Sakura Watch, April 24, 2017 peak bloom has begun but there’s more to come

Sakura Watch, April 24, 2017 peak bloom has begun but there’s more to come as each area of the park have trees in varied stages of bloom. The best news for many is that even if you miss the blossoms opening now, there are still more to enjoy this following weekend!

What is in peak bloom

As of today, the trees near the sports fields and the largest grove of trees on the Hillside Trail / Cherry Hill are well in 70% to 100% in bloom on most trees. Some trees in these areas still have a number of unopened flowers. However the majority of sakura cherry blossoms are open in these two areas for all to enjoy.

Following the roadway through the park will show a few of the single or pair of sakura trees scattered amongst the woods are also in peak bloom.

What is still to come

In a year with a few surprises already, another one shows a much greater difference in bloom times as compared to other trees. Most notable, the trees near the Adventure Playground are 100% closed! Usually this grove of trees would only be 1-2 days behind the others, but this year they could be up to a week behind!

Other trees to note that are less then 50% blossoms right now are the group of trees along the shore of Grenadier Pond and near the lookout dock. Further down the path another grove of trees going up the hill are a mixed bunch of open and closed cherry blossoms.

Its all up to the weather

Once again the weather is the sole responsible factor in determining when the blooms occur and for how long they will last.

Tuesday calls for light rain is forecast which shouldn’t be much problems for the existing blossoms in bloom. The closed ones will have not trouble fending off the rains until it gets to a warmer weekend. Thursday is currently forecast as a more significant rain fall which may be responsible for knocking off many of the currently open cherry blossoms.

When should I go and what will I see

Here is a breakdown of my predictions for the coming 2 weeks:

Monday to Wednesday (April 24-26) will be best time to take in the largest grove along the big, winding hill known as Hillside Trail or Cherry Hill. The sakura trees near the sportsfields always serve as a welcome opening act to the main show at Cherry Hill, and there a plenty to enjoy as these trees still are among the fullest when they bloom.

Thursday to Friday (April 27-28) will be the days we all keep our fingers crossed to see what the weather holds. Will heavy rains and strong winds blow knock off the cherry blossoms already open? Or if the forecast changes for the better and temperatures warm up will the bloom fill out even more? We’ll have to wait and see.

Saturday and Sunday and into the first week of May (April 29 to May 5) will the time for the slow pokes to shine! Look for ideal sakura cherry blossoms to open near the Adventure Playground and along the Grenadier Pond edge and lookout dock.

Should I wait or should I go

Always being asked this questions makes it even harder to answer this year. With each group of trees seemingly running on their own schedules there’s sure to be a group that will match yours (always look on the bright side). But keep following my updates and I’ll be back to look after the rains and before the weekend.

Walk, Bike or TTC to avoid parking pandemonium

Parking is limited in High Park and really, not meant for alot of cars to travel to. TTC is very easy to access the park as I mention on my map page. Unless your going very early in the morning, leave the car at home or you’ll be stuck like this:

Sakura Watch, April 24, 2017 peak bloom has begun but theres more to come

Traffic in High Park on a Monday evening – walk, bike or TTC to avoid all this.

To everyone who visits please DO NOT climb the trees, shake the limbs or branches and break off any flowers for souvenirs. And most of all just keep off the bloomin’ trees!

Sakura Watch, April 24, 2017 peak bloom has begun but theres more to come

Sakura Watch, April 21, 2017 see slow progress with the cherry blossoms

Sakura Watch, April 21, 2017 see slow progress with the cherry blossoms as the cool, overcast weather has once again slowed progress. All of the trees in the park are showing clear signs they are days away from opening. All we need are a few sunny, warm days to help them along.

Test in patience

Like so many other cherry blossom loving Torontonians, the wait can seem long and daunting. Mixed with the unpredictability of the weather and you get a recipe for frustration and false hopes. But fear not sakura faithful, the days of pink and white flowers filling the trees in High Park are near. All we need is just a little patience.

Weather art thou cherry blossoms

So more cool cloudy days had come our way instead of the sun forecast. Fingers crossed the rest of the weekend sticks to the plan of sunny days and warmer temperatures to help the florets open up. Looking at the photos in the gallery, you can see all the dark pink florets are extended and are ready to open in a 1-3 days. The brighter the pink tip, the closer they are to turning white and blooming.

