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PHOTOS: First Cherry Blossoms of 2015 Appear at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

 Cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Cherry Blossoms
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PROSPECT HEIGHTS — The cherry blossoms are here!

The first blooms of the season have appeared at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, starting the season of cherry-tree-watching known in Japan as “Hanami.”

The very first blossoms appeared Friday near the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, BBG staff said, followed by two others near the garden's "Cherry Walk." The first tree to flower — the Prunus sargentii 'Fudan-zakura' — is known as an "Everyblooming Cherry" because it can flower as early as January and as late as autumn. The buds will start out pink and open to small, white flowers.

The BBG has about 30 varieties of cherry trees, all of which bloom at different times in the spring for about four weeks. Peak viewing is in late April or early May, staff said.

During the Hanami season, the BBG offers free tours of the cherry blossoms every Saturday at 11 a.m. and Tuesdays through Sundays at 1 p.m. with garden admission. And on the weekend of April 25 and 26, the garden will host its two-day Sakura Matsuri festival, a celebration of Japanese culture scheduled to coincide with peak blooms on the Cherry Esplanade. Tickets for each day of the festival cost $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors.

You can track the blossoms as they appear on the BBG’s “CherryWatch” map.