New Hope for Vancouver’s Dying Cherry Trees

Photo credit: Geoffery Kehrig | Flickr

Photo credit: Geoffery Kehrig | Flickr

Vancouver’s cherry trees are dying.

But not to worry – It’s all part of the cycle of life.  On average ornamental cherry trees live around 80 years.  In city conditions, lifespans can average just 25-30 years owing to pollution and other issues, according to a great article in the Vancouver Sun by Jessica Barrett.

Many of Vancouver’s famous cherry trees – 37,000 of which are blooming right now – were originally gifted by the cities of Kobe and  Yokohama, Japan, in the 1930s.  A second wave of planting occurred in the 1950s, when the park board removed many of the larger elms and maples along city streets, whose roots were damaging sidewalks and sewers.

In other words,  Vancouver has a lot of geriatric cherry trees on its hands.   Continue reading:
New Hope for Vancouver’s Dying Cherry Trees

Celebrate Japanese Heritage in Vancouver: Sakura Days fair, April 7-8

Photo credit: Canadian Veggie | Flickr

The word sakura refers to the Japanese cherry blossom.  Every April in Vancouver, nearly 40,000 cherry trees – originally gifts from Japan in the 1930s – burst into full bloom.  To commemorate the occasion, the city comes alive with a host of blossom-themed events, including a unique two-day celebration of Japanese food, culture and crafts under the cherry trees: Sakura Days.

This year, Sakura Days (April 7-8) is set inside the lush VanDusen Botanical Garden,  a 55-acre sanctuary of rolling lawns, woodlands and lakes in the heart of the city.  Amid a sea of cherry blossoms, enjoy sushi from some of the city’s top Japanese chefs.  Sample artisan-made sake while taking in performances of Japanese taiko drumming and koto harp.

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Celebrate Japanese Heritage in Vancouver: Sakura Days fair, April 7-8

Bike the Blossoms with Velopalooza or on Your Own

Bike ride graced by cherry blossom trees. Heading towards University of British Columbia, on a signed bike route. Vancouver, BC. Photo by J. Chong

Bike ride graced by cherry blossom trees. Heading towards University of British Columbia, on a signed bike route. Vancouver, BC. Photo by J. Chong

The Vancouver cherry blossoms have burst forth in full bloom. This year Velapoolza has organized a free guided bike ride on Sat. Apr. 16th.  The meeting place with your bike is at Devonian Park, Georgia and Denman St.  More details are here:  http://www.velopalooza.ca/viewmonth.php?month=04&year=2011#16-266

Or you have the option of self-guided rides in City of Vancouver with several suggested routes where there are glorious flowering trees.  The Bike Blossom ride maps are here. Continue reading:
Bike the Blossoms with Velopalooza or on Your Own

Haiku Contest for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

so many petals

falling in pink profusion

but so little time

That’s my very spontaneous attempt to write a haiku about the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, a collection of celebrations running from March to May in honor of the city’s 37,000 glorious cherry trees that bloom each spring.  Cherry-themed happenings include special guided tree walks, the Cherry Jam concert, film screenings and bike tours of Vancouver’s blossoms.  But one of the most popular and unique  events has to be the annual Haiku Invitational, which invites participants to get poetic about Vancouver’s signature cherry trees.

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Haiku Contest for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival