Echizen Town, Early Blooming of the Prunus Kanzakura
In a plot of land within the Kihisho district, located within Fukui Prefecture’s Echizen Town, a lone cherry blossom tree is already heading towards its full bloom. Although a species of tree that usually blooms early within March, the reason for this year’s early bloom appears to be due to the warm winter.
“I’d be really glad if this early bloom results in gathering attention towards the cherry blossom trees and the local area,” says Teruo Watanabe (aged 63) with anticipation, an office chief at the Echizen Town Council of Social Welfare located nearby.
Until its property transfer in 2009, the corner plot used to be a part of the Asahi district. The cherry blossom tree stands alone by the Tenno river. According to Office Chief Watanabe, the tree began blooming during mid-February, with the best time for viewing from February 25th.
With the staff at the Council of Social Welfare not knowing the tree’s species, they took this opportunity to contact the Fukui Botanical Garden, located within Echizen Town.
“It is undoubtedly a cherry blossom tree, but we can’t confirm the species until the leaves have grown out,” says the garden director, also pointing to the likelihood the tree is a Prunus kanzakura. The director assessed, “With the pleasant winter climate, blooming will take place about two weeks earlier than normal, from the 10th.”
According to a former Asahi Junior High School gardening club advisor (aged 74) from roughly 30 years ago, there used to be three cherry blossom trees in the plot. Unaware of the particulars of the tree, he pondered, “Back then, there were many cherry blossom trees at the nearby shrine and at the Tenno riverbanks. Perhaps the tree came from what remained there, or perhaps it was planted to commemorate a school graduation.”