Sakura Watch, May 2, 2019 - Close to seeing the first blossoms to open

Sakura Watch, May 2, 2019 - Close to seeing the first blossoms to open in High Park, but overcast skies continue to slow down the progress. With a sunny weekend on the way, it will finally be the push the buds need to begin opening up! All the buds florets are extended and well in the fourth and fifth stages of development - more on that below.

Watch the latest YouTube update below:

Meeting Michelle Mackey

Today's visit began with an interview with The Weather Network's Michelle Mackey. We talked about what to expect with the cherry blossoms this year and how best to view them without harming the trees.

Watch for her coverage of the cherry blossoms on The Weather Network and the web.

Thanks, Michelle!

Fifth Stage In Progress

All of the florets are now visible, and each one will eventually become a cherry blossom. They will start with a deep pink colour, and then gradually brighten to a lighter pink, and then finally open into a full, white blossom.

Of note is that many buds have now moved into the fifth stage of development. This is when the florets have extended out in what is technically called Peduncle Elongation. You can see the thin, delicate stems attached to each floret and notice their vibrant deep pink colour.

Here are photos of how the buds look today:

Road Closures Begin May 4th

For those who haven’t already heard, starting Saturday May 4th, at 7 a.m., High Park will prohibit any vehicle form entering the Park (see my special report about the ban and my Maps & Directions for alternative options). TTC Wheel-Trans will be the ONLY exception - no one else will be allowed to drive into the park until the cherry blossom season ends. The City will announce when the park will re-open to vehicular traffic.

So you’re only options are to walk, bike or take TTC. I know and understand that there are some people who will be impacted by this, and this is the first year the City has done this, so there will inevitably be some lessons learned. In the meantime, they do encourage those that there are 14 other locations throughout the city that people can experience the park without any vehicle bans or crowds as large as High Park is expected to have.

First blooms this weekend, Peak bloom later next week

As my original predictions had stated, I’m still predicting that this weekend, May 3rd - 5th, should see the first blossoms begin to open. Then peak bloom, when approximately 70% of the cherry blossoms have opened on the trees, will occur between May 7th - 12th. I’ll be in the park almost daily and posting as frequently as I can. I may even test doing some live streams through Facebook and YouTube as well so watch for more updates soon!