Every year the tree-lined streets of Vancouver come alive with beautiful shades of pink as the cherry trees come into full blossom.
Vancouver is one of a handful of cities that can proudly boast grassy, tree-lined boulevards on almost every residential neighbourhood.
Since 1917, the Vancouver Parks Board strived to provide long, linear streetscapes of single kinds of trees. Vancouver’s street trees are a direct result of extensive planning following World War II.
Many of Vancouver’s cherry trees were gifts from Japan. The first gift of trees came in the 1930’s and were planted in at the Cenotaph in Stanley Park, to honour the Japanese Canadians who fought in World War I.
In 1958, the Japanese Consul gave Vancouver a gift of another 300 trees as “an eternal memory of good friendship between our two nations.” They were planted in Queen Elizabeth Park, Stanley Park, along Cambie Street and at UBC. Many of these trees are still alive and well today.
Since the 1960’s, the Vancouver Parks Board and its Street Tree Division have maintained Vancouver’s intricate street tree program, including the preservation and replacement of the ornamental cherry trees.
The last official count it was estimated over 18,000 flowering cherries lined Vancouver’s streets, representing almost 600 kinds of cherry trees. These trees are estimated to be valued at over $500 million by the Vancouver Parks Board.
Get into the spirit and celebrate this the blooming cherry blossoms this spring, check out the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.