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Keith and Kristin Barron enjoy the cherry blossoms last spring as they sit beneath the cherry trees donated to Ohio University by Chubu University in Japan.

Photographer: Ross Brinkerhoff

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Ohio University’s Sakura cherry blossom trees are projected to start blooming on or around April 9.

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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Ohio University to celebrate blooming of cherry blossom trees

The Ohio University Sakura cherry blossom trees represent a relationship with Japan’s Chubu University that has lasted for more than 40 years. Once again this spring, the University will celebrate the partnership by funding the evening illumination of the trees during their peak bloom season in April.

The trees are located along the Hocking River, between the bike path and the Convocation Center. Each year, they bloom for a period of just under two weeks in early to mid-April.

The Linguistics Society of Ohio University will host a gathering to welcome the start of blossom season at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, in Gordy Hall.  

Christopher Thompson, chair of the Department of Linguistics and executive director of Japan Relations, will give a short talk about the “behind-the-scenes” history of the trees, originally gifted to Ohio University by Chubu University in 1979.  

Ten to 15 students from Chubu University also will join celebration. The university community is invited to attend.

The trees are projected to start blooming on or around April 9.

Once the trees burst with petals along the Hocking River, it’s important that visitors honor the trees, said Hiroyuki Oshita, an associate professor of Japanese and linguistics and adviser to the Japanese Student Association.

“The public should not break branches or climb the trees,” he advised.

The University launched a website last year,, that will feature a rotating slideshow of images of the cherry blossom trees as they transition from winter buds to spring blooms. The site is sponsored by the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity and features contributions from the Department of Linguistics.

The trees will be illuminated in the evening from approximately 8 to 10 p.m. during their blooming season.