P90331After decades of spectacular spring bloom, this pair of flowering cherry trees in the picture above must be removed. They have been deteriorating for a very long time. Below the limber blooming branches of the tree on the right, there is not much more than a bulky rotten trunk, one rotting limb, and a short stub of a limb that was cut back to a bit of viable twiggy growth last year. The tree to the left has only a few more viable but rotten limbs.
Through this last winter, it was finally decided that we would allow them to bloom one last time, and then replace them with a new pair of trees of the same cultivar. I will cut them down myself. I do not want anyone else to perform this unpleasant task. Nor do I want such dignified and admired trees to be cut down by anyone else. Like I do for other prominent trees, I will write the obituary; a joint obituary for two who were always together.
Since the new trees will be of the same cultivar, they will bloom with the same profuse pale pink spring bloom, and will hopefully last for more than half a century like the originals did. Because the originals had been pruned back so severely as they deteriorated over the past many years, the new trees should grow to be as large within only a few years. They will not be the same though. There will be no adequate replacement for the originals.
The cherry blossoms below are of another pair of trees a bit farther up the road. They are not nearly as old, so could be there for a few more decades. There are a few others, of various ages and different cultivars, scattered about the neighborhood.P90331+P90331++

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22 thoughts on “The End Of The Cherry Blossom Festival

  1. I appreciate your respect for the two trees. I had one of them years ago, but, due to our rough climate, they only live about 20 years here. It had to be taken down. Last year I had to remove a very old real cherry tree, which was about 30 year old and was diseased. In its place I had a small flowering cherry tree planted, in early May, to give it the summer to make good roots and get established. It quickly took on the name of the happy little tree. During the horrible winter we had, I often went down to the happy little tree and gave it encouragement: told it it could make it thru it’s first winter. Now little shoots on it have green ends, and it is indeed a happy little tree. And a happy little old lady waiting for its new leaves in a while. Next year it might bloom with a few flowers. Respect, yea, it’s important.

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    1. It is something that trees do not get enough of. When the big mall was built in downtown Sunnyvale back in the 1970s, the big redwoods and cedars that were outside of City Hall were salvaged within a big atrium. The town required the developer to protect them. They were memorial trees. Sadly, all of the cedars died, but that was sort of expected. While inspected the trees years ago for another reconstruction of the site, I was really annoyed to see the memorial plaques that had been removed were put back on the wrong trees so randomly. The biggest and oldest, which was a memorial to veterans of the Spanish – American War, got no plaque, and was described to me as a tree that was added to the grove in 1978, and without historical significance, . . . . even though it was the biggest one there. The small tree that was added in 1978 was designated as a memorial to Veterans of another important war. There was absolutely NO concern or respect for those whom the trees were planted for. Most are gone now

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      1. Well, it is the way of things here. My ancestors home on North Murphy Avenue (which is the northern end of the same avenue that City Hall was on.) was sold in the 1990s, and the people bought it cut down the English walnut trees that were already old remnants of a walnut orchard that was there before the home was build in 1940. They are not from here, so have no appreciation of history. Fortunately, they take care of the home, and renovated it quite nicely. It seems to me that there is more disregard for history here than anywhere else in America. That is partly why the few historic trees are so important to me.

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    1. To us, the new trees are just expected to be pretty. That is all. Perhaps they will be revered by those who must cut them down half a century later. I hope they have it as good as the two that I knew.

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      1. Yes, and even though they are not a traditional tree in our local local culture, I like to believe that they are. They are a popular street tree in Japantown in San Jose, but do not do very well there. They are also more popular in the Japantown of Watsonville than they are elsewhere in the area. There are not many, but enough to get noticed. The flowering cherry trees at work make the landscape seem more cosmopolitan, like we work in San Jose.

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    1. This last one is spectacular too. The timing also allows us to see the replacements in bloom, to confirm that they are the correct cultivar. I already misidentified it before we found the name in the archives of the landscape.

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  2. What a sad loss! I do hope that the replacements prosper. I don’t have any flowering cherries, but I do have a couple of Chokecherries (P. virginiana) and our neighbor has a Yoshino cherry they just planted two years ago.

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    1. Chokecherries are another one that I would like to grow, just to see what it is. I also want to grow black cherry. There are not native cherries here, although American plum that was used as understock, is now naturalized.

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