Cherry blossom season, also known as Sakura season, is around the corner meaning the city is about to be full of some beautiful blooms!

Toronto cherry blossom expert Steven Joniak, also known as Sakura Steve, operates the local cherry blossom guide Sakura in High Park and according to him, we could be in for an early cherry blossom season in Toronto!

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According to Joniak following a recent trip to High Park, “Blossom buds have been developing well so far, even if they are showing signs of being slightly ahead of schedule.”

“Undoubtedly, the warmer weather we’ve experienced over this mild winter has directly contributed to accelerating the normal pace of how the buds would usually develop at this time of year.”

Joniak also explained that the buds appeared to be well-shaped, with a healthy, deep, rich bronze colour with the tips displaying a more nuanced copper colour, which helps place them right between stages one and two of the bud development, with the scale going up to six as the final stage.

How far ahead of the typical timeline are the cherry blossoms right now? According to Joniak, the budding process is about 1-2 weeks ahead of where it is typically at.

“The warming trends of this winter have pushed up the development by a couple of weeks compared to a more typical colder winter,” he stated.

“If this warming trend continues throughout March, it will point to a possible early bloom.”

Although an early cherry blossom season would be very exciting, Joniak warned that the weather needs to stay this way if that is going to happen.

“There is also the danger of having the buds develop too quickly that a sudden burst of cold weather, say from a Polar Vortex as happened in 2016, the trees become vulnerable, and the buds will produce only a fraction of the flowers they usually do.”

The cherry blossom blooms typically come the last week of April or the first week of May with Joniak noting the earliest bloom on his record came back in 2012, starting on April 10th.

If you want to know where you can find cherry blossoms other than High Park, the city has a guide to parks and other locations throughout Toronto where you can enjoy them.

Time to start the countdown to cherry blossom season, Toronto