Photo by Adrian Sas/NYC Parks
NEW YORK – New Yorker’s favorite time of the year has arrived – Spring and its cherry blossom!
Every year, New Yorkers flock to see the seasonal blooms in all five boroughs – a great way to get outside and enjoy the parks as the weather warms up. NYC Park said the peak bloom has arrived for trees around the city. No need to go to Washington. DC or elsewhere in New Jersey.
“Cherry blossoms are an absolute must-see every spring in NYC, and our parks are the best places to go,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “From Sakura Park to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, all five boroughs play host to these beautiful blooms.”
NYC Parks Tree Time Manager James Kaechele encourages all New Yorkers to enjoy the cherry blossoms outdoors. “Our diverse urban forest includes flowering trees of all kinds, and I look forward to watching them all bloom in the weeks ahead,” said Kaechele.
This spring, Parks said New Yorkers are covered for the best locations to see the famous cherry trees in every borough, how to identify all of the varieties, and a brand new NYC Tree Map to help pinpoint each.
There are over 6,000 cherry trees within city parks and more than 34,000 cherry trees planted on streets around the city (check out Park Avenue on the Upper East Side!). Queens leads the way among the five boroughs with over 15,000 cherry trees. These can be found on the NYC Parks TreeMap by filtering for the tree species “Japanese flowering cherry.”
How to identify cherry trees:
There are three iconic varieties of cherry trees, though many others grace NYC’s streets and parks.
The Okame cherry has dark bark and is the first to bloom a single pink flower. There are five petals per flower, with a notch at the end of each petal.
The Yoshino cherry is the iconic Washington, DC, cherry with white/light pink flowers. They are dense along the branches and produce a small black cherry that birds prize after blooming.
The Kwanzan cherry is the last to bloom in spring. The flowers are vibrant pink and doubled, meaning they are ruffled. They are quite common as street trees.
Parks Tree Map:
Parks’ first-of-its-kind tree map, showcasing nearly one million individually managed City trees, empowers New Yorkers to interact with their neighborhood trees in real-time digitally.
Where to go:
Pelham Bay Park
Escape the city for a minute with a trip to City Island for fresh air, seafood, and cherry blossoms! NYC’s most extensive park features Yoshino blossoms near the City Island Bridge.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The grove of cherries is worth the trip to Prospect Park – when they’re in full bloom, it’s like the sky is made of cherry blossoms!
The cherry trees in this park were gifted from Japan in 1912. Sakura means cherry blossom in Japanese, so what better place to experience cherry blossom season in New York City than at the park named for them? Dozens of Yoshino cherry trees blossom here, usually in early April.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Experience the arrival of cherry blossom season at the world’s park in Queens near the Unisphere! This not-to-be-missed grove of Okame cherry trees is usually the first to blossom in NYC.
Silver Lake Park
Kwanzan cherry blossoms are the highlight of spring in this beautiful Staten Island park, but don’t forget about the crabapples and red maple trees, too!
For more cherry blossom viewing sites, please visit the cherry blossom page of their website at nycgovparks.org
–-With Jay Domingo/PDM