The florets with the white petals in the shape of a ball are just a day away from opening. These blossoms are in the final stage and simply waiting for the right conditions to bloom. If the weather forecast for Sunday stays true, then that would be an ideal day to see many more blossoms opening up.

Stay tuned for more updates coming soon! Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a great weekend!

Sakura Watch, April 19, 2017 is the first day the sakura cherry blossoms begin to bloom!

Sakura Watch, April 19, 2017 is the first day the sakura cherry blossoms begin to bloom as spots of white flowers dot the tree line for the first time! Walking through High Park tonight saw only very few blossoms opened, but the majority of the florets are getting ready to bloom soon.

Today can be said to be the first official day of the sakura cherry blossom watching season. Read on to see what can be expected over the next week.

Weather or not, they will bloom

As mentioned before, weather is always the driver of how soon, how late and for how long we all can enjoy the cherry blossoms. See the forecast below from the Weather Network (live app is always on right side of the page)

Sakura Watch, April 19, 2017 is the first day the sakura cherry blossoms begin to bloom!

Source: theWeatherNetwork.com forecast for High Park from April 20-26, 2017

With rain and even thunderstorms being called for on Thursday, there is a chance that could damage some of the florets that are already open to close to opening. Many of the florets seen were still showing dark pink with white tips which mean the petals would still be pretty well protected. Good news is that weather is only happening tomorrow before the majority of blossoms begin to bloom.

A warmer start to the weekend on Friday will bring sun and decent double digit temperatures. Warmer air and sunshine will encourage the flowers to open up to the nicer weather and will continue through to Sunday. Current prediction is the sakura cherry blossoms will surpass 60% bloom from Friday April 21 through to Sunday April 26th.

Going into Monday to Wednesday, that should be the later half of the peak bloom. If the weather remains calm and warm then there is potential for the bloom to extend through to next weekend of April 28-30th. However be prepared to see less of a full showing by then as the petals will begin to fall.

When is the best time to go?

Of course the big question everyone wants to know is when do I go the park? You’ll experience the magic once at least 90% of the florets transformed into delicate, pink and white petal led flowers in what’s knows as the peak bloom. This weekend is best to go before the forecast windy Tuesday could start blowing off the blossom flower petals.

Where is the best place to see them?

People often forget there are 3 main areas in the park to see sakura cherry blossoms. Plus there are a number of smaller clusters of 1-3 trees scattered around the park. See my Google Sakura Map here for directions and best spots in High Park to visit.

How long will the cherry blossoms last?

Now its up to mother nature AND the visitors to help dictate how long we can enjoy them. Weather we can’t control, BUT bad, irresponsible behaviour we can. Since starting this website in 2012, I’ve documented a lot of damage and dead trees due to people acting stupid and disrespectful. I’ll be writing a special series about this soon, but for now please tell your friends and family to do their best to help ALL of us have a chance to enjoy the bloom this year.

To everyone who visits please DO NOT climb the trees, shake the limbs or branches and break off any flowers for souvenirs. And most of all just keep off the bloomin’ trees!

Sakura Watch, April 19, 2017 is the first day the sakura cherry blossoms begin to bloom!

Please respect the Sakura // Cherry Blossoms.

Watch for more updates to come this weekend and possibly even attempting live video from our Facebook and Instagram pages – stay tuned!

 

Sakura Watch, April 17, 2017 surprise! Cherry blossoms bloom begins this weekend

Sakura Watch, April 17, 2017 surprise! Cherry blossoms bloom begins this weekend as we see most of the buds florets emerging from the sakura buds! Call it an Easter miracle, a sign of climate change or an answer to wishes of thousands of eager Toronto blossom fans, the bloom date has yet moved up again to see a bloom start as early as later this week!

Accelerated development

Normally as past predictions and observations have shown, moving from stages 3 & 4 into stage 5 and finally bloom usually require 16-21 days. This is the window of opportunity for the weather to co-operate with stable spring temperatures and key blends of rain and sunshine. Last year extreme weather stalled the trees for so long they went to leaf. This year it seems the opposite bouts of above seasonal temperatures have turned the tables again.

Near summer like weather this past weekend as accelerated the pace of bud development to the point where all the trees are now in a clear stage 5 of development! This stage timeframe usually dictates a full bloom could occur within 6-10 days.

What will bloom first? Where should I look?

