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by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator and Beth Monroe, Director of PR,  Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden  

cherry blossoms, Prunus x yedoensis,  blooming at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Cherry blossoms at Lewis Ginter on April 10, 2013. This year, look for them to peak a bit earlier.

If you are a fan of the Garden on Facebook, you may have heard about an exciting new  project at the Garden:  the Cherry Tree Walk. The “Cherry Tree Walk” is the working title of the project currently underway around the perimeter of Lake Sydnor. Scheduled for planting in mid-April of 2014, the project is funded through the generosity of an anonymous donor and will:

  • Create improved planting beds bordering the east side of Lake Sydnor filled with a variety of spring-flowering trees, including several varieties of cherries, and layered plantings up to water’s edge.
  • Remove and replace diseased and damaged trees or those competing with other specimen trees.
  • Improve planting conditions and irrigation.
  • Visually and physically “tie together” the lake and all the individual gardens surrounding it.
  • Create an attractive, accessible, illuminated walkway around the entire perimeter of the lake.
  • Create paved secondary walkways looping from and back to the main walkway in five locations where guests are encouraged to linger and look.
  • Create plans for future projects.

Director of Horticulture, Grace Chapman, has  chosen species to extend the bloom time as much as possible: “From flowering apricots in the winter, to a range of ornamental and edible cherries and other flowering tree/shrubs in the spring (amelanchier, viburnum, plums, apples), to flowering shrubs and perennials in the summer (hydrangeas, deutzia, phlox). I’ll be adding ornamental grasses in the sunny areas, ferns, tiarella, and phlox in the shady area around the treehouse, and native wetland plants that will attract and support pollinators along the waters edge.”

Plus, some very exciting news: Chapman says we will also be getting some rare Prunus specimens from the  U. S. National Arboretum as well.

Speaking of cherry trees, it won’t be long before they are in full bloom at the Garden. Stay tuned to our Facebook or Twitter pages for updates on peak bloom time. Peak bloom for the Washington D.C. cherry blossoms is forecast for April 8 – 12, 2014, according to the National Park Service.  The Japanese cherry trees  for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, planted around the Tidal Basin in D.C., are Yoshino cherries (Prunus x yedoensis). We also have Yoshino cherries here at the Garden, but we have many other kinds of blooming cherries as well — that means the bloom time will be a bit longer than if we had just Yoshinos. Also, Richmond’s blooms tend to be 1-2 weeks before those in the Washington, D.C. area, depending on the weather.

And if you are a fan of cherry trees, be sure to visit our Spring Plant Sale on May 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. We will have some, but not all of the varieties of cherry trees that we are planting around the Cherry Tree Walk for sale for your own yard or garden. What a treat to have a sister of one planted here at the Garden.

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5 Responses to “Cherry Tree Walk & Peak Bloom Times for Cherry Trees”

  1. […] now you’ve heard about our new Cherry Tree Walk, but did you ever wonder what we do with the wood when we have to cut down a tree that is diseased […]

  2. […] Update, March 26, 2014: Unfortunately, this year the magnolia test bed where ‘Spicy White’ is located won’t be accessible to the public during bloom time in 2014 because it is in the construction zone for our new Cherry Tree Walk. […]

  3. Martha Willard says:

    Please share the varieties of cherry trees that are planted in the gardens. As I was walking around, several trees were not labeled. Thanks

  4. Martha, That’s a great question. Perhaps it would make another good blog post. Let me do some research and see if I can compile a comprehensive list.
    ~Jonah

  5. Martha — Janet Woody, our Librarian, and wiz at using the plant records came up with this quick guide for you.

    We have many Prunus campanulata ‘Okame’ all over the garden

    Prunus cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’ is at the front and rear of the Robins Visitor Center

    Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’ is in Flagler and other locations. This is the higan cherry.

    Prunus subhirtella var. pendula is the weeping higan cherry and is located in the Asian Valley and Flagler garden.

    Prunux x ‘Snow Fountains’ is in Flagler and it grows over the arbor in the Central Garden.

    We have many Prunus x yedoensis. This is the most prevalent in the Garden and is commonly called Yoshino cherry. We try to label most of our trees and plants, but sometimes the labels are hard to find. If you see several similar species in a row, you may want to check beneath each one for a sign. Sometimes, there is one tag, for a series of trees.

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