This page for the cherry scouts has information to help them do their scouting and reporting. Even if you’re not a scout, you might find some useful information and links here.

Tools we will be using

UBC Botanical Garden Forums

Check out the UBC Botanical Garden Forums. The Neighborhood Blogs have a thread for each neighborhood. These are public forums and anyone can contribute. You will need a logon id to be allowed to participate (to get an id, look for the link on the upper left of any page).

Brief instructions are given here. For a more detailed explanation, consult the Scout Handbook or How to Use the Forums.

Post your photos in the neighbourhood where the trees you’re reporting are located. (Here’s a map of neighbourhood boundaries,

Map of Neighbourhood Boundaries

and you can find a list with the boundaries described). To make a posting, find your Neighborhood Blogs on the forums, click on it, then click Post Reply and start typing.

Please rename your photos into this format:


•20080310 is the date in yyyymmdd format (so they can be sorted by date)
•10thCambie is the street or intersection, naming the street the tree is on first, so this tree is on 10th; name it Cambie10th if the tree is on Cambie)
•Whitcomb is the cultivar, only if you know it, else don’t include it
•Cutler is the photographer’s name
•IMG1023 is the sequence number your camera gave the photo

Scroll down the forum page to look for the button that says Manage Attachments to upload a few photos that demonstrate what you’ve just described. If you want to intermix photos and text, after you upload the photos, position your cursor where you want a photo, click the paperclip and select the photo you want to position there. Else, the photos will all display after the text, which is fine.

Then remember to click Submit Reply.


You may post to the forums at any time.

Flickr Photos

If someone already posted to the UBC Forum a photo very much like one you want to post, or you have more photos than it would take to tell the forum about a location, you can post the others (and the same ones, if you want), on Flickr, in the vcbf album, posted by vcbf_cherry_scout.

There is an album (called a set on Flickr) for each neighborhood and there can be sets for areas outside Vancouver as well. Definitely add your photos to the set for your neighborhood. For photos where the cultivar is identified, ideally, we should also add those photos to a set for that cultivar. To add photos to the album, you will need to obtain the password from the Scout Co-ordinator.

The naming convention is the same as described above.

If you have your own Flickr account, you may submit photos to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival group (Click “Join this group?), instead of adding them to both your album and the cherry scouts album.

Sources of Information

Here are some things that may be useful to you.

Neighborhood Information

Map of the Vancouver neighborhoods

Description of the neighborhoods

Tree Identification

Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver, by Douglas Justice, of UBC Botanical Garden. This booklet has photos of tree and blossoms for 35 of the cultivars in Vancouver, and it’s in a great format for carrying around with you when you’re checking out cherries in your neighbourhood. There’s lots of space to make notes too.

Cultivars List on this website, with short descriptions and blossom photo for 45 local cultivars, 10 of them discovered by cherry scouts after the Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver book was published. Some of the cultivars have sound clips to help you pronounce the Japanense names.

Ornamental Cherries Forum, on the UBC Botanical Garden site, which has descriptions of local cultivars (also some unanswered questions and lots of comments by Douglas Justice and others). You may post your identification questions on the Ornamental Cherries forum, but make sure the question hasn’t already been answered first. You should be aware that there is no obligation for anyone to reply to your query. Note also the Ornamental Cherry Resources link, with some other sources of information.

Neighbourhood Blogs on the UBC Botanical Garden Forums. A lot of trees have been found and identified for you. Check out what the scouts have already reported.

Douglas Justice’s slide on different crown shapes.

Douglas’s one-page checklist guide to cultivars by flowering season, flower colour, emerging leaf colour and crown shape.

Lists of trees

Festival map this interactive map has around 900 locations in the lower mainland and allows you to filter by location or cultivar, or to see only the ones selected as festival favourites, or see only what’s blooming during a specified time period. There is Help on the map, or here is a document that explains a bit about how to use the map.

Festival Favourites for 2012

By Neighbourhood

By Cultivar

Points of Interest (POI) spreadsheet – Team Sakura’s Joseph Lin has been keeping a list of trees from his own scouting before the festival started. The list has been expanded to include many of the scouts’ sightings and all the Festival Favourites selected so far. All of the data on this spreadsheet is on our festival map.


These books have been recommended by Douglas Justice and friends:

  • Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver, by Douglas Justice, of UBC Botanical Garden, 2009: this festival fund-raiser has description and tree and blossom photos for 25 cultivars growing in Vancouver.
  • Trees of Vancouver, by Gerald Straley, UBC Press, Vancouver, 1992: this book lists street trees and significant park trees in Vancouver by location. A few photographs and excellent illustrations add to its value.
  • Japanese Flowering Cherries, by Wybe Kuitert, Timber Press, Portland, 1999: Both encyclopedic and well-written, this book is a must for all Japanese cherry aficionados. Excellent photographs and drawings complement the text.
  • North American Landscape Trees, by Arthur Lee Jacobson, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, 1996 (out of print): Perhaps the most valuable book on North American cultivated trees written in the last 50 years. Extraordinarily well-researched. With a few photographs.
  • Manual of Japanese Flowering Cherries, by the Flower Association of Japan, Tokyo, 1982 (out of print?): A veritable bible of Japanese cherry cultivars, written by cherry researchers in Japan.
  • Flowering Cherries by Geoffrey Chadbund, Collins, London, 1972 (out of print): an excellent small handbook containing clear, concise information and illustrations, and a few excellent photographs.
  • Ornamental Cherries by Collingwood Ingram, Country Life, London, 1948 (out of print): the classic treatise on cherries, including Japanese and non-Japanese species and cultivars. Lots of historical and horticultural information, and a few black-and-white photographs.
  • Trees and Shrubs for Coastal British Columbia Gardens, 2nd edition, by John A. Grant and Carol Grant, Timber Press, Portland, 1990: A good book for understanding local conditions and common plants that thrive here.
  • Eyewitness Handbooks – Trees, by Allen J. Coombes, Dorling Kindersley, New York, 1992 (might be out of print, but available on the internet): has close-up photos of leaves and blossoms for about 30 cultivars