By Patrick Hedlund
DNAinfo New Editor
CHINATOWN — Cherry trees will blossom along the Bowery next year after the city recently planted dozens of the colorful saplings on the sidewalk near Confucius Plaza in Chinatown.
Neighborhood leaders gathered with State Sen. Daniel Squadron, who helped the effort, for a ceremonial planting Tuesday on a highly trafficked stretch of the Bowery that advocates have sought to beautify in recent years.
Through Squadron's work with the city's Parks Department, the cherry trees arrived as part of an initiative to plant 1 million new trees throughout New York City over the next decade.
"This is the center, in many ways, of Chinatown," said Squadron, of the stretch of the Bowery that runs from Confucius Plaza to Chatham Square. "It's one of the extraordinary, iconic streets in the city of New York."
Most of the nearly four-dozen new trees are cherry, with a handful of pines also included in the mix, he added.
The plantings came as an extension of the push to improve the Bowery's safety in Chinatown by installing new road medians to discourage dangerous traffic maneuvers, including U-turns, advocates said.
"I couldn't think of a better place for it," said Bill Castro, borough commissioner for the Parks Department in Manhattan, of the plantings. "It's so visible."
Advocates also noted that tourists will no longer have to travel outside Manhattan to see the pink buds bloom.
"You don't have to go to Washington to see the cherry blossoms," said Justin Yu, president of the Confucius Plaza Board. "Come to Chinatown, come to the Bowery to look at the cherry trees."