In Japan, A Strange Sight: Cherry Blossoms Blooming In The Fall

In Japan, the springtime bloom of cherry blossoms is an annual rite of
celebration, accompanied by picnics and parties under the flowering

But this week, an odd thing happened: Some of the trees bloomed again. In autumn.

Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that a weather company had received
hundreds of reports of the trees blooming, across an area stretching
from Kyushu, in southwestern Japan, to Hokkaido in the north.

The apparent cause? The two typhoons that struck the country in September and early October.

The Picture Show

Pictures Of People Taking Pictures Of Cherry Blossoms

"This year's storms affected wide regions and the strong winds may have
caused the blooming," tree surgeon Hiroyuki Wada told the broadcaster.
"I have never seen anything like this."

Wada explained that a popular variety of cherry blossom tree, the
Yoshino cherry, buds in the summer but does not usually bloom, because a
hormone the tree's leaves release stops the buds from developing.

But this year, many leaves were stripped off by those powerful typhoons —
bringing strong winds and salt exposure that caused withering. Warm
temperatures followed, which further encouraged the buds to bloom.

Fortunately, the out-of-season flowering isn't expected to affect the springtime blooms.

The spring flowering of cherry blossoms in Kyoto has been documented for
more than 1,000 years, as The Washington Post reported last year. By
poring over diaries and chronicles of emperors, aristocrats and monks, a
professor at Osaka Prefecture University named Yasuyuki Aono assembled a
data set of cherry blossom flowering dates, stretching back to A.D.

For most of that time, the full bloom dates were pretty consistent. But
since 1850, the date of flowering has pushed earlier and earlier. That
same trend has been documented by the National Park Service since 1921
in Washington, D.C., home to 3,000 cherry blossom trees given by Japan.

"In both Kyoto and Washington, the warming trends and earlier blooms are
most likely due to a growing urban heat island effect and increasing
concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere," meteorologist
Jason Samenow explained in the Post.

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