My walk this evening saw a few trees with sure signs of being ready to begin showing at least a few cherry blossoms, possibly as early as Wednesday or Thursday of this week (April 19 & 20 respectively). As is still the case, the trees located near the sports fields near the High Park Ave and Bloor Street entrance will be among the first to show signs of blooms.

The real first bloom could be as soon as tomorrow on the one large lone sakura tree resting on the hill (see photos in gallery) shows a hand full of florets fully extended, white petals in a ball just waiting to open up! I plan to be check on Wednesday to see the progress and repot back.

Mother Nature keeps us guessing

The past few years have made it more and more challenging to get an accurate prediction date. Its become obvious this year that I will be looking closer at all the signal and signs of development and create new prediction models. Expecting the unexpected is now the new normal. Unpredictability has been exasperated with the constant fluctuations in temperatures and climate that the old schedules nolonger can accurately predict blooms.

It seems only continued on sight observation, as I’ve been doing, will be the only sure way to track how fast or slow the development of the sakura cherry blossoms will be. Watch for more updates in the next couple days.

 

Sakura Watch, April 14, 2017 see cherry blossom bloom dates get closer

Sakura Watch, April 14, 2017 see cherry blossom bloom dates get closer as significant sakura bud development have ramped up to stage 3 and even stage 4 throughout the park. Look at the photos taken Thursday afternoon and we can verify the bloom dates will start even sooner then earlier estimated!

Buds in Stage 3

The vast majority of sakura cherry blossom buds seen as well into the stage 3 of development. You can see round, swollen buds with florets beginning to emerge out from the tips. Also notice the dark pink colours on the sides and tips of the buds which are also healthy signs or progress. According to past year observations, once at this stage the blooms will be approximately 16-21 days away from full bloom. This timeline brings us right into the end of April 28 to early May 6 week for a potential full bloom!

Buds in Stage 4

Most surprising was to see that nearly 10-15% of the buds were already moving into stage 4 of development! Incredibly the sakura cherry blossom buds in this stage had florets partially extended and a few fully extended. Each floret was clearly visible with the telltale sign of deep pink/purple colour which will eventually open up to be blossoms! Most exciting is that buds in this stage usually begin to open up within 6-10 days. This means there is a possible chance that at least a very small percentage of blossoms may begin opening up by next weekend between April 21-23!

More frequent updates to come

So with this amazing Easter weekend surprise, I will be sharing more frequent updates over the next couple weeks. As always is the big factor, the weather still plays a big part in either moving the dates either earlier or later. Keep following this website and our social media pages to know when the best time will be to see and visit. Hope everyone has a safe and Happy Easter long weekend!

Sakura Watch, April 8, 2017 show signs of bud progress

Sakura Watch, April 8, 2017 show signs of bud progress as nearly all the sakura cherry blossom trees seen in High Park have entered the second stage of development. Tell tale signs of green tops, bulbous round shapes and bronze coloured layered bases are clear indicators these buds are healthy and continue to grow.

Warmer weather ahead

Yesterday we saw another blast of winter hit us with some snow and cold air temperatures. However when I got to the park the sun had melted any trace of winter. In addition to that is a forecast of warmer weather over the next few weeks which will only help even more. All the sakura cherry blossom trees have had plenty of precipitation to drink from the past couple weeks. So now a we’re looking forward to more sunny, warmer days to help the buds along.

Buds continued development

We’ve seen good progress from the sakura blossom buds over the past week and expect to see even more by the coming Easter weekend. Could we possibly see a jump to the third development stage? Will there be any holiday surprises in store? My next visit will be key in determining the bloom timeline. The continued estimate is still early May for now.

Check back for more updates next week!

 

Sakura Watch, April 1, 2017 blossom buds begin the next stage

Sakura Watch, April 1, 2017 blossom buds begin the next stage of development. Green tips are more obvious across many blossom buds and demonstrate the progress is slowly moving along.

Tips and Weather

Weather continues to be a key factor in how the buds transform into the beloved sakura cherry blossoms. Due to this yo-yo mix of warm and cold weather, it continues to keep things moving along slowly. One bright side is that the temperatures continue to stay above freezing which helps to prevent any bud damage.

Close up photos of the buds confirm the beginning of the next stage when we see bright green tips with a hint of deep pink. Also worth noting is that the cherry blossom bud shapes appear full and round which is what we would like to see. These are both great indicators that the buds are healthy.

