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There are six Pandora cherry trees blooming behind the Brentwood Mall at Fairlawn/Brentlawn in Burnaby.

How to identify Pandora cherry trees

I’ve been wondering for the past three years what type of cherry trees they were. Since I’ve recently completed my cherry scout training with the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival,  I decided to visit the trees again to try to identify them.  Here’s how I determined they were Pandora cherry trees.  I hope these tips will help you recognize Pandora cherry trees in your neighbourhood.

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Season

When you want to identify a cherry tree, the time of the year when the tree is blooming can be a clue: some trees bloom earlier than others. The guide to Ornamental cherries in Vancouver lists all cherry trees in order of blooming time, so it’s very helpful for cherry scouts.  At this time of the year, I know there are only a few possibilities: Whitcomb, Accolade, Pandora, Akebono…

The six trees on Fairlawn bloom  early  in the season, usually at the same time of plum trees.  Since it’s too soon for Akebono at the time, and the blossoms don’t have any extra petals (a sixth incomplete petal that sometimes grow on Akebono blossom at the beginning of the season), I eliminate the possibility of them being Akebono.

The number of petals

Because the blossoms on Fairlawn street have only five petals, they cannot be Accolade – Accolade have more than 5 petals – so I eliminate this possibility.

 

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The color of the blossoms

The tip of the petals are a darker shade of pink (which is the main characteristics of Pandora cherry blossoms).  If these were Whitcomb blossoms, the blossoms would be completely dark pink. At this stage, I’m pretty sure these are Pandora cherry blossoms. I only have to look at my feet to confirm it…

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How the blossoms fall

Pandora cherry blossoms are particularly easy to identify because their blossoms fall intact on the ground. You won’t find petals under Pandora tree, but grass covered in flowers!

The more cherry trees you visit, the better you will be at identifying them. The fact that I had already seen Pandora cherry trees at Mount Pleasant Park  last year  helped me identify the Pandora trees in Burnaby today.

Pandora cherry trees are in bloom everywhere in the city. Find them now on our neighborhood map.

 

All photos by Jessica Tremblay