Life Stages of the Cherry Blosssom

Today we went up to the Takaragaike Children's Park, a wonderful playground with lots of fun things for young kids (those older than elementary-school age are not allowed in unless accompanied by someone in elementary school or younger).

It's in a cooler area of Kyoto than we are (they get a fair amount more snow during the winter, for example; as the blog of Nils, who lives up there, will attest). Being cooler, some of their cherry blossoms are peaking and fading a bit later than ours.

Here's a tree right between the “petals fallen” and “leaves grown” state:

An almost blossomless/leafless cherry tree at the Takaragaike Children's Park, Kyoto Japan
(click to expand)

All the red stems will eventually fall off.

The next image has three cherry trees in the foreground (although it may be hard to see on the small pic; click for a larger version):

  • The tree on the left looks much like that in the picture above (mostly the red stems, but the occasional white petal and occasional green leaf).
  • The tree on the right is in absolute full bloom.
  • The smaller tree just to the right of center, which at first glance just looks like part of the big fluffy tree on the right, has a mix of half blossoms and half leaves.

These trees are right smack in the middle of the play area; the trees in the background are on the side of a mountain that the park is next to.


Three cherry trees in different stages of bloom, at the Takaragaike Children's Park, Kyoto Japan
(click to expand)

I guess the way things progress really depends on the variety. The middle tree has no red stems -- the leaves are pushing out the petals directly. (Heck, for all I know, maybe one or all of these aren't even cherry trees!)

Here's a close-up from the big fluffy tree on the right:

Just-blooming cherry tree, at the Takaragaike Children's Park, Kyoto Japan
(click to expand)

There are plenty of buds which haven't even bloomed yet!


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