Two times a year the streets around Metro Vancouver come alive with colour.
In the fall, an array of yellows, oranges and reds line the streets, and in the spring the city is scattered with beautiful soft pink cloud-like canopies for all to enjoy.
During these breathtaking but brief periods photographers, both amateur and professional, inundate our Weather Window inbox with the most stunning photos — and this year’s pop of pink has come a little early.
“If it warms quickly we tend to get early flowering,” says Douglas Justice, associate director of horticulture and collections at the UBC Botanical Garden.
The quick transition from our long, cold February into record-breaking warmth this March helped trigger the blossoms earlier than normal. In an average March with milder conditions the flowers would develop a bit slower.
Linda Poole, founder of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, is very excited.
“Right now, we’re seeing mostly plums,” she said. “But cherries are starting to come out.”
That’s right, the blossoms you see around the city are not only cherries, many of them are plums. From a distance they look very alike but if you take a closer look you’ll see some significant differences.
One easy way to tell the difference is by looking at the petals. Cherry tree petals have a little cut or slit at the tip, while plum tree petals curve at the tip.
There are 54 varieties of cherry trees around the region. All bloom at slightly various times, but you can expect most to be in full bloom on April 4.
But full bloom doesn’t last long — just two weeks, assuming we don’t get significant wind or rain — so if you would like to enjoy the stunning pink lined streets, you’d better get out there soon.
Poole’s personal favourite spots are the Burrard Street SkyTrain station, Lost Lagoon (west of Georgia Street and south of the lagoon), and in Queen Elizabeth Park (near 33 Avenue & Cambie Street).
If you’d prefer to drive through the pink canopy, the following routes are sure to not disappoint.
- West 22 Avenue from Arbutus Street to Carnarvon Street
- West 16 Avenue from Maple Street to Granville Street
- East Third Avenue from Rupert Street to Skeena Street
- Graveley Street from Lillooet Street to Windermere Street
- West 39 Avenue from Willow Street to Cambie Street
- East 50 Avenue from Ontario Street to Fraser Street
There are hundreds of other locations all around the Lower Mainland.
To find one near you, check out the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival map and be sure to email your photos to weatherwindow@GlobalTV.com.