Bloom Alert: A Cherry Lost and Found - Brooklyn Botanic Garden
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Bloom Alert: A Cherry Lost and Found

When you make your spring excursion to see the cherry blossoms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, keep an eye out for an unassuming little cherry tree on the hill between the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden and Cherry Esplanade.

Prunus ‘Taki-nioi’ was planted several years ago by Brian Funk, the former curator of the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. During the pandemic, the three-foot sapling become engulfed in bamboo and was forgotten until last spring, when current Japanese Garden curator Anne Hunter cut back the vegetation to reveal a healthy 15-foot cherry tree.

“What a lovely surprise!” recalls Hunter.

This tree’s life began decades before it was planted. Like many cherry trees, it’s a clone. The Garden’s original Prunus ‘Taki-nioi’ was planted in the 1970s. When that tree began to decline about ten years ago, several cuttings were taken and propagated. One was planted at Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, and one was planted here—the tree that’s blooming today.

What does the future hold for this adolescent tree? Only time will tell! For now, visitors can enjoy its spring “debut”—alongside the exuberant display of its neighboring cherries.

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Image, top of page: Michael Stewart