What does it mean, "in bloom"?

Discussion in 'Vancouver Cherry Blog' started by wcutler, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Oh my gosh, this map and those blooming dates! I'm having much more trouble than I remember deciding when trees are in bloom, and that's for the ones that I've actually seen, never mind the sections of the city I haven't seen. I'm also feeling a bit of pressure this year to show trees as being in bloom. The festival director's friends tell her they've seen trees in bloom at some location, and she wonders why they're not showing on the map.

    Here's an example, a group of 'Whitcomb' at McSpadden Park. These have been a festival favourite and have been reported often in the Grandview-Woodland Neighbourhood Blog. I saw them two days ago, and there were hardly any open blossoms. Today around sunset, they put on a fine display, but really, not that much has changed. You can see the buds in the foreground. There are some open blossoms, but these trees are really not half open. Does this count as "blooming now"?
    20120313_Victoria6th_Whitcomb_Cutler_IMAG0194r.jpg

    And what about these 'Accolade' at the Aquatic Centre and across the street? They've been mentioned on Facebook and someone sent me a photo of them. They're going to get much better looking than this. Now is a great time to get blossom photos with the dark pink buds next to the delicate pale pink petals, but not the big picture photos. So are they in bloom?
    20120313_BeachThurlow_Accolade_Cutler_P1180984.jpg 20120313_BeachThurlow_Accolade_Cutler_P1180992.jpg 20120313_BeachThurlow_Accolade_Cutler_P1180998.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  2. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Sure, I can answer my own question, since a novice scout did ask it at the Orientation Session last weekend. To be considered in bloom, a tree should have more than half its blossoms open, and if it's listed as a Festival Favourite, someone travelling across town to see it should think it was worth the trip.
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    To answer the question, "in bloom" is just a rather archaic / poetic term meaning the same as "in flower".
     
  4. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Michael, how many flowers make a tree "in flower"? Same difficult question.

    I just remembered last night Douglas Justice telling us novice scouts five years ago to report trees three days before they were in peak bloom. I know the reason for that - to give people three days to plan to get there to see them at their best.

    I know we report them before that, when we see them. For one thing, people see a tree once and move on, so they have to report it when they happen to see it and photograph it.

    And I still can't figure out when three days before peak bloom is. Except for the Burrard Station 'Akebono'. I know they're going to be at peak bloom on April 5, for the festival's opening ceremony at that location. So three days before that will be April 2. <a smiley here would be appropriate>
     
  5. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    To me a plant is "in bloom" or "in flower" from the time it opens its first flower of the season until it loses its last flower of the season. Its in "full bloom" or "peak bloom" when the greatest amount of its flowers are open--this is a total judgement call (unless someone is going to count the flowers every day and do the math.) Maybe you can say when trees are beginning bloom and estimate the days of "peak" bloom and ending bloom?
     
  6. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I've only been doing this five years, and I can't do either of those things.

    Right, on the "judgement call" for peak bloom. They're no longer at peak bloom when a photographer wouldn't want to photograph them.

    And as for "ending bloom", on our map, that's a total guess on my part. Really, it means "ending peak bloom". Almost no-one reports that, so I have no idea how long that takes in general for map purposes (I mostly give them two weeks), and it's different depending on the weather (besides being different depending on the cultivar).
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'd go ditto to Eric, it is in flower from the first flower opening, until the last one finishes.
     
  8. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Of course, I'm asking with the festival map in mind. No-one will be happy with us for sending them across town to see one lame flower on an 'Okame'. Surely the word "nicely" is implied when we give the blooming dates.

    It hadn't occurred to me that we'd need our own language.
     
  9. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'd doubt that would be a problem, on any one tree, all the flowers open close to simultaneously - one flower this morning, 200 this afternoon, 10,000 tomorrow.
     
  10. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I have to beg to disagree with that for here. I've documented for at least two years, and started the first flower posting this year for the group of 'Akebono' at Burrard Station, in the Downtown thread. It's been two weeks from first few flowers to almost fully in bloom.

    For the early 'Whitcomb' and 'Accolade', the first flowers show up in January, and peak bloom is in February or March. Check the first few postings in the West End / Stanley Park thread, where I posted some blossom photos January 31, 2008, and showed the trees "in bloom" in February/March for the 'Whitcomb' and mid-March for the 'Accolade'.
     
  11. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member 10 Years

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    Looking at them today it looks like the Burrard Station Akebono's should in fact be pretty close to peak bloom on April 5 !!
     
  12. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks! And nice to hear from you, with a timely posting yet. Linda Poole (the festival director) asked about them today. I've been saying that, but as a bit of a joke and not with total confidence. Now it's pretty certain that there will be blossoms, whatever the weather. If they don't peak until then, maybe the time till open is a bit longer this year.

    If they don't peak any earlier than that, there should still be 'Akebono' around in the West End for my walk on April 15. Whew! I don't know what I'd do with all those people otherwise.
     
  13. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I may as well document the progress of these Burrard Station trees. I went to have a look after dt-van's posting on March 28.
    20120328_BurrardStn_Akebono_Cutler_P1190826.jpg

    Today, March 30, they're a lot farther along, but really, not more than 15%. There are whole trees with very few blossoms open, yet others more like 40%.
    20120330_BurrardStn_Akebono_Cutler_P1190878.jpg 20120330_BurrardStn_Akebono_Cutler_P1190889.jpg 20120330_BurrardStn_Akebono_Cutler_P1190891.jpg

    Last year, the festival opening ceremony was March 31 and they were completely open. So we've slipped from being ahead of last year for 'Whitcomb' in February to being a few days behind for 'Akebono'.
     
  14. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    The Burrard Station trees are pretty much open now. Yesterday, only the tops of some of the trees still had a lot of buds.
     

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  15. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Here's another example of how long it takes for the trees to open here. These 'Somei-yoshino' photos posted in the South Cambie neighbourhood by cherry scout Elaine Eppler were taken on March 31 and April 4, and they're still just starting to open.
     

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