Burrard station is ready for Cherry Jam!

Akebono Burrard skytrain station in bloom March 31 2013

Akebono cherry trees at Burrard skytrain station are now in full bloom!It’s going to be gorgeous for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Cherry Jam this Thursday April 4th (11.00am-1.30pm)!

Akebono Burrard skytrain station in bloom March 31 2013

This afternoon, before heading to Burrard station,  I stopped at T&T (near BC Stadium) to pickup some sushi and dumplings.

T&T is offering a special sakura sushi tray in partnership with the VCBF and they also have a sweet bun festival right now with buns in different shapes like a snowman, hedgehog, frog, Snoopy, etc. These are too cute to resist!

After picking up some goodies, I hopped on the skytrain and headed to Burrard to have a picnic under the blossoms.

Akebono Burrard skytrain station in bloom March 31 2013

At the Burrard station, there were lots of people taking pictures, especially of that single tree that always seems to be in the sunlight.

Akebono Burrard skytrain station in bloom March 31 2013

Around 4.30 pm, the reflection of the setting sun (coming from the surrounding buildings) was coloring the blossoms pink at this location that is almost always in the shade.

Akebono Burrard skytrain station in bloom March 31 2013

Photography tip: don’t be afraid to do some closeups.  I just love taking pictures of the sun through the blossoms!

Cherry viewing tip: It’s time to visit! The cherry trees are peaking.  If you work Downtown, bring your lunch and enjoy a picnic under the canopy every day this week before the blossoms fall. Remember this important rule of cherry blossom viewing: Never say “tomorrow!”

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Sakura Illumination Tour

Master Kawazu and Kaeru from Old Pond Comics admire cherry blossoms at night (yozakura)

I’m so glad the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is presenting a new program called Sakura Illumination tour that will feature cherry blossom viewing at night (called yozakura in Japanese).

The Sakura Illumination Tour is a mobile night time installation which will illuminate various cherry blossom sites in public parks and beaches while in full bloom. Stuart Ward of Hfour Design will use projectors and lanterns to illuminate a few trees at a time with his sensory projection artwork. The single night quality reflects the tempo of the blossoms, and their varying bloom times.

The Sakura Illumination Tour will follow the peak bloom of our cherry trees April 4-30, between 8:30pm-10:30pm  and is dependent on the weather. Check out the VCBF website for location and showtime or click the picture below.

Sakura Illumination tour

A walk under cherry blossoms

Enjoy this beautiful walk under cherry blossoms shot March 30, 2013.

Location: behind the Madison Centre  (Save-On-Foods) on Rosser Avenue, intersection of Buchanan street, in Burnaby. Two double rows of Akebono cherry trees are in bloom, a short five minute walk from Brentwood skytrain station.  Visit before noon to get the best light. The video was filmed at 11.45am.

Pendula cherry tree (Burnaby North)

Pendula cherry tree Yeovil street (corner of Karen) Burnaby North March 29 2013

The Pendula cherry tree is one of the easiest tree to identify thanks to its weeping branches in the shape of a pendula. This Pendula tree is located at Yeovil street (corner of Karen) in Burnaby North and was visible from Halifax street.

Pendula cherry tree Yeovil street (corner of Karen) Burnaby North March 29 2013

The drooping blossoms are characteristics of the Pendula cherry blossoms.

Pendula cherry tree Yeovil street (corner of Karen) Burnaby North March 29 2013

There are so many blossoms on that Pendula tree! It’s absolutely amazing!

Cherry viewing tip: the tree is at its peak. You should visit soon!

Pendula cherry tree Yeovil street (corner of Karen) Burnaby North March 29 2013

Other location: if you don’t live in Burnaby and would like to see a Pendula tree: the VanDusen Garden has several beautiful Pendula cherry trees, including one of the  Snow Fountain (white) variety. You can visit them this week-end during Sakura Days Japan Fair (April 6-7 2013)

Did you know? There are over 40 different cultivars of cherry trees in Vancouver. This spring, make sure to visit a specie of cherry tree you’ve never seen before. Check out the VCBF map to find their location and buy the Ornamental cherries in Vancouver guide by Douglas Justice which has been an indispensable tool to help me identify cherry blossoms for this blog.

