A Healthy Long Life: Horticultural Practices for Cherry Trees in Japan

4:00 pm on Tuesday, March 19, 2019
5:30 pm on Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Contact Name:
Robert Murowchick
Japan has many ancient cherry trees – some over 1,500 years old – which is remarkable given the soft wood and susceptibility to decay that characterize cherry trees. They owe their longevity partly to the genetics of their wild ancestors and partly to their human communities. The Japanese have devised an array of structural supports that both stabilize and rejuvenate venerable and at-risk trees. One-legged crutches, two-legged braces, rope tents, tree wrapping, and tree skirts are among these devices which are not commonly employed in North America due to a cultural bias toward arboreal naturalism. In Japan, the visible presence of these supports signals a cultural commitment to a long healthy life.