Pat Shingleton: "Blossoming Cherries..."
On March 27, 1912, Tokyo's Mayor, Yakio Ozahi presented the city of Washington, D.C. with 3,000 cherry trees to celebrate the "lasting friendship between the United States and Japan." In Baton Rouge, our first Spring indicators are the Japanese magnolias followed by our marvelous azaleas. The National Cherry Blossom Festival began March 20th and will conclude on April 17th. Activities include parades, dinners, fireworks, art displays, musical performances and a 10K race. Recent reports note that the blossoms are peaking as of this writing. Traditionally, buds on the trees usually burst in the early spring and just like south Louisiana, the blossoming depends on the weather. The peak bloom period averages between March 22nd and March 30th. This year, from March 20th through April 17th, 870% of the blossoms open up and from now until April 9, only 20 percent of the blossoms are open. The peak period varies each year when warm weather replaces the winter’s chill.