Pink is the colour of spring in Vancouver, as the city’s most popular tree, the flowering cherry, blooms into a cloudy rosé of pillowy pink blossoms. Vancouverites treasure this time of year, with a dedicated festival to the tree that lines almost 75% of our neighbourhood streets.
But did you know, mixed in among those cherry trees are a number of flowering plum trees. The differences are small, but a trained eye can easily distinguish the two.
Here is a quick guide for determining which flowering sapling you are viewing:
The cherry blossom flowers are constructed of five petals. Each petal has a small ‘v’ cut split at its narrowed tip.
The plum tree also has five petal flowers, but the petals are rounded at the tips.
The cherry buds can support multiple blossoms. This gives their branches their cloudy appearance. One of our favourite spots for viewing the dense blossoms is the Burrard Street SkyTrain station concourse.
Plum buds only support single blossoms. This limits the density of the pink clusters.
The cherry tree’s bark often has horizontal markings on it.
The plum tree’s blossom is much more fragrant then the cherry.