Spring is here! The beginning of April kicked off with gorgeous weather in Chicago. That means it’s time to put away those sweaters and any other winter gear away, now is the time to go outside and bask in the warm sun. There are so many things to do in Chicago, but to stay indoors during beautiful walking weather feels like it should be illegal – Luckily we can walk around the city of Chicago with an outdoor event occurring in real time during these upcoming weeks, the best of both worlds are colliding folks…It’s Cherry Blossoms trees season!
According to the Chicago Park District website, Jackson Park is home to about 190 cherry blossom trees which bloom in the spring. The trees are located south of the Museum of Science and Industry and in the Garden of the Phoenix on Wooded Island. As of the time of writing this article, the buds are on stage 2 of the blooming development. On the Chicago Park District website, they have a bud development legend, stages 1 to 6, to when the flowers are fully open; when stage 2 begins, peak bloom is projected to be around 20 days away.
Screenshot from the film 1917.
The cherry blossoms trees tend to symbolize “something that’s evanescent and fleeting” in Japanese culture – “something that must be enjoyed before it’s too late,” says Bruce L. Batten, a historian of Japan. In the film “1917” emphasizes the importance of trees. The film starts with Schofield resting on a tree and ends with him resting on one. Around the 37-minute mark of the film known as the cherry tree scene, Schofield and Blake encounter a massacre on a massive grassy field with a small lone farm, left behind by the German army; where the Germans have shot cows and a dog, all of it emphasized by the torn down cherry blossoms trees. Schofield then says, “They’ve chopped them all down.” Blake, the optimistic one of the two, replies with, “They’ll grow again when the stones rot. You’ll end up with more trees than before.” Signifying how beauty will endure in the end.
Today cherry trees have been giving a different kind of sign…the ever-changing climate. According to Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the National Park Service, “Warmth is what drives them to bloom and blossom, so it certainly stands to reason as temperatures are getting warmer, we’re going to see the cherry blossoms continue to come out earlier.” With record breaking warm temperatures in Chicago, have made winters shorter. Nevertheless, we should take advantage of the weather to see the cherry trees bloom. So make a plan to see the cherry blossoms trees around Chicago and visit their locations at Jackson Park, Garden of the Phoenix, the Morton Arboretum, and the Chicago Botanic Garden.
For more information, visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/cherry-blossoms.