Sakura Watch April 17, 2018 – The cherry blossom trees have survived the storm – even snow and ice wasn’t enough to deter these buds from getting ready to make their grand entrance into spring 2018! Though walking through High Park you do see small branches or twigs scattered around the snow covered grounds, the overall damage was minimal. Only one tree suffered any significant damage (as seen in the video) where it lost one its larger branches, but all the rest appear to have survived the icy onslaught unscathed.

Watch the latest video update from YouTube:


Buds still look healthy

Even more good news was seeing that the majority of buds have survived – green tips and all! This helps to fuel the hope that a bloom will occur in the weeks ahead. Though this is a positive sign, it does lead into the question of what percentage of blossoms will be seen so late in the season. Previous years have proven that the farther past the usual end of April, early May bloom season it takes the buds to reach maturity, the less amount of blooms will actually occur. This is because some buds may go straight to leaf and bypass creating blossoms altogether.

See the photo gallery of today’s visit:

Looking at these photos, notice how some buds seem to have different shapes. The blossom buds are most likely to be the more round with some showing green tips as positive signs of the second stage. Other which appear more elongated with pointy ends are potentially more likely to be going straight to leaf. The majority of the other buds are somewhere in between and could develop either way, pending how the weather pans out in the weeks ahead.

Warmer weather finally on the way?

Hopefully the warmer weather forecast heading into next weekend will help reduce the stress on the trees and get the buds development stages back on track. I’m sure most of us are ready for spring to finally start!

More visits in the next couple weeks should better set the stage for what to expect and when. Stay tuned for more updated soon!

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 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 – April 24, 2016 – Starting to see some buds turn to leaves is a clear sign that the sakura cherry blossom development cycle has been interrupted by the up and down weather we have had this spring. This had happened before in 2014 where the blossoms had bloomed in the second week of May (similar to this year’s prediction) and the trees overall appeared to be more thinned – blossoms mixed with green leaves – offering a less stunning effect then full on blossoming trees.

Photos shot as part of this gallery show some of the buds beginning to allow their green leaves to emerge. Notice the elongated shape of these buds as they differ from what we would expected to see with a healthy sakura cherry blossom bud that tend to be more round and swollen – like a balloon. Now looking back at 2014 the photos from that year do better show what we can expect this year throughout the park.

The only trend that is a bit of concern is that many of the buds are still looking small and closed which may be signals that they too are going to be changing straight to leaves instead of blossoms as the longer we wait and later into May we go waiting for the buds to open up, the less amount of blooming flowers will be seen. Typical blooming times have in the past been starting around this week – late April and ending in early May. However since I’ve started this website in 2012, it has been becoming more and more apparent that each year as the cold weather has been unpredictable and lasting longer into April, the sakura cherry blossom trees have been suffering a bit more because of it.

Let’s hope that this year we do get to enjoy some blossoms sooner then later, and as of today we still to be on track for peak full bloom to occur between May 5-12th, 2016. Stay tuned for more updates to come!

Sakura Watch, April 18, 2016 – Green tips begin to emerge on the sakura cherry blossom buds after the cold weather has finally given way to sunny days and much warmer weather. The first signs of spring seems to have finally made its way into ‘the 6’ and the forecast calls for continued good weather and warm temperatures for the weeks ahead.

Great progress could be seen today as the buds show distinctive signs of swelling and prominent, healthy green tips – both clear signs that the blossom development is well into stage 2. The next couple weeks will be an exciting time for all Sakura Watchers as the most dramatic changes will begin to occur over the next few stages and continue to push us towards an early May full bloom!

This coming weekend should offer even clearer insight into how fast the progress is moving now that we have mother nature on our side. I’ll be examining the progress a bit more in depth throughout the park on my next visit and hope to offer even more accurate predictions for everyone.

So to all you sakura cherry blossom admirers its time to start getting geared up for the big show as its fast approaching in the weeks ahead! Stay tuned for more updates this weekend.

Sakura Watch, April 9, 2016 – Cherry blossoms await warmer days as they impatiently hope for the wintery weather to finally end – and yet there the warning of even more snowfall to come over the weekend.

The seemingly never ending grip of cold continues to challenge spring to one last bout before the warmer temperatures can finally return for good. Long range weather predictions still showing a much warmer second half of April that will help the sakura cherry blossom development to finally move ahead and take us into a blooming May.

My visit to the park Friday showed there was hardly any change which is not surprising considering all the cold and snow over the past week kept them hiding in the protective buds for a little while longer. Using my iPhone and Camera+ app Macro setting, I was able to shoot these highly detailed close-up of the buds that demonstrate how the buds protect themselves from the cold. Look at the multiple outer layers and their slightly furry covering doing their best to protect the precious blossom petals inside. When those now brown tips begin to turn green, that is when we will be well on our way to the next development stages.

If the higher temperatures make there way this week then we should begin to see some progress in the next Sakura Watch update next weekend. Stay tuned for more updates later this week!


Sakura Watch, April 28, 2015 – florets begin to show in the grove of trees near the sports fields while other buds still lag behind in other sections of the High Park.

Walking through the park today showed just how much the trees near the sports fields and along the road towards Grenadier Cafe have truly moved on to Stage 4 of bud development. To elaborate, Stage 4 is when the buds begin to change into elongated florets – which are what will eventually be the flower petals of the blossoms – and are represented with a deep, pink colour on the tips. These florets will eventually grow deeper in colour as they stretch out of the bud and create the initial cherry blossom to have a bright pink colour before they fully open and fade to white.

The grove of trees along the hill and winding path toward Grenadier Pond are a mixed bunch at the moment with a 50/50 round buds vs buds with florets seen throughout the trees. In fact walking along the path by the pond you can see the trend continue as many of trees are still only smaller round buds. The plus side to this, is that they will tend to bloom a bit later then the other flowers give an extra a day or so of viewing for all of us.

Problems with some sakura trees?

Sakura // Cherry Blossoms in High Park - trees with dried up and shrivelled branches - April 28, 2015 -

Sakura // Cherry Blossoms in High Park – trees with dried up and shrivelled branches – April 28, 2015 –

The most concerning and sad to see sight was upon taking a closer look at some of the trees near the Adventure Playground and High Park Zoo. As seen in the photo here, it seems a handful of the sakura // cherry blossom trees are either showing partial sections of dried up branches with shrivelled buds to a few trees that seem completely dead. I know the collection of smaller trees that were planted a few years ago are all but gone now, with only one survivor – and even that poor sakura is barely holding on. My hope is that this isn’t a sign of this grove of trees falling to disease or vandalism or some other unknown cause.

The trees that do show signs of buds are still very small and mostly closed as compared to the other areas in the park. I’m predicting that this section will once again be a more sparse display of blossoms mixed in with plenty of leaves as was seen last year.

On a happier note, we are now getting closer to seeing the sakura // cherry blossoms bloom – watch for more updates later this week as we head into May and the 2015 bloom!

Sakura Watch, April 25, 2015 – buds swell as weather warms after a week long cold-snap that seemed to have slowed down the sakura bud development with some areas of the park.

The grove of trees by the sports fields are still the farther along and have the largest, most swollen buds at the moment. This area historically has showed the earliest blossoms the last few years and I expect the trend to continue this year again.

The largest grove of trees that are located on the big hill with the winding paved path that leads to Grenadier Pond are in a close second with a majority of buds on the upper half of the hill showing larger, greener and more swelling in their sizes. However the buds closer to the pond and along the path are a bit more behind with less swelling and still showing more of a tear drop shape to them.

The sakura // cherry blossom trees near the High Park Zoo and Adventure Playground are still trailing behind as the furthest behind with the majority of their buds still  in the tear drop shape and showing only green tips as opposed to full round green buds as seen in other parts of the park. This shouldn’t be a worry of course, as this area tends to only be a day or so behind the other trees once they do bloom – and that gives us 1 or 2 more days to enjoy them!

So now that the weather is starting to warm up – again – here’s to hoping that mother nature will offer her sun-kissed best wishes on the trees and help them develop further. Now we are only a few weeks away but I now for many of the sakura // cherry blossom fans out there that this time still seems like an eternity!

Hope everyone enjoys this sunny weekend and watch for more updates early next week!

Sakura Watch, April 21, 2015 – showers swell bigger, rounder sakura buds as a rain soak visit to the park today revealed excellent progress overall! Braving the wild winds and wet weather was worth the effort once I saw how even a few days of decent sun and rain can help the sakura trees to produce larger, rounder and greener buds. I was even treated to a rainbow behind the sakura trees (see the photo above)!

The trees near the sports fields are the farther along and are even looking to be soon moving onto stage 3 in the bud development cycle! These are easily seen as very large, round and bright green with hints of pink and there are plentiful in number which bodes well in seeing a better turn out of blossoms this year.

Walking down the big hill and winding trail also see excellent bud development that are only a little less developed in size and shape as you venture lower towards Grenadier Pond. The sakura // cherry blossom buds in this grove are definitely looking great though so no worries on seeing another positive turn-out of white blossoms in the weeks ahead.

Once again walking through the trees near the High Park Zoo and Adventure Playground show the slowest progress in the park but when the time comes they will definitely be offering a generous sight for all to see.

Tomorrow will be Earth Day (April 22, 2015) and I hope we all take a moment to remember that as much as we share a passion for the cherry blossoms, they are only a fraction of the many more amazing things that mother nature offers to entice our senses and well being. Lets all take a day to be thankful for all she offers and help ensure that it can continue for many more years to come!

Watch for more updates to come later this week!

Sakura Watch, April 17, 2015 – buds swell and show green tips on the majority of the trees near the sports fields, along the big hill and winding path, and even along Grenadier Pond. Sakura // Cherry Blossom trees near the High Park Zoo and Playground area are the furthest behind with most of their buds being smaller in size and still closed.

The smaller group of Akebono & Fegunzo trees that make up the small grove at the bottom of the main hill in the park – the hill with the large maple leaf design garden – are of course the other variety of Sakura that are always late bloomers and those won’t be starting till later in May and into June.

Now of course everyone is more concerned with the better known white ‘Yoshino’ cherry blossoms and when they will bloom! I’m happy to report that the buds continue to look very healthy and plentiful – see photos taken today that show the larger number of buds to be seen on the branches on the trees this year. Many of the buds are also exposing even more green tips and are continue to grow more swollen with a nice copper brown colour and larger, rounder shape.

All these are great signs that the progress of the Sakura // Cherry Blossoms continue on a positive and healthy path with only a few weeks remaining before we begin to see the first blooms for 2015! Watch for more posts, more often beginning early next week – have a great weekend!