That’s what we did recently, on a beautiful spring day. If you’re lucky enough, around this time of the year (for the Northeast at least), you’ll have the luxury of witnessing a weeklong event of Cherry Blossom blooming. These elusive trees only bloom for a short period of time – usually a week or two – before the iconic white and pink petals fall to the ground in wait of the next year’s cycle.
Cherry blossoms – which originate from the Himalayans but have become iconic in art and plant communities because of their significance in Japanese culture – are part of plant groups called cultivars. They typically appear in the early spring weeks of Late March/Early April in the North and last for a short amount of time. Because of the cultural significance, their short bloom window, and their rarity in certain parts of the world (not to mention the Cherry Blossom “Festivals” that attract huge crowds of viewers and photographers), it’s easy to see why there are thousands upon thousands of people each year that venture to parks just to get a few moments with them.
Here in New Jersey, we have several locations where Cherry Blossoms can be seen – most notably Branch Brook Park. Found near the university center of Newark, Branch Brook Park is home to dozens of Cherry Blossom trees, with great compositions that include wildlife and fountains in the Branch Brook Lake as well as a backdrop of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart only a few blocks away.
Outside of the several individual trees spotted in random parks in the state, other notable locations in the Northeast include the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens in New York City as well as Washington DC. It’s important to note, however, that these trees all bloom at different time intervals because of the weather patterns at their respective locations.
“In the cherry blossom’s shade there’s no such thing as a stranger.”Kobayashi Issa
You may have seen other white and pink trees on your morning commute. Don’t be fooled. There are several trees that appear to be cherry blossoms but if you look closely enough, you’ll notice there are subtle differences. Here’s a list of common ones:
If you want a more detailed description of these, I’d recommend reading more here.
“Will Ciolino is an Entrepreneur, Engineer and Hobbyist Photographer who has spent time in Small Business, Manufacturing, and a Fortune 500 company as a Mechanical Engineer and 3D Printing Expert. In his spare time, Will has built small businesses in the fitness industry; has focused on finding gig-economy type side-hustles; and is Founder and CEO of the photography platform, Anthology.”