entertainingFood & Drinkoutdoorstudio choowe like it wild

we like it wild: flowering trees

by Grace Bonney

A little rain and some sun means the trees in our new neighborhood suddenly look like they’ve been frosted with icing, and the sweet scent of spring blossoms is blowing through the air. Like a lot of neighborhoods across the country, our little urban enclave along Divisadero Street in San Francisco has been undergoing a beautification treatment in the last few months, which means more trees for all. While Divisadero itself has been a little bit bare up until now, the side streets that make up the Lower Haight and Duboce Triangle areas are filled with all sorts of flowering trees already bursting with petals or on the verge of popping.

Flowering trees make great additions to any neighborhood: most attract butterflies, can produce fruit in the summer months, and their flower laden branches look amazing. The smell of plum or acacia blossoms in the air means that spring is officially here (and sadly allergies for many folks!), and even non-fruiting trees, like magnolias, release a lovely fragrance when they go into bloom. We also discovered a great organization while photographing our hood called Friends of the Urban Forest, “a non-profit committed to the belief that trees are a critical element of a livable urban environment”. They work with communities and individuals to get it done…everything from choosing and planting the appropriate tree, obtaining a permit, and after-care. They also offer tree tours of San Francisco and pruning workshops from certified arborists (bad pruning can kill trees and looks pretty terrible).

We’ve been wowed by the variety of flowering trees in this part of the city, a small and sunny spot protected from the fog by Mount Sutro. We’ve found tulip and grandiflora magnolia, pear, plum, crabapple, quince, and several other flowering trees we haven’t yet identified. We have also been getting a variety of beautiful branches at the flower market since January and are dreading the day they go out of season. It’s no wonder we celebrate Lunar New Year by bringing in a few un-bloomed branches indoors, placing them in a vase of water to watch them unfurl their popcorn blossoms; we can’t think of more appropriate imagery to symbolize a new year, a new beginning, and the promise of great things to come.

CLICK HERE for more beautiful flowering tree images after the jump!

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  • HELP! Does anyone know of a source for realistic looking faux (silk, paper, etc) flowering branches?

    I love cherry, quince and pear branches, but their short life span make enjoying them year round impossible. It would be great to have them in a tall glass vase on a credenza.

    I’ve googled and searched in craft stores forever and the only thing I can come across are tacky, very plastic looking stems and flowers. Martha Stewart did some paper cherry blossoms a few year back but that was more of a graphic/non-realistic and very obviously scrapbook paper look.

  • Without reading all the replies… I just wanted to say the flowering yellow tree is Australian Wattle. It’s beautiful and makes me homesick to see it.
    Miss Lel x

  • Another Aussie here who is thrilled to see Wattle, our national flower, up on d*s. I knew our eucalyptus trees are common in the US, but didn’t know you guys also have Wattle. It’s beautiful but terrible pollen dusters for people with allergies!

  • Great to see the ‘Wattle” or Acacia growing in the US. Where I am from in Australia we call that one “Lamb’s Tail”, because that is what it looks like! It grows all over my fathers farm & they look spectacular all in full bloom!

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