An exciting new collaboration between Frank P Matthews and The Japanese Sakura Project aims to plant thousands of Japanese Flowering Cherries across Britain over the next two years.
Beginning this winter, trees will be planted at various locations with a few selected sites being offered a number of specimen trees for ceremonial plantings to launch the project.
“Britain has a long history of admiration for Japanese Flowering Cherries which was firmly established by the famous Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram who collected and preserved many important varieties,” explains Nick Dunn, Managing Director of Frank P Matthews. “The Sakura Project continues this shared passion for these wonderful trees for everyone to enjoy for generations to come.”
Three main varieties are being grown: ‘Beni-yutaka’, ‘Somei-yoshino’ and ‘Tai-haku’, with a few other Sakura classics such as ‘Ichiyo’ and ‘Shirofugen’ included in the first plantings. The flowering periods of these overlap to give a good extended season of superb blossom over several weeks, this will enable the UK to enjoy its own ‘Hanami’ festival – an ancient tradition in Japan where everyone picnics beneath the spectacular boughs.
A total of 6,500 trees are to be planted at up to 100 different sites with good public access. Each site will receive two year old, well-branched bare root trees which have been propagated at Frank P Matthews in Worcestershire using their own materials. It is hoped that within ten years the spring displays will become nationally recognised.