Mink Chocolates afternoon tea

After attending the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival kick-off concert, I went to Mink Chocolates. During cherry blossoms season, it’s my favourite place to have tea since you have a view of Akebono cherry trees from the window. The trees are full of buds and just about to bloom.

For some reason, I noticed the words Trudeau (the name of our prime minister) written at the bottom of the cup. Click on the pictures to increase the size.

 

Cherry blossom lost in vines at Nelson and Bute

 

This Whitcomb cherry tree at the corner of Nelson and Bute seems to be overtaken by vines.

From the park across the street, you can take nice photos of the blossoms with apartment buildings in the background.

It’s nice to see Whitcomb cherry trees are finally starting to bloom after a pretty harsh winter in Vancouver (lots of snow!)

Whitcomb cherry trees at Nicola and Beach

 

These Whitcomb cherry trees, located in front of a beautiful apartment building at Nicola and Beach, will please photographers. You can snap pictures of the blossoms and capture the nice architectural details on the building.

There are plenty of blossoms at this location. Fallen cherry blossoms are covering the sidewalk.

The building is so beautiful. Across the street, there was a woman capturing the scene in watercolour painting.

There are two more Shirofugen cherry trees (not in bloom) on each side of the main steps. When they bloom, this will be a spectacular photo opportunity!

Prunus Avium

Prunus avium

Prunus Avium are sweet cherry, also called Mazzard Cherry.

Prunus avium recurved petal

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 blossoms

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).

Prunus Avium rootstock overtaken Kanzan cherry tree

Photo credit: Wendy Cutler.

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’.

For more description, see
Prunus Avium – Small singles, green leaves, large round tree, mid to late season

prunusavium_20130423_Tremblay_IMG_1595

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.

Prunus avium blossoms

Avium is not in our book, but you’ll find a photo of Avium ‘Plena’, the double-flower variety, in  Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver.

(Source: information provided by Wendy Cutler).

To find out if there are prunus avium in your neighborhood, check out the VCBF cherry blossom viewing map.

Akebono at Burrard station

Burrard station Akebono Mar 23 2013

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).

Burrard station Akebono Mar 23 2013

The light was just perfect this morning at 9.30am.

Burrard station Akebono Mar 23 2013

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.

Burrard station Akebono Mar 23 2013

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!