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. For a general overview of what we do and how we do it, you can consult the Scout Training Handout slides.

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 Vancouver 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 look at the bottom of the page for the Write your reply area.

Please rename your photos into this format:


•Whitcomb is the cultivar, only if you know it, else don’t include it
•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)
•Cutler is the photographer’s name
•20210310 is the date in yyyymmdd format (so they can be sorted by date)
•IMG1023 is the sequence number your camera gave the photo

Type what you want to say in the reply area, then the bottom right corner of the reply area, click the Upload a File button to attach 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 Thumbnail button for the photo you want to position there. Else, the photos will all display after the text, which is fine.

Then remember to click Post Reply.

You may post to any of the forums at any time.

Neighbourhood Maps

The goal is to have marker entries on our Map for all cultivars at all locations posted on the forums. Someone planning a walk or a photo shoot should be able query by Blooming Date or by Favourites and know where to find what type of trees. When you post trees on the forums, check the map to be sure those trees are already on the map. If they are not there, add the marker. Here are the instructions:

1. Zoom in on the map, so you can position the marker accurately
2. Click the Add button
3. Drag the red marker to where it belongs. Check what the system puts in for the location, correct that if it’s not helpful
4. Enter your name, email address only if I don’t know you by your name
5. Select the Neighbourhood (please check the neighbourhoods map on Scout Corner if you are not sure)
6. Select the cultivar if you know it.
7. For forum link, go to your posting, right click the posting number and select Copy Link Location or Copy Target Location, or something like that), paste it in
8. For image link, go to your posting, right click the tree photo (hopefully there will be one) and select the same thing – Link Location or Target Location, paste it in. One is fine; you can link to a second photo if you want by clicking the + sign.
9. Enter a description or copy it from the posting. If you think this location should be a festival favourite, you can say that in the description.
10. Click Save. You will get a message saying you won’t see your marker until it has been reviewed.

Anyone can add markers to the map. It helps to have the forum posting done first, so that there can be a link to the photos and any discussion.

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 Cherries Resources, with some other sources of information.

Neighborhood 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.

Festival Neighbourhood Map

This interactive map has around 1600 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.


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