10 Best Cherry Blossoms Facts That You Never Knew Before (2)

Blooming cherry blossom trees go hand in hand with the arrival of spring, but have you ever wondered about the history of these pretty pink flowers? Well, we have all the cherry blossoms facts that you should know before traveling to see this spring event this year in some of the most beautiful places in the US. Cherry blossoms, which symbolize renewal, have quite the surprising backstory.

You can educate your friends and family on some of these interesting cherry blossom facts.

1. “Hanami” picnics are arguably more spectacular at night.

For these late-night picnics, known as “yozakura,” the Japanese hang paper lanterns in cherry blossom trees to illuminate them.

2. Japan had tried to send over cherry blossoms once before.

In 1910, US inspectors from the Department of Agriculture recommended burning the 2,000 trees sent from the Japanese after finding insects and diseases in the trees. According to Washingtonian, this nearly caused a diplomatic crisis.

3. US cherry blossom trees date back to 1912.

The first US cherry trees were planted in 1912 as a gift of friendship from Japan. Over 3,000 trees spanning 12 varieties were shipped from Yokohama to Seattle. They were then transferred to freight cars and sent to Washington, D.C.

4. Cherry blossom festivals celebrate more than just spring.

According to the National Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C., the flower is celebrated as a symbol for the enduring friendship between Japan and the US. Over one million people attend D.C.’s annual festival that now lasts for four weeks.

5. The most popular variety of cherry tree is the Yoshino.

Though there are hundreds of different types of cherry trees, Yoshino cherry trees are the most popular.

6. They make up a top-selling fragrance in the US.

The top fragrance from Bath and Body Works is consistently their Japanese Cherry Blossom. Thirty million units of the mixture of cherry blossoms, crisp pears, mimosa petals, and sweet sandalwood are sold each year.

7. Cherry trees can be huge.

The ornamental Japanese cherry trees we are used to seeing average 20 to 40 feet with canopies that can reach between 15 and 30 feet. Wild cherry trees can grow up to 80 feet tall.

8. There are several locations in Washington, D.C. to see the blooms.

While the majority of the cherry trees are near the Tidal Basin, many clusters are found along the National Mall, north of the Lincoln Memorial, and near the Washington Monument in addition to other areas in the city.

9. Neither D.C. nor Japan hold the title of “Cherry Blossom Capital of the World.”

Rather, it’s Macon, Georgia, which is home to over 350,000 Yoshino cherry blossom trees. That’s 90 times the amount that Washington, D.C. has! While these trees obviously are not native to the South, William A. Fickling Sr., a local realtor, discovered one in his own backyard in 1949. On a business trip to Washington, D.C., he learned more about cherry blossoms and sought to bring more to his hometown.

10. Bloom predictions can’t be made too far in advance.

Want to catch cherry blossoms in all their glory? You’ll want to wait until March, when bloom predictions are made by the National Park Service, to plan your trip.