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What Are These Bloomin' Trees?

Every February, many streetside trees in Albany and neighboring towns burst forth in luxuriant pinkish white blossoms. Some folks say they're plum, others say cherry. Can you tell us what they are?

Here's a question for any urban tree experts among our readers.

On many a block in Albany and neighboring cities this time of year you can see streetside trees decked out in their cheerful, pinkish white coats of small blossoms.

They bloom every February, faithful heralds of the coming spring.

What are they?

Some people say they're plum, and other people say cherry. A few say cherry plum or vice versa.

If you know, please tell us in the comments. Extra points for the Latin name!

Andy Lincoff February 26, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Albany has many of both. The ones in the picture are, I believe, plums. The ones lining Solano are cherry (prunus serrulata).
D. Mehrten February 26, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Plum trees are easy to distinguish from cherries, even when leaves are not present. Once you have been shown the difference in the bark, you will always know.
hesavesall February 26, 2013 at 08:21 PM
I believe these are plum trees.
Stewart Gooderman February 26, 2013 at 08:36 PM
Based on their fruit, they are plums.
Stewart Gooderman February 26, 2013 at 08:44 PM
Also known as cherry plum or myrobalan plum, flowering plum (Prunus cerasifera) is a small to medium-sized ornamental tree native to Asia. Purple-leaved cultivars, such as the popular Thundercloud, are more common in the home landscape than the parent species, which has green leaves. Thundercloud grows to a height of about 20 feet, with a rounded habit, deep purple leaves and delicately fragrant pink blossoms.
Paul K. February 27, 2013 at 01:44 AM
The oldest of these wonderful tree were, I have been told, planted during the FDR administration by one of the many programs designed to put the country back to work.

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