Including the traditional art of supporting weeping cherry trees

As weeping cherry tree, planted in the 1950s, with new supports.

Who knew that the building of supports to keep old weeping cherry trees upright and alive is an ancient art in Japan? Not me, until I attended an event about the practice at the National Arboretum last week.

According to Arboretum Director Richard Olsen, the supports do more than keep limbs from falling. “The propping supporting the limb encourages the branch to continue growing. The Japanese view is it tricks the tree into thinking it has a new trunk. Something perhaps for arboriculturists to study and document!”

Seen here with the newly supported tree are grad student Hans Friedl,  Japanese arborist Kurato Fujimoto, Richard Olsen, and landscape architect Ron Henderson. Henderson’s report of his trip documenting Japan’s most famous old cherry trees is on display in the Arboretum’s Bonsai and Penjing Museum.

The demonstration was part of an all-day celebration of flowering cherry trees at the Arboretum.

Demonstrating the making of the surprisingly artful supports for weeping cherries.

(See lots more event photos here.)

I was so happy to be invited to the reception, where I got to schmooze with friends, meet more garden people, and chomp down some very good food. Also, learn quite a lot from Richard Olsen’s and Ron Henderson’s words to the group.   

Love for the Magnolia Collection

Elsewhere on the grounds of the Arboretum, there was LOTS of love on a beautiful Saturday for its Magnolia Collection. I love watching the people. Great color!

And Classic Cherry Blossom Love in DC

I also visited the touristy part of DC this week and with cherry blossoms almost at their peak, the tourists and locals were out in force, even on a Tuesday.
Here, too, I’m more of a people-watcher than a cherry-blossom-photographer.  With so much more to see during the Cherry Blossom Festival, happening now.

Happy Spring, Rant readers!