When life feels unsettled, like now, it’s comforting to know we can count on the arrival of spring’s blossoms. Throughout Boston, the cherry trees have begun to offer a welcome burst of powdery pink puffs that peak now and fade away in May. Whether you see these blooms by foot, bike, or the inside of your car, here is where you’ll find them.
Charles River Esplanade
On the banks of the Charles River along Boston’s Esplanade, you’ll witness a profusion of cherry blossoms, particularly in the section that runs between the Arthur Fiedler Footbridge off Arlington Street and the ramp to Massachusetts Avenue.
Public Garden and Boston Common
Throughout the Public Garden and in certain areas of Boston Common, you’ll see many kinds of cherry trees in bloom. Most are the Kwanzan Cherry cultivar, which has showy, bright pink double flowers and blooms longer than most varieties. In addition to three pale pink Yoshino Cherry — two of which are cuttings from the 3,020 cherry trees Japan gave to Washington, D.C., in 1912 as a gesture of friendship — you’ll see lipstick pink Sargent Cherry. Be sure to see the striking Weeping Higan Cherry with its bowing branches covered in a froth of white-pink blossoms. 4 Charles St., Boston.
Nestled in and among the North End’s residences and businesses you’ll find clusters of cherry trees softening the urban edge with soft clouds of pink.
Along Beacon and Marlborough streets, the small garden plots in front of many brownstones house large and small cherry trees awash in candy-pink blossoms.
Brookline High School
On May 16, 2012, Takeshi Hikihara, the consul general of Japan, gave a gift of cherry trees to Brookline High School in commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of Japan’s gift of cherry trees to Washington, D.C. That same year launched the Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival, canceled this year due to COVID-19, but normally a celebratory gathering filled with dancing, musical performances, and food. Nevertheless, you still can see the consul general’s gift in all its blooming glory on the school’s grounds. 115 Greenough St., Brookline.
The Arnold Arboretum
Still open to the public with social distancing advised, this 281-acre living museum and research center for Harvard University has a wide variety of ornamental cherry trees that bloom throughout April and May. In addition to weeping cherry trees, the hot-pink double blossom Kwanzan, you’ll find Black Cherry trees, which have drooping racemes of tiny white-pink flowers. Toward the entrance to the Bradley Rosaceous Collection, don’t miss what looks like blooming groundcover but actually is Sand Cherry, known for its starry showers of small white blossoms. 580 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge.
In 2012, the university planted six Yoshino Cherry trees to commemorate Harvard’s long relationship with Japan, resulting in the Harvard Sakura Garden. The bond was forged in 1875 when Harvard University accepted one of the first Japanese students to study abroad, a gentleman named Komura Jutaro, who subsequently attended Harvard Law School and served in the Japanese Ministry of Justice. You can see the cherry trees near a path by the Littauer Building that leads to the law school on Massachusetts Avenue.
Finally, here is a virtual source for viewing cherry blossoms around the world, courtesy of Google Earth.
Victoria Abbott Riccardi can be reached at email@example.com.