Blossom buds comparison to previous years

Remember in 2016 around this time we saw many buds that were thin and oval shaped including some that were already going to leaves. In comparison, buds in 2015 were further behind and only starting the first stage. So with the start of the next stage, this all signals more clues that 2017 is looking like it will be a ‘normal’ year with the blooms occurring in the first weeks of May.

The next couple of weeks will be tell tale in determining exactly when to expect the cherry blossom bloom. Watch for more updates to come!

 

Sakura Watch, March 26, 2017 see little change in buds

Sakura Watch, March 26, 2017 see little change in buds throughout High Park. Though the buds do look healthy with a full round shape, they are still slowly developing. Best estimates would be they are still in the first stage and getting close to move into the second stage.

Waiting on the Weather

It looks like mother nature is figuring out when to turn up the heat. As cooler temperatures go up and down these past few weeks, there has not been enough consistent numbers to help stabilize the development. One big positive is the winter overall has been more mild then last year. The rain in recent days is also a boon to the trees as the thirsty sakura cherry blossoms drink up the water to help the buds grow fuller.

On Track with Hokkaido

As of this week the trees continue to develop into the normal time of development of late April to early May. Interestingly, Toronto is one of the most northern climates where Japanese cherry blossoms can actually bloom. In Japan, the Hokkaido island have the most northern locations where cherry blossoms bloom in Hakodate, Sapporo and Muroran. So when things go right, Toronto sakura should be in full bloom near or at the same time as they do in Northern Japan. Currently, these locations are show full bloom to be estimated between May 3-May 10.

Toronto weather over the month of April will dictate when we should see our bloom. Stay tuned for more updates so you won’t miss our blossoms!

 

Sakura Watch, March 19, 2017 show buds survived latest snowfall

Sakura Watch, March 19, 2017 show buds survived latest snowfall in Toronto this past week. We were lucky the snow and cold that hit other parts of Southern Ontario mostly passed over us. The buds were still closed and well protected from any freezing temperatures as this weekend visit shows.

Healthy Buds

Have a look at the gallery above to see how the buds are well rounded and seem mostly healthy. A few branches show some shrivelled and under developed buds, as seen in the last two photos. However most of the buds I’ve seen so far are looking good and seem to be on track to move on to the next stages of bud development.

Still to early to predict

This is the second visit to the park and although spring is officially here, winter isn’t over yet. The weather over the coming weeks will play a big roll in how fast the buds will develop. If we get to see warmer temperatures and some occasional rainfall, that could help the progress along. But if we get more freezing cold days and even some snow, that could slow things down. So for now I’ll be keeping watch and update again next weekend. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks a picture of when the bloom will happen this year will become more clear. Check back again soon!

Sakura Watch 2017 Begins!

Sakura Watch 2017 begins this month! After last year’s bust of no flowers, many are hopeful for a much more fulfilling bloom this year. How will 2017 compare to 2016? Let’s begin by examining a few early factors.

The Weather

This year’s winter has been much more forgiving then last. The Weather Network’s Spring Forecast (watch here) notes near normal or above normal temperatures for April and May. This bodes well for the cherry blossom buds as more predictable and stable temperatures should help the trees and buds to properly grow.

March may still be a bit up and down. Extreme cycles with warmer above zero week days followed by freezing sub-zero weekends. The one consolation is the buds are currently protected from the extreme changes because it is early in the development process.

Bud to Bloom Development

There was much disappointment in 2016. A harsh, long winter with severe cold damaged the sakura / cherry blossom trees throughout High Park. Confused buds stayed closed much longer then their normal schedules. The lack of expected warmer weather meant most buds simply skipped producing any flowers at all and went straight to leaves instead.

First visit to High Park in 2017

2017 has so far (fingers crossed!) been a much temperate and forgiving year. A first visit to the park this weekend saw good early signs that some buds are on track. The -13 C winds only allowed me to take a few photos, but its a good starting point. The gallery above show what look like good, healthy blossom buds progress so far. More visits in the coming weeks should help determine when to expect to see a bloom this year.

When will they Sakura Cherry Blossoms bloom in 2017?

With only an initial visit so far, its still too early to estimate. I know MANY of you have already been asking! As it stands today, the initial estimate is to see a normal late April to early May bloom time. Remember this is ONLY A GUESS and a few more visits should help be more accurate so check back on this site or any of our social media sites like facebook, twitter, and instagram to stay up to date on the Sakura Watch.