Sakura Watch, April 11, 2015 – Sakura buds shine on sunny weekend in Toronto – finally bright and warm weather that finally feels like spring!

For all who take advantage of this fantastic day and take a walk through High Park will begin to see the copper and red toned sakura buds growing a little fuller and even notice some just starting to show green tips. The photos taken this weekend show visual indications that progress is still in the early stages however they are also definite signs of Stage 2 in the blossom development cycle.

Exciting weeks ahead as we continue to watch the progress and hope for the next stages to begin in the later half of April. My original predictions still seem healthy in that we will see the bloom start in early May and peak around Mother’s Day weekend – May 8-12.

As we get closer to the bloom, I will post more frequent udpdates, but for now I hope everyone has a chance to get outside and enjoy the beautiful days ahead and take comfort in knowing spring blossoms are just around the corner!

Sakura Watch, April 2, 2015 – Easter weekend Sakura buds show continued signs of healthy growth and size though we are still a month away from seeing the cherry blossoms.

A few days of much wanted warmer weather and a little rain in High Park has finally melted away all the snow and left only a thin layer of ice skimming Grenadier Pond. There is still time for the trees to develop and the buds are currently still small to medium sized on most trees in the park.

One other positive sign noticed is a good number of new branch off-shoots with robust, copper coloured buds seen growing on many of the Sakura trees this year – this is a great indicator at how well the trees survived this winter and that the potential for seeing larger blooms this year is a strong possibility.

As we head into the long weekend I wish everyone a very Happy Easter and enjoy the chocolate and treats! As April hops alongs, you can look forward to more progress reports on the Sakura // Cherry Blossoms in the weeks ahead.

Sakura Watch, March 20, 2015 – First day of spring and first look at the Sakura buds and the official beginning of the Sakura Watch for 2015!

My initial impression lend to the idea the trees all tend to look healthier with more buds then this same time last year. Though most of the roadside trees have has some significant amount of pruning, the bulk of the cherry blossom trees seem to have survived this past winter and cold weather rather well.

So can we predict when the trees will bloom this year? Well there is definitely going to be at least a month away considering Grenadier Pond itself is still frozen over (see photo above)! Its still too early to accurately predict, though keeping with the usual time frames of last week of April to early May is definitely a safe assumption for now.

Keep following my updates through the website, Facebook and Twitter in the weeks ahead as I will continually visit the park and photograph the progress and help everyone to predict when the best time will be to see the cherry blossom blooms.

Thanks for visiting the site, and watch for new features, galleries and other sakura related info in the near future!


Sakura Watch, May 1, 2014 – More buds begin to swell into the next stage with the greatest amount on the Sakura trees located next to Grenadier Pond. Though is an extremely positive sign of the progress there are still many buds that are lagging behind.

Another interesting observation this year is I’m seeing many more elongated buds instead of the more rounded, swelling buds. When comparing to past year photos there is a noticeable difference in the number of buds that swelled versus elongated buds, with this year showing the normal opposite pattern of the elongated thin buds outnumbering the rounder swollen buds.

Hopefully this is only an unusual side effect of our long, cold winter and not the sign of a lower number of blossoms overall. I’ll be keeping a closer watch on these in the next couple weeks to help all of us better understand how the blossom development will evolve in 2014.

Sakura Watch, April 26, 2014 – Sign of buds developing show we are only a couple weeks away from bloom now. Examining the Sakura // Cherry Blossom trees throughout the park this weekend shows each area are showing growth and development and slightly different rates. Here is a report on the main three areas around the park:

Sakura near the Playground and High Park Zoo

The small collection of trees located between the playground and the High Park Zoo are usually a few days behind in the others in the park in blooming, and this year is no exception. We are seeing some green buds developing on the larger mature trees, though still lots of closed buds still can be seen on the trees here. Sadly, the smaller group of trees near the road seem to no be doing well with only a few actually showing any bud development. The sakura trees in this area are seen in photos 1, 2, and 3.

Sakura along Grenadier Pond and Hillside Gardens

The largest grouping of trees in High Park, which also are the true show-stopper when in their beauty for visitors are all on track to be developing into blooms in the next couple weeks in mid May. Many of these cherry blossom trees are now showing many more greening buds versus the still closed ones which bodes well for the blooms to develop. If you look close at some of them, you can see the deep pink colours beginning to evolve into what will so be the first beautiful petal blooms for this spring. With only weeks away now, lets have a look at few branches in photos 4, 5, 6.

