Spoiler alert: this weekend!
Ice storms, snow, rain, freezing rain, random heat, and more, Burlington’s Japanese cherry blossoms have indeed survived this roller coaster weather and they could actually bloom this weekend.
According to the Sakura in High Park blog, the first cherry blossoms are set to bloom between Friday, May 4 and Sunday, May 6 this year.
“The warmer weather has helped the cherry blossom trees progress,” reads the blog.
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Timing is perfect — the Sakura Festival is celebrating the Japanese flower at the Burlington Art Centre from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The free event will offer: a Japanese Taiko drum demonstration; Kiri Koto instrument performance; Japanese Okihawan vocal and sanshin performance by Chura; traditional Japanese dancing by Suzuran Odori; Japanese Yosakoi dancing by Sakuramai Toronto; martial arts demonstrations by Shudokan Family Karate.
There is a limited window that’s considered the best time to take a stroll (and some pics for the ‘gram) through the stunning pink and white blossoms and catch them at their fullest.
The trees are expected to peak and be in full bloom from Wednesday, May 9 to Saturday, May 12 next week.
“Predicting exactly when the blooms is always a bit tricky from year to year,” reads the blog.
“Weather conditions fluctuate and alway move the date from a few days to even weeks then the normal bloom time. Usually, peak bloom throughout High Park occurs during the weeks of late April and early May.”
Of course, there is a warming trend in the works and we have seen some warmer and sunnier days lately, which is a good sign.
This year, we might be in for an extra stunning bloom.
In a recent post, Sakura Watch noted that this years blooms could be more impressive than those we experienced in 2016.
“As we wait for the buds to move into the next development stages, it has become more pronounced on many trees to display a mix of round and elongated buds. The round buds are most likely to be the cherished cherry blossom we’re all waiting to see!” the post reads, before adding that some elongated buds might just turn into leaves straight away.
“Overall this could lead a repeat of last year, where we saw a mix of blossoms and leaves, but still a much better showing than the lack luster bloom of 2016.”
In 2017, the cherry blossoms bloomed in late April, attracting many visitors from Brampton and surrounding cities, and they’re sure to do the same this year.
Be sure not to shake the branches or break off small blooms or branches, because “the more you damage the trees, the greater the chance they will be open to disease or insects in destroying them.”
You can catch Burlington’s Japanese cherry blossoms along the waterfront downtown (they’re donated by Itabashi, Japan — one of two twin cities).
Photo courtesy of the City of Burlington