Cherries or Plums

Discussion in 'Ornamental Cherries' started by dt-van, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member 10 Years

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    In this morning's Province there is mention of the VCBF along with a photo of "flowering cherry" trees on (I think) Yew street. In the photo they look more like plums to me. Are they in fact cherries, or is it just the common assumption that if it is pink and spring flowering it's a cherry?
     
  2. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Ah, finally found the article and photo (don't know how long this link will work). I thought it might have been an old photo of the 'Kanzan' cherries on Yew from 1st to Broadway. But no, it's a photo of some of the zillion (well, only 17,000) street tree plums in bloom now, these ones at 22nd Avenue. Thanks for pointing that out. They're in full glory in Kits, and apparently Arbutus Ridge, probably still coming out in some neighbourhoods. It would be nice if they'd be gone by the time the 'Akebono' display is under way, but that's starting up this week (already open Downtown).

    I also liked the photo in the Vancouver Sun, was it last week, talking about how the planting of so many male trees (the pollen bearers) causes allergy problems for some people. They were referring to maples, which do (often, usually?) have separate male and female trees, but the photo they used said it showed the Parks Board planting a cherry tree, which does not have separate male and female trees (or flowers). People blame the cherries for their allergies, but I don't think they're supposed to be a major cause of problems. It's probably the plums. :)
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I'm finally getting around to reading Saturday's paper, and I see the Vancouver Sun beat the Province to it, with a photo spot entitled "Pink cherry blossoms add colour to a grey sky along a street in East Vancouver", showing a row of pink plums.
     
  4. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Active Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    Indeed they are plums, not cherries. I was going to fire off a letter to the Sun, but I've tried that in previous years with no result. Perhaps my approach was too technical (i.e., how to tell plums from cherries), or maybe they just don't think it's important to correct this sort of mistake (or to check in the first place). Despite the fact that most people probably don't care, I find it irritating. On the other hand, it was a very nice picture and I suppose that the opportunity to celebrate the beauty of trees (however identified) in the newspaper is a good thing.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    It's irritating because newspapers etc. are supposed to be providing accurate information. If they don't care to print corrections they are not holding up their end of the deal. One time a popular TV weatherman here announced that a wind storm was coming so everyone should get their trees topped. Even after he was contacted by a membership organization and informed topping trees was not a good idea he refused to issue a retraction.
     
  6. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member 10 Years

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    I also noticed that particular photo/article combo. I can just imagine people lining up at their local nursery to ask for "female" cherry trees. I don't think any of the deciduous Prunus are serious allergens; it's usually species that are wind rather than insect pollinated. At this time of year in Vancouver I believe the most likely culprits are alder and birch, but since their flowers aren't showy the poor cherries, plums and forsythia get blamed.

    Perhaps they would respond better to an offer of "please contact me next time you are doing a story and I'll happily direct you to a good cherry blossom site."
    But I suspect you are right and they are just indifferent. Despite the proverb, I think it's been found that you can actually catch more flies with vinegar than honey. :-)
     
  7. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I think it's a systems problem. The reporter goes to the library for a cherry blossom photo, and all these photos are indexed under cherry blossom, so there isn't any way for them not to show up in the paper as cherry blossoms, since none of the people involved can tell the difference.

    Or maybe I give them too much credit and these really are new photos every year, in which case maybe the festival should have Douglas do a Blossom Biology workshop for the newspaper photogs and librarians.

    If they do get new photos every year, a year like this creates problems, when it's time for the blossom photos and articles but the 'Akebono' display isn't out yet.

    Just to give some of you an idea what we're talking about, on the left is a Denis/Teresa photo from 2008 of a street of plums; on the right is my photo of an urban park 'Akebono' display (which is not quite out yet, so should be looking fine for my April 15 walk).
     

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  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Having the heather blooming with the cherries is a nice thing you don't see very often. Seemingly obvious harmonious planting combinations like this are actually the exception rather than the rule - at least in the public landscape.
     
  9. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Active Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    Congratulations (and thank you!) to Wendy for finally getting a those-are-plums-not-cherries-letter published in today's Vancouver Sun (see this link).
     
  10. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Good old Vancouver Sun and Province. All the links in this thread are broken links now. I'd still like the thread to stay here. I've written to ask for updated links, but I don't there really are any.
     
  11. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Time to revive this thread. The Province newspaper has two features, today I was told, but they seem to be dated February 17, 2015, with photos of plums labelled cherry blossoms. Here are links, for as long as they work:

    Early-arriving cherry blossoms send annual signal: It's time to smile

    Photos: Spring is in the air a few weeks early in Metro Vancouver

    These ones are a bit trickier - the quite beautiful double-blossomed Blireiana plums (I think I have finally learned to spell this again). It's clear in the photos that the flowers are not in an inflorescence, that is, a group or particular type of arrangement of flower stems - the stems are all attached, one by one, right to the branch. I'm not sure what the 7th photo is in the Spring article; maybe it's the same tree as the others.

    The papers were doing so well when only 'Whitcomb' cherries were in bloom. The festival has a map - the photogs could click Blooming, go to the locations of the red markers, which are festival favourites, defined as good photo-op opportunities. Our 17,000 plum street trees will be open any minute, none of them on our festival map. They'll be all over the papers this year, what with the rest of the country digging out from a lot of snow.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  12. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    There was one article that was right last year, Vancouver Sun, February 11, 2015 and this link still works:
    Early bloom for some Metro Vancouver cherry blossoms

    But they're back to the old tricks this year. Shirley Willard sent me a photo from the front page on March 1, asking if the trees were not really plums. I'm sure I'm not allowed to post the photo and I can't find it online. But yes, they're plums.
    [Edited ]- Shirley sent me the Vancouver Sun link. Here's the photo, same one as in The Province, see next posting, but nice and large. I clicked the link at the bottom that said "continue to use PressDisplay.com".
    http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=K90M97A6I235&linkid=eaefc7ce-9d8f-47a2-9734-647ab2a1cbe7&pdaffid=1P5dv/e+KrWkohUtjoqHOg==

    None of the previous links work any more, btw. I'm just leaving them to keep the flow of the thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  13. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    The Province newspaper has the same photo, with a bit of an article mentioning the Environment Canada forecast of 80-90 percent chance of a warmer than normal spring (no mention that it's a week behind last year). You can see the article and photo by going to PressReader.com - Connecting People Through News and querying cherry blossoms (thanks to Shirley for this), or this should be the link:
    http://pressreader.com/bookmark/3cTEDxdbcanuMfo_6i5V5mzkuB_TIyVQyHnP2QxdHA01/

    I've sent a letter to the Sun editor, now will send one to the Province.
     
  14. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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    After reading Wendy's letter to the editor I decided to educate myself on how to differentiate between cherry and plum trees. The articles found at Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival were most helpful. However I was shocked to discover the lack of a YouTube video on the subject considering there are ones for much more arcane topics. Perhaps someone at VCBF would like to produce one.
     
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  15. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I nominate @Douglas Justice.
     
  16. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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  17. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    Flowering plum typically flowers about 2 weeks earlier than flowering cherry.

    (Flowering plum is actually more closely related to apricot than European plum, although the ornamental Prunus cerasifera is related to European plum)
     
  18. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Your "flowering plum" is apparently Japanese apricot, that is but one kind of flowering plum. And there is a variety of Japanese cherries, some of them flowering quite early - as early as November in the case of 'Autumnalis' for instance.
     

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