Sakura Watch, April 24, 2017 - peak bloom has begun

Sakura Watch, April 24, 2017 - Peak bloom has begun, but there's more to come as each area of the park have trees in different 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!

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 many problems for the existing blossoms in bloom. The closed ones will have not to trouble to fend off the showers until it gets to a warmer weekend. Thursday is currently forecast as a more significant rainfall which may be responsible for knocking off many of the presently 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 the 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 sports fields always serve as a welcome opening act to the main show at Cherry Hill, and there are 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 these 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 a lot of cars to travel to. TTC is very easy to access the park as I mention on my map page. Unless you're going very early in the morning, leave the car at home.

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 many 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 more significant difference in bloom times as compared to other trees. Most notably, 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 than 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.

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

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!