Accolade on Halifax (corner Moore)

Accolade cherry tree on Halifax street (corner of Moore street) in Burnaby North,  March29 2013

I hope you’ll have time to enjoy some cherry blossom viewing during the Easter week-end. The weather is just perfect!

Accolade cherry tree on Halifax street (corner of Moore street) in Burnaby North,  March29 2013

These three Accolade cherry trees on Halifax street (corner Moore) in Burnaby North are now at their peak.

Accolade cherry tree on Halifax street (corner of Moore street) in Burnaby North,  March29 2013

With the sun out, it’s the perfect time to take nice pictures at this location.

Accolade cherry tree on Halifax street (corner of Moore street) in Burnaby North,  March29 2013

Photography tip: set your camera on macro and get as close as you can to the blossoms. You might  even catch a glimpse at a bee pollinating the cherry blossom! There were several bees hovering around the flowers this afternoon.

Cherry viewing tip: the Accolade cherry blossoms are at their peak.  Hurry up!

Cherry versus Plum Blossoms: What’s the Difference?

In Vancouver, it’s that time of the year when plum blossoms and cherry blossoms are blooming at the same time.  How can you tell the difference between cherry and plum blossoms? Here are a few pointers:

Cherry tree

Cherry blossom

Cherry blossoms have a small split at the end of each petals.

Bark on the trunk of a cherry tree

The bark of the cherry tree often have small horizontal lines on it.

Akebono cherry bud at Burrard skytrain station.

More than one cherry will come out of a cherry bud.

Cherry blossoms with green leaves

The leaves of cherry trees are green and unfolding.

Plum blossoms

Plum blossom

Plum blossoms don’t have any split at the end of the petals.

Plum blossom

There is only one plum blossom coming out of the bud.

plumbuds-by-JT-IMG_3321

Plum blossoms have small purple leaves that are unrolling.

(Although some varieties of white plum blossoms will have small green leaves).

Plum blossoms

Plum blossoms have a very fragrant smell (they smell “flowery”).

Bark on plum tree

The bark on a plum tree is darker and does not have distinctive horizontal line on it.

Think you got it? Take the test!

Cherry or plum blossoms?

Whiteplum20090412byJT

Answer: plum.

(No split at the end of the petals).

YoshinoHandfromMikebyMY

Answer: cherry.

Split at the end of the petals.

plumblossomIMG_3386byJT

Answer: plum.

Red leaves and no split at the end of the petals.

Akebono cherry blossom at Burrard skytrain station.

Answer: cherry.

Horizontal lines on the bark.

Want to learn more? Become a cherry scout.

Akebono Cherry Buds

Akebono cherry bud at Burrard skytrain station

March 8, 2013

Can you guess how many blossoms came out of that cherry bud?

Akebono cherry bud at Burrard skytrain station.

March 22, 2013

There were actually three Akebono cherry blossoms hidden inside that bud!

I’m not even sure what all the parts of a cherry blossom are called. I’ve registered to the cherry scout program to learn more about these beautiful trees. There will be a free workshop called Blossom Biology on April 11, 2013 offered by Douglas Justice.

Tree Talk (not a Walk) in the evening: Blossom Biology Workshop

  • April 11, 2013, Thursday, 7:30pm to 9pm
  • Classroom at VanDusen Botanical Garden, in the new building, end of hallway to the left
  • Presented by Douglas Justice, Associate Director and Curator of Collections, UBC Botanical Garden & Centre for Plant Research

Douglas brings the cherries to you! Learn how to identify our cherry cultivars. Registration is requested for this workshop, as seating is limited.

Register now.