Sakura Watch, May 12, 2017 - late bloomers begin

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 are 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 see 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 more torrential 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 your 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 - it's 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 beautiful 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 mothers have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend!