The cherry blossom is by far, considered one of the most beautiful trees. It has been cultivated for its aesthetic purposes, and therefore does not produce fruit. The beauty of the cherry blossom tree comes from its vibrant pink flowers, which sprout abundantly throughout the branches. Although, one of the most popular cherry blossom trees that continues to be mentioned often, is the Somei Yoshino. The flowers are white as snow with a hint of pale pink near the stem. These flowers are commonly described as fluffy and full. They sometimes blossom in a cascade of flowers resembling a curtain of lustrous hair that falls from canopy to floor. The cherry blossom is commonly synonymous with Japan, which is where its origin stems. However, many other countries have adopted it and introduced the species to their own lands. These include Brazil, Canada, China, and various countries throughout Europe including the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Japan presented the United States with a gift of 3,020 cherry blossom trees in 1912 as an offering to rejoice in the nations’ new friendship. These trees can now be seen in Sakura Park in Manhattan and along the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C. The West Coast including Los Angeles and the famous Balboa Park in San Diego also showcase their own aisle of cherry blossoms.
Although magnificent when blooming, the cherry blossom is hardly a sight to behold in the off-season when the branches are barren. It is important to witness their splendor in bloom. Depending on where you are located will determine the blooming season of your local trees. But the universal rule is that the milder the climate, the earlier the trees will bloom and blossom. For instance, the trees blossom in mid-March to late April in the United States. In Japan, the Cherry Blossom Trees begin to bloom in the fall or autumn and continue to bloom on-and-off throughout the winter. Blossom forecasts are announced each year by the weather bureau, so that the public can remain aware of peak cherry blossom picking season. Communities throughout the world hold blossom-picking festivals where appreciators join together to relish in the beauty of the flowers. In the United States, there is even an annual “National Cherry Blossom Festival” held in Washington D.C. It has been occurring for 100 years straight now. Because each blossom only lasts a week or two weeks maximum, the scheduling is watched carefully throughout the months surrounding peak seasons. Some places even host nightly parties during the festival, stringing lanterns outdoors at night for enjoyment.
When enjoying a walk through a cherry blossom garden, remember that the tree is a living entity. Picking and removing the cherry blossoms directly from their branches physiologically hurts the trees. It is comparable to pulling the hairs straight out of a human scalp or skin. When the blossoms are picked directly in this manner, they often times do not re-grow in that location for many years, and nobody comes to view bare trees. But this shouldn’t hinder the experience at all, as simply viewing this magnificent trees is plenty enough!