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New variety of cherry trees developed in Miyagi city planted; Here’s hoping for another 100 years of cherry blossom festivals

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Masayuki Ogata, front, second from left, discusses Ogawara Senbon Zakura cherry trees in Ogawara, Miyagi Prefecture, on March 23.

OGAWARA, Miyagi – A new cherry tree variety developed in Ogawara, Miyagi Prefecture, was recently planted among famous rows of cherry trees stretching 8 kilometers along the banks of the Shiroishi River.

Arborist Masayuki Ogata, 67, developed the new tree type, called Ogawara Sennen Zakura, together with students from the prefecture’s Shibata Norin High School. Seven saplings were planted among the rows of cherry trees, which are known as the Hitome Senbon Zakura and celebrated their 100th anniversary last year. The saplings represent an attempt to keep the trees thriving for another 100 years. ‘Sennen’ means 1000 years and ‘Senbon’ means 1000 trees. “Zakura” is an alternate reading of Sakura.

The name Ogawara Sennen Zakura was chosen from 451 entries from all over Japan.

The cherry trees can grow to about 4 meters in height and the pink of the petals is said to be lighter than that of the Someiyoshino Sakura cherry tree.

About 30 people, including high school students and residents of Ogawara, attended the tree planting ceremony on March 23. They planted the saplings near the parking