DC cherry blossoms suffer great loss due to weather; Will Buffalo see the same?

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Weather in Western New York has been up and down, but it hasn’t been isolated to just here.Washington DC has had its fair share too, and it’s impacting their famous cherry blossoms.

The cherry blossom has always been a part of Japanese culture, and over the years, the tradition has made its way to the United States, most notably, Washington DC. Sally Cunningham, gardening expert, told News 4, “The meaning in Japan in is that beauty is a femoral like life is a femoral. A blossom is a beautiful thing, their moment of perfection.”

Washington DC’s weather, similar to our own, has been changeable. This past week, temperatures dipped so low, so quickly, that as many as 90 percent of the early peaking cherry crops were destroyed. Cunningham said, “The unfortunate cherry blossoms in Washington had a terrible season because what happens with trees are if the buds fatten up the cell walls absorb a lot of moisture, and then freeze, they just burst.”

Although not all were destroyed, the huge percentage of trees that are feeling the effects will be noticeable. Ironically, Buffalo’s blossoms won’t be impacted as greatly, Cunningham told News 4 why. She said, “If the temperature is severely cold, that’s fine, we can take tough winters. If the tree is in its appropriate hardiness zone, its ok Buffalo gets cold, the trees go on and on. But if the temperature gets warm and then there is a sudden drop the cell walls can’t re-harden off.”

It comes down to a gradual change is good, fast is very bad for the trees. Cunningham said, “We’re in a later, slower climate point, Washington happens 3 weeks before ours, so I don’t think most of our cherry buds were far enough along to be at risk.”

The Cherry Blossom Festival is still scheduled to kick off event season here in Buffalo April 29th. She said, “It’s a good place to learn which kind you can have in your home garden, because not every cherry tree is easy.”

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