Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival launches ‘Birthday Blossoms’

I just bought my Birthday Blossoms Tree in support of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.  If you live in Vancouver or have visited in spring, you may have noticed the masses of pink blooms and sweet fragrance of the thousands of ornamental cherry trees that were gifted to the city by Japan in the 1930s.  I have always loved this sure sign of Spring and so I was excited to learn that from now until early next year, Vancouverites can get their very own ornamental cherry tree with proceeds supporting an initiative to preserve the 36,000 cherry trees that help make our city unique and beautiful.

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival and the David and Dorothy Lam Foundation are organizing this opportunity as part of Vancouver’s 125th birthday celebration on April 6, 2011.  You can start by reserving your tree now for only $30, but be hasty as there is a limited supply of 3,000 available for the ‘Birthday Blossoms’ program.  Once you reserve your tree it will be available for pick up from GardenWorks next April 2011.  To order your tree go to the VCBF Website where you will find there are 3 types of Ornamental Cherry trees available:

Prunus x yedoensis ‘Akebono’
The daybreak cherry is a medium sized tree with an upright spreading crown that flowers in March or April, usually following the purple-leafed plums. The shell pink to white flowers are produced abundantly. ‘Akebono’ is noted for its essentially rainproof flowers and freedom from disease. Autumn colour is pumpkin orange.


Prunus Sato Zakura Group ‘Kanzan’
‘Kanzan’ is a fast growing cherry with a large, upright spreading crown. The huge, double pink flowers are produced in incredible profusion in late April or May. The leaves emerge bronze green at the same time as the flower buds open. One of the Sato Zakura (village cherries) in cultivation in Japan since the 17th century. Autumn colour is yellow to orange.


Prunus pendula ‘Yae-beni-shidare’
‘Yae-beni-shidare’ is a double-flowered form of the Japanese Ito-zakura (thread cherry), with flowers in March or April that resemble, as they open, tiny, pendulous pink roses. The habit of this tree is more umbrella-like than many other weeping cultivars and is easily recognized by the long lasting, soft pink, inflated blooms and small stature. Also known as Prunus x subhirtella ‘Pleno-rosea’. Autumn colour is yellow, orange and red.

Linda Poole, the Festival’s Director, says: “The festival is aware of the life cycle of many of the cherry trees gifted by Japan in the early 1930s and feels it is our responsibility to plant now for the next generation. This year our new ‘Birthday Blossoms’ initiative is a gift that doesn’t stop giving, because every spring we are showered with the soft pink beauty of cherry blossom petals.  People are helping the environment too by planting a cherry tree.  This event promotes both beauty and sustainability”.

In addition to ‘Birthday Blossoms’, there are a number of ways to celebrate. The 2010 Haiku Invitationalencourages both budding and seasoned poets to honour our awe-inspiring cherry trees by writing a haiku on the theme of cherry blossoms. Call for entries is now open today, with the deadline being 31st May, 2010. Winners will be announced in Fall and the top five poems will be featured on TransLink transportation throughout Metro Vancouver (for more information, please visit www.vcbf.ca/haiku/haiku-invitational-2010).

The grand finale is Bike the Blossomson April 17th, which celebrates its third year of providing a breathtaking tour of Vancouver by bike from Vanier Park to Commercial Drive, allowing cyclists to experience all of city’s unique areas; cultural, seasonal and urban. The length of the route will also be a celebration of the city and culture with music, performers and light refreshments. Register with the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition at www.greatrides.ca

About the Author : Stephanie RoseAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Stevie
    StevieMarch 26,10

    Wonderful, Ron!

    Emily, I got the late blooming one with the big pink double blooms: Prunus Sato Zakura Group ‘Kanzan’.

  2. Stevie
    StevieMarch 26,10

    Sad news – the weeping cherry, Prunus pendula ‘Yae-beni-shidare’, is sold out. Booo.

  3. melanie watts
    melanie wattsMarch 26,10

    It is wonderful that Vancouverites can continue the tradition of a pink spring. I remember riding my bicycle along Vancouver’s boulevards, and thinking what a beautiful celebration the appearance of the cherry blossoms are, after the grey, dull winter.

  4. Tonya
    TonyaMarch 27,10

    wonderful blossoms! I love living in Vancouver for this and so many other reasons.

  5. Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings
    Dee @ Red Dirt RamblingsMarch 27,10

    Lovely Stevie, all those fab blooms. I only have one cherry tree because cherries don’t do well in our heat. I hope, someday, to visit Vancouver. I hope.

  6. Kathy
    KathyMarch 27,10

    Beautiful blossoms. Those are a steal at that price. Too bad cherry trees won’t grow in the desert! We do have beautiful flowering pear, peach, plum, and citrus of course along with our desert trees which are blooming now. Spring is beautiful no matter where you live, right?

  7. Dan
    DanMarch 27,10

    ooooooo, I’d pick the Kanzan one too :-) Nothing better then cherry blooms in the spring. Cherries don’t bloom here until mid April. There are fields and fields of them in the Niagara area, I hope to time a visit this year.

  8. Alexandra
    AlexandraMarch 28,10

    I’d like to be in Vancouver.
    Your pictures are nice, thanks.

  9. Dan
    DanMarch 28,10

    ….forgot to mention: Pea brush is just branch cuttings stuck in the earth as a trellis. Here is a link to my pea brush last year: http://veggiegardenblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/pea-brush-post.html

  10. Sarah Mackie
    Sarah MackieMarch 29,10

    I just bought the same one – thanks for the link!

  11. Stevie
    StevieApril 6,10

    Well, I couldn’t resist, I bought the Akebono too now. I really am going to need to move to a larger lot soon.

  12. Vancouver  flowers
    Vancouver  flowersApril 12,10

    Thanks for sharing wonderful moment…….
    This festival must be essential beacuse they aware the life cycle for the new genration……..
    The cheery tree are also too helping the environment of our life……

    • Stevie
      StevieApril 14,10

      Lovely thoughts, thank you so much for sharing them.

  13. Vancouver Canada flowers
    Vancouver Canada flowersApril 23,10

    hey,I just want to say that pics of flowers shown are simply awesome awesome and awesome. I love the pink color and flowers in pink are looking just mind-blowing. and blossom names are also very cute. Thanks for showing me these pics!!!

  14. Rebecca
    RebeccaJuly 16,10

    The idea is wonderful. Thanks so much for supporting us in celebrating Vancouver’s 125th birthday. They seem to be really popular for schools too. Vancouver is going to look even more beautiful next year. I bought a tree for my step mother for Mother’s Day!

  15. Marina
    MarinaOctober 18,10

    Akebono…. so cool color! Whan’t this flowrs to my birthday!!!! =)))

  16. Stevie
    StevieApril 2,11

    picked up my trees today – now where to put them?!

  17. meemsnyc
    meemsnycApril 5,11

    Cherry blossoms are one of my favorites! I love going to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden where they have a cherry blossom festival every spring. The smell is intoxicating! Growing up, we had a tree in our front yard, and I used to say it was raining pink when the wind blew. Enjoy your tree!

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