Sakura Watch, May 12, 2017 late bloomers begin with the Akebono / Fugenzo variety of cherry blossom starting to open and have their moment in the sun. While you can still catch a glimpse of a few Yoshino sakura cherry blossoms scattered around the park, they are less the 1% left.

What these blossoms look like

Akebono / Fugenzo blossoms are circular with many layered of large overlapping petals and appear beautifully soft and fluffy. Usually the blooms can be found in lighter pinks and soft white or cream in colour. Their bronze coloured, pointy leaves also help to identify the tree – see examples in the photos above.

Where to find them

There only a handful of these trees in High Park, mostly gathered closer to the lookout dock by Grenadier Pond.  Walk towards the bottom of Cherry Hill to the large yellow Forsythia bush at the base of the Japanese Gardens. Here will be the first grove of 3 trees about 9-10 feet tall. These are always the first to show their blooms and as seen in the photos, a few are out today.

Keep following the paved path towards the lookout dock to find the next grove of Akebono/Fugenzo trees. Located at the base of the big hill with maple leaf garden, you’ll find 6-7 trees spread out in the area. Look for a plaque commemorating the donation of these trees near the bushes between 2 of the trees.

How long will they last

The size and structure of these blossoms help them to last around longer. They can survive heavier rains and winds and really their only threats are animals and people. Since these trees are smaller, with many branched closer to the ground, many find it too tempting to pluck blossoms off the trees. But I ask please don’t pick the flowers – take you photos near them and let them live so others can enjoy them too.

With warmer weather on the way, my prediction is the Akebono / Fugenzo cherry blossoms will bloom between May 14 through to May 24. Peak bloom will vary in each grove but visiting the park between these dates will surely be able to spot them with plenty of open blossoms to enjoy. It is also very possible they will continue to stay in bloom into June – its just a matter of what mother nature has in store.

With this year’s sakura cherry blossom season now winding down, I will only have a few more Sakura Watch updates to share in the coming weeks. But I’m planning on showing some of the other amazing blooms you can also enjoy as well share some other stories soon. Check back here or our social media pages – and I hope all the mother’s have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!

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: