Tree of the Month- Yoshino Cherry

April 17, 2017

Often referred to as the ‘darling of the flowering tree world’, the Yoshino Cherry is definitely a crowd pleaser. Known for its white-pink blossoms and pleasant fragrance, many homeowners use the cherry as a highlight of their landscape.

It’s easy to see why- not only is the Yoshino cherry beautiful, but it grows well in the majority of the United States, is tolerant of multiple soil conditions, and while it does prefer moisture, the Yoshino Cherry is somewhat tolerant of drought as well.

Prunus yedoensis

The Yoshino Cherry is native to Japan, and is one of several cherry tree species (including the Kanzan Cherry, another exceptionally beautiful tree species) that were gifted to the United States from Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki in 1912. This was just the beginning of America’s love affair with the Yoshino Cherry.

 

 

In 1934 we held our first National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C., which still occurs annually today. While our relationship with Japan has had its ups and downs since the first festival, today it’s become a beloved week-long celebration of our friendship with Japan, as well as a celebration for the beautiful cherry blossoms that adorn our capitol.

Photographers and Painters along the Tidal Basin, c. 1920

 

Japanese lore states that each spring the fairy maiden awakens the sleeping cherry trees with her gentle breath—so perhaps next time you’re enjoying an outdoor space with a cherry tree in bloom, you can ponder that tale and thank the fairy maiden for making our cherry trees oh so beautiful!