Sakura near the sports fields

The Sakura // Cherry Blossom trees that line the sportsfields are usually the earliest to bloom in High Park by about a day or two earlier then the others. Most of the branches are filled of larger, round green buds with a good number showing deep pink tips. These trees are the ones to watch in the park as when they begin to bloom then you know the rest of the park will begin to bloom soon after. Here are a few shots from this area of the park in photos 7,8, 9.

More updates to follow later this week – stay tuned!

Sakura Watch, April 21, 2014 – more green as buds begin to grow and get one more step closer to an early-mid May bloom. A warm Easter weekend have helped a few more buds, especially the ones near the sportsfields. Sakura trees along the hillside and near Grenadier Pond are still being stubborn in showing more growth and green though this will be our warmest week yet – lets hope it helps!

These buds are really beginning to show signs of progress. They’re growing larger, rounder and in some case even begin to stretch out. The green and growing sizes are fantastic signs that the buds are on there way to blossom development. Its still early with at least 2-3 weeks away from a full bloom, but at least now that day seems just a little bit closer.

We’ll see how much more progress can be tracked later this week – for now enjoy the photos taken by my co-blossom-enthusiast and contributor, Sabine aka “Blossom Bean”:

Sakura Watch, April 17, 2014 – little green as buds remain closed after what is hopefully the last blast of winter this past week. Warmer temperatures and more spring like conditions over the course of the next couple weeks should hopefully propel the Sakura // Cherry Blossom trees to finally begin moving into the next stages of blossom development.

With the buds remaining closed tight, there is a great chance they have survived the harsh cold this year. A few more have begun to sow some more green as well, however it is still only a handful. We’re hoping that next week, after the Easter long weekend, there will be better news to report – in the meantime wishing everyone a Happy Easter. Here are some photos taken late yesterday in the park:

Sakura Watch, April 13, 2014 – Little change and likely early May bloom is the direction the trees throughout the park seem to be indicating. After a few days of warmer weather there has been little change to the overall size and shapes of the blossom buds with nearly all of them still closed and only a handful hinting at any green tips, most notably the trees near the sports fields.

I would like to believe that the trees are keeping things shut tight in anticipation of a sudden cold snap with possible snow this coming Tuesday – this winter simply won’t give up! In any event, the next check later in the week will help reveal if any change will come once the warmer weather becomes the norm for 2014.

Looking back at previous years and the time it took for the trees to change from buds to first blooms usually took between 2-4 weeks, the timing always dependant on the weather – warmer, calmer weather helped bloom faster; colder, disruptive weather pushed blooms to be later. The only plus from all of this is that there is a good chance the blooms will be around for Mother’s Day which will you know will draw big crowds that weekend!

Time will tell, but for now here are a few photos taken today:

Sakura Watch, April 9, 2014 – First hint of next stage seen in only a handful of buds near the sports field in High Park. The very early stages show the tips of the buds begin to green and is only indicative of the very early stage of change. The extreme cold weather this year has no doubt slowed down the development of the sakura, however the warmer weather that finally arrived this past week is now helping move the process along.

Hopefully after another check this coming weekend there will be more progress to report and then we can all be able to start the countdown to full bloom for this year. It should be noted that many the usual time period for the cherry blossoms to open are late April to early May, as they did open during that time in 2013 [ see last years peak bloom posts April 30, 2013 and May 3, 2013 ]. This year, they most likely will bloom near the same time or just after. I’ll keep checking the progress twice a week now during mid-week and weekends so please come back to see the progress!

Here are a few photos of the early signs of green in the sakura buds:

Sakura Watch, April 6, 2014 – Buds still closed throughout the park today with little notable change from last week. Have a look at the photos from a visit to High Park today and notice the tightly closed, deep red-brown tips and slender tear drop shapes to all the blossom buds. This all shows we are still at least a few weeks away from possible blooms. Then next clues to look for are buds that begin to grow larger, fuller and especially begin to turn green with growing bulbous tips.

Warmer weather is in the forecast over the next number of days which will hopefully help the development of the trees along. Stay tuned for more Sakura Watch updates!