Record cards for Hakodate cherry blossoms, for conservation and maintenance management

Cherry blossoms blooming beautifully at Goryokaku Park. The Hakodate city government plans to make record cards for each tree and use them for future caretaking measures (May 2020)

In FY 2021, the city of Hakodate will create individual record cards for approximately 2,100 cherry blossom trees in three parks in the city, including Goryokaku Park. These trees are an important sightseeing resource for early spring, but they have been suffering from aging issues, including hollowed out trunks. The city plans to record and organize factors including growing conditions, and use this in conservation and maintenance management aimed at prolonging cherry blossom tree lives. A project expense of 13 million yen was included in the FY 2021 budget proposal.

According to the Hakodate city government, the plan is to make 1,534 record cards for Goryokaku Park, and a total of 2,128 cards including two other parks. A tree doctor will organize information for each tree, including the circumference and height of each trunk, the presence or absence of disease, and the growing conditions. Based on the completed record cards, the city will consider measures from FY 2022 onward, including soil improvement and methods for integrating fertilizer.

Goryokaku Park is a famous cherry blossom spot that generally draws some 400 thousand tourists yearly. According to the city government, most of the trees are over 60 years old, and there are even some trees over 100 years old. In some cases, there is not much space between trees, and that can cause branches to cross and not let sufficient sunlight in. This in turn causes poor growth in the trees. The trunks can become hollow, and the branches can break easily.

The Flower Association of Japan (Tokyo) is an organization that promotes the creation of famous cherry blossom spots. Last year, a tree doctor from the Association visited parks including Goryokaku Park and inspected the cherry blossom trees. The doctor reported, “The lifespans of these trees can be extended with the proper care.”

The Parks and Rivers Management Office of the Hakodate city government reported, “We want to implement measures to let these beautiful flowers to keep blooming as long as possible.”

Location

Goryokaku Park

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