A Technical Report from The Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories
Flowering cherries are members of the genus, Prunus, which also includes peaches, plums, apricots, and almonds. Dr. Michael Dirr, University of Georgia professor, states the following regarding flowering cherries: "The delicate flowers pass quickly but in their finest hours are the equal of any ornamental tree. Unfortunately, Prunus as a group is beset with insect and disease problems and perhaps should not be looked upon as long term garden investments."
The flowering of the cherries in Washington, D.C. is an annual event of international significance. Originally a gift of 3,000 trees from the Japanese government, the cherries around the Tidal Basin were planted in 1912. Of the 12 varieties originally planted, the two still found in Washington are also the most commonly found in landscape use today.