Used to be a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   : now A Colorado Girl

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Cherry Blossoms in Newark, NJ?

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

When you think about a large mass of beautiful cherry trees in bloom, no doubt your mind goes right to Washington, D.C., right? What if I told you that a park near Newark, New Jersey has more cherry trees than D.C.? Branch Brook Park in Belleville has over 4,000 cherry trees of over 14 different varieties, all planted in natural settings, making it the largest and most varied collection in the nation.

When Rick mentioned that we should go, I went online for more information. Their website said their Cherry Blossom Festival was next week. As our spring this year has rapidly been exploding with the last few days reaching high 80’s I thought I’d better call and find out how the blossoms were. The woman at the Visitor’s Center assured me that the trees were at their peak now, not next week. So yesterday over a long lunch hour for Rick, we headed down that way.

It was a nice day, but unfortunately the wind was blowing. And, when we got there we could see that most of the trees were either losing their blossoms in showers of petals in the wind, or they were pretty much done. Darn! We missed it! We decided to see what we could see anyway. The trees are not planted en masse so the effect is quite different from a row-like planting, allowing each tree to show its own unique beauty. They are spread out over a large area. Some trees were still beautifully showy. Here is a sampling of what we saw on our walk.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
Beware of small cherry tree elves!

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Just the gnarly shapes of some of the older trees, like this one, were amazing.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

These two women/girls were wearing Easter bunny ears. They certainly picked a beautiful place to spread their blanket!

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Next year we’ll have to pay better attention so we can hit it during their peak! Those poor people next week at the Cherry Blossom Festival won’t have anything to look at. I think Mother Nature pulled one over on them this year.

But like I said, spring is exploding around here.  It seems like the trees popped overnight about two days ago and every morning when I get up the leaves on the trees have doubled from what they were the previous day. It’s crazy early for that to be happening!


The flowers are so pretty against the blue sky.  I am wondering if you could smell them as you were walking around them.

Yes, Debra we could. Beautifully sweet smell! Lots of bees buzzing around too!

So lovely! What a lovely carpet of petals!  Thanks for sharing!

So beautiful, even if they’re past their peak (and they make me miss my hometown of Washington). I love the drifts of petals on the ground!

We were caught in several “petal storms” as we walked through. I had blossoms in my hair!

Jane, I didn’t know your hometown was D.C.! Just imagine that one row in its peak!

this was a timely post.  We had plans to go next week-end with friends, and as I was driving in this morning I wondered if they were past peak because of the warm weather.  Thanks for answering the question for me!!

Glad to be of help, Maggie! wink I am definitely planning better next year if I have to call them up every day to check on the blossom’s progress. It’s hard to remember that being further south than us they are ahead of us.

The blossom is still really beautiful and must have been a delight to see.

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