Although the 2012 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF) doesn’t officially start until April 5, several eager cherry trees around town are already sporting dark pink buds and frilly, ballerina blooms.
Today is also the first official meeting of the VCBF Cherry Scouts – a buccaneering group of volunteers that go about town armed with cameras, reporting the latest blossom intel. The Cherry Scouts make reports in the UBC Botanical Garden Forum before updating the VCBF Blooming Now page with map.
By the end of the cherry blossom festivities April 28, the Cherry Scouts will have mapped 800 blossoming locations throughout Vancouver. But as of March 17, here are the top five spots for scoping early cherry blossoms.
5 Best Spots to View Early Cherry Blossoms
1) Cornwall Avenue and Vine Street, Kitsilano Beach Park
While the huddle of Yoshino cherry trees at the Yew Street entrance to Kits Beach Park and the Museum of Vancouver will be bursting forth blossoms in no time, Kits Beach Park boasts a gorgeous, lone cherry tree on the beach path at Cornwall and Vine. This striking, ancient-seeming specimen stands solo and boasts full, pastel blooms now. I’ve seen cyclists and walkers stop to take pics.
2) McSpadden Park, Grandview-Woodland
Whitcomb cherry trees (5 petals; initially pink, later fading to white) are budding beautifully at McSpadden Park. While you won’t get large, lush blooms yet, the bright, rosy buds are a vibrant change from winter doldrums.
3) Nicola Street, West End
You can spot pretty pinks in several spots around the West End, with concentrations around Nicola Street all the way down to Beach Avenue. While most of the budding trees are Whitcombs, you’ll also see the occasional Accolade cherry tree (10 petals and pink).
4) Vancouver City Hall, West 12th Avenue and Cambie Street
Accolade cherry trees are relatively rare in Vancouver, but one place you can view a concentration of them is the north entrance to Vancouver City Hall, which also sports a few convenient benches if you want to linger with coffee and a croissant. Typically Accolade blooms appear pinker than the Whitcomb, which fade to white before dropping, and more than double the amount of petals per blossom.
5) Clive Avenue between Spencer & McHardy, Renfrew-Collingwood
Expected to bloom until March 31, this avenue of Whitcombs is really doing its thing now.
Do you know of a great spot to view cherry blossoms now? Help out by commenting below.