These particular trees are unfortunately deteriorating. They are quite old, and the trunks and main limbs rot and die back a bit more each year. No one wants to cut them down because they are such a familiar landmark this time of year. Few people can remember when the trees were not there.

We are grateful for the bloom this year because the weather could have easily ruined it. It was so warm earlier in winter that bloom could have very easily been accelerated, and happened just as frosty or rainy weather resumed. The trees seemed to know what time of year it was, and waited for the right time. It did happen to rain just prior to when these pictures were taken, but the blossoms had just opened, so were resilient to the rain. Weather should be milder for the next few days, until these trees are finished with their bloom.P80324K+

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24 thoughts on “Cherry Blossom Festival

    1. I would not think that they do well there because the trunks and bark are so sensitive to scald. If the trees get pruned enough to expose the trunk of street trees they get roasted over summer, and it does not get very hot here.

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      1. They do!!

        “The Festival was initiated by a gift of 1,000 cherry trees that were given to Seattle on May 8, 1976, by Japan’s former Prime Minister, Takeo Miki, in commemoration of America’s bicentennial and the long friendship between the people of Japan and Washington state.”

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    1. They really are something, but you might prefer a fruiting cherry instead. They are not as variable, but they produce fruit (of course). As much as I love flowering cherries in public gardens, I would not waste space on one in my own home. I would much rather plants a fruit tree.

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    1. Ha! That is funny because at work, we were just talking about how we need to cut down more trees. Our forested landscape is just too crowded. I do not know how the flowering cherries bloom as well as they do. We do not cut down the mature native redwoods, so as they mature and widen, there is less space for exotics. It will not happen during my lifetime, but eventually, the forest will recover from harvesting, and there will not be room for much of any other tree in between the redwoods.

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    1. Even though cherries were once the second or third most common orchard crop here decades ago, our cherry festival is really a Cherry Blossom Festival because of all the Japanese people who were here back then. A cherry festival in South Africa would make sense, but I would not expect a Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival there

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    1. You know, in a way, I sort of dislike the fruitless fruit trees, and would prefer fruiting cherries. However, the flowering cherries, as well as the (rare) flowering apricot and (later) the flowering crabapple, are SO pretty. The fruit trees are not as ‘relaxed’ as their fruitless counterparts. Flowering cherries really are elegant in an urban area. They happen to remind me of the Japantown district of San Jose. There were just two flowering apricots in the Municipal Rose Garden that I will never forget! They are so elegant, and make San Jose feel more like a world class city like London.

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  1. Back in another life there was a tree lined avenue, near my home, and the trees were nearly all flowering cherries. I regularly walked this avenue as I worked nearby and, at the right time of year it was like walking with my head in a pink mist – they were of the the weeping variety and some years the local council had not pruned. Awesome.

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    1. Although we did not have such trees out in the suburbs, most of the neighborhood was apricot orchards. The evenly spaced rows of apricot trees were like formal street trees. As you know, they were exquisite!

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