NEW YORK (PIX11) — The Japanese Cherry Blossoms were first introduced in 1912 when Japan gave the United States 3,000 trees to celebrate the friendship between the two nations.
Since cherry trees made their way to the states more than 100 years ago, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation has taken the lead in caring for the more than 30,000 trees spread across the five boroughs.
“Cherry blossoms are an absolute must-see every spring, and our parks are the best places to go,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue.
This spring, NYC Parks has you covered for the best locations to see: Okame, Yoshino and Kwanzan, the three types of cherry blossom trees which are found throughout the city. And these are the best places to see these beauties.
MANHATTAN – Sakura Park
Sakura means cherry blossom in Japanese, and this was the very first location where they were planted, according to the Japanese Consulate. Mostly, Yoshino is the type of tree that blossoms in Sakura Park. The best time to see them is in early April.
BRONX – Pelham Bay Park
Pelham Bay Park is the largest park filled with these pink fluorescing trees. The Parks Department also recommends planning a day trip to City Island for fresh air, seafood, and of course more cherry blossoms.
BROOKLYN – Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Head to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to see its famous Kanzan trees.
You can take a walk along the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden to see these trees. At the end of April, The Brooklyn Botanic Garden will host Hanami Nights, a night of food, performances, and Japanese beer.
QUEENS – Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Experience the cherry blossom season at Queens’ own Unisphere. The Okame cherry trees found in the park are usually the first to blossom in New York City.
STATEN ISLAND – Silver Lake Park
Kwanzan cherry blossoms are the highlight of spring in this beautiful Staten Island park.
“I encourage all New Yorkers to spend some time outdoors,” said NYC Parks Tree Time Manager James Kaechele. “Our diverse urban forest includes flowering trees of all kinds, and I look forward to watching them all bloom in the weeks ahead.”
For more cherry blossom viewing sites, visit the Parks Department’s cherry blossom page.
The three type of cherry trees:
The Okame cherry
The Yoshino cherry
The Kwanzan cherry