Cherry Tree* And A Little Help Please

Sometimes the Fairegarden follows the schedule to the day, to the hour, other times it becomes more independent of the calendar.

Or perhaps it is actually dependent upon the weather. Warm days in succession, weeks of them without a dip towards freezing opened the door of spring bloom to some of the inhabitants here.

The timing of the blooming of the Yoshino cherry tree that takes up more of our front yard with each passing year, click to read its history here-Right On Schedule, is the canary in the birdcage for how Spring is going to behave for any given year. Usually the ups and downs of the parachute ride weather, (I got tired of the analogy to a rollercoaster), have us in a tizzy until the cherry tree decides to open right at the end of March, first week in April. It is the demarcation zone of early to mid season, with the succession of flowers shifting to high gear and moving along at hair raising speed.

2011 saw those pink petals revealed and then cascading downward two weeks ahead of the norm. Blink and you’ll miss it. Time marches on, especially in March, as does this story.

And now to the little help asked for in the title. We have this Viburnum, purchased as a large specimen, balled and burlapped, during the early stages of garden making here. The nursery did not know the species but it was a bargain so it lumbered into the gas guzzler.

Each year the blooming is nearly missed because it is planted behind the Forest Pansy Redbud under the tall pine trees. The large pines suck up any moisture there, give dense shade all year and was the site of the dumping of the hardpan clay when the excavation for the renovation of the main house was done. The Bobcat digging machine was actually parked where the Viburnum is now planted for weeks.

Back to the shrubbery. The blooms are white, opening in ball shape clusters from dark pink buds and are sweetly fragrant. The leaves open shiny green with puckered veining and have fuzzy silver hairs on the reverse side. The height is well over ten feet with a rounded shape. I am not sure what the mature size would be in better growing conditions. The leaves turn brilliant red with orange highlights late in the fall before dropping. Can anyone give an identification? Added: The suggestion of V. burkwoodii seems to meet the criteria so far. Thanks, Layanee!

Spring is moving forward like a freight train, but is making a stop at the cooling platform for the moment. It might be Dogwood Winter Station, read about that phenomena by clicking here-Winters Of Spring. This is a scheduled stop, and I do love to be on schedule and on time.

*The Yoshino Cherry, Prunus x yedoensis is the same type of tree given so generously by Japan to adorn the Tidal Basin of our nation’s capital. We were lucky enough to see those blessed trees in full bloom one year in Washington, DC and vowed to grow one someday. May we all bow our heads in remembrance of the fallen and to honor the living in Japan after the disaster there that has shaken the entire world. Our hearts are with you.♥


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13 Responses to Cherry Tree* And A Little Help Please

  1. fairegarden says:

    Just a note: This post was published before it was ready for the public last week. The subscribers received the email with this title then. No email was sent for this second, in WordPress World, publishing. I am sorry for any confusion this may has caused, and hope it never happens again.

  2. Carol says:

    Good morning, Frances. I do not know the identity of your Viburnum. The ones I know that are fragrant do not generally get that tall (V. carlesii and V. juddi). I have both in my garden. Good luck on finding out what it is… there are many!

    Love the cherry trees, a wonderful way to remember that while life goes on here as usual, in Japan, there is still much suffering and grieving.

    Good morning, Carol, and thanks for your thoughtful comment. When I look online for the name of my Viburnum, they all look like it, no distinguishing beauty marks or tattoos. The news cycle may have moved beyond so much coverage of the sadness in Japan, but they have only just begun the task to return to normalcy, if it can ever happen.

  3. Layanee says:

    Oh to have a Yoshino or to just see them in D.C. I heard they were blooming there already also. Unseasonably cold here so all is still slumbering. Perhaps your mystery shrub is Viburnum burkwoodii? It does get quite large, is fragrant and has the same shiny leaves absent on the V. carlesii.

    Hi Layanee, I heard they were ahead of schedule in DC, just like here. Even though it has cooled down, that will help make the blossoms last a little longer, the warm spell earlier caused many things to bloom early. Sad for those who schedule a visit just to see those magnificent trees in early April. I will check out burkwoodii, thanks so much!!!! 🙂

  4. Gail says:

    Frances, Wowzer on the cherry. It’s so lovely. We had one, but it was planted too near the driveway and every delivery truck that visited ran into a branch. I think we have the same beautiful viburnum. Mine is very tall, semi evergreen, with deliciously fragrant flowers. I can’t recall but, think it either a burkwoodii or carlesii. There are dozens of cultivars! xxoogail

    Thanks Gail. I have done some serious artful pruning on this cherry tree and the one planted at daughter Semi’s to keep the lower branches from being a hazard to pedestrians and vehicles. If there was room, we could have let the lower branches grow horizontally like the ones in Washington. This Viburnum is not semi evergreen, but yours sounds wonderful with that scent. 🙂

  5. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Oh, to see the Yoshino cherry in person! Although I might be overwhelmed by its beauty and have to sit down for a while …

    The only Viburnum I have that’s similar is V. dentatum, Arrowwood Viburnum. I don’t think that’s what yours is but maybe?

    Thanks Cindy. It is delightful to sit under the cherry tree as it gently rains petals down on you, when it is not actually raining, that is. HA Thanks for the Viburnum suggestion, I will check it out. 🙂

  6. Alistair says:

    Frances it is always very satisfying to answer a query of, what is this plant, unfortunately I don’t have a clue regarding your Viburnum. The heartbreaking situation in Japan will stay with us for a long time to come.

    Thanks Alistair. The Viburnum may be V. burkwoodii, although it is difficult to tell from photographs. I will be keeping my eye on plant tags at arboretums and nurseries to see if they seem to be one in the same in person. Japan’s gift of the cherry trees to our nation long ago, now in bloom, is a beautiful reminder of a very sad situation.

  7. What a gorgeous tree! I hope the early blooming augers for good. Everything is in frozen stasis here in Chicagoland, so it’s heart warming to see such lovely blooms.

    Thanks MMD. It warms the heart to look outside here and see that spring has fully sprung, early. Rainy and cold at the moment have slowed thing down, as the cherry blossoms fall to the ground.

  8. Kathy says:

    It all looks beautiful to this spring-starved cold climate gardener.

    Thanks, Kathy. Your spring will be coming in time, soon, I hope. 🙂

  9. Lola says:

    I sure wish I could see the Yoshino Cherry trees in person. Sure wish I had room for one here. Yours is spectacular.

    Thanks, Lola. Seeing the Washington trees in full bloom was a dream come true. I was a chaperone on Brokenbeat’s class trip, and definitely enjoyed seeing everything more than the kids did. 🙂

  10. Alessandra says:

    Ciao Frances, first time here, I am actually gardening upside down, in New Zealand, we are getting to Fall now!

    So it is lovely to see the cherry blossom, it reminds me of the years I spent in Japan.

    Sweet of you to remember Japan in your post.



    Ciao, Allessandra, thanks and welcome. I have never been to Japan, but have seen many photos of the cherry trees in bloom there, a most beautiful place. It will take much time for it to recover, and we send the best thoughts to them. I have never been to New Zealand either, and am sorry for the disaster that took place there and in Australia. So much sadness…

  11. Beautiful cherry! I don’t have one yet, but this may inspire us to plant one.

    That viburnum looks a lot like one we have, but since it was here when we moved in I have no idea what it is actually. I just make sure to pilgrimage every spring around to the west side of the house where it lives because it smells so heavenly. I also leave my bedroom window open, as it is right under it. . .

    Your place is so very beautiful, a real inspiration.

    Hi Hands, thanks, you are too kind, so nice to see you here. If you have room, the Yoshino cherry is a fabulous tree, it really ushers spring in here. You are lucky to have that Viburnum under your window! 🙂

  12. Your viburnum sounds like Viburnum x ‘Mohawk’: fragrant like V. carlesii but much taller and looser, pink buds (they match Dicentra spectabilis flowers) opening white, gorgeous orange fall color.

    Thanks Carolyn. I see that Mohawk is a cultivar of V. burkwoodii. I am not sure of the difference between that and the species, but the flowers are lovely, the scent is marvelous and the fall color superb! 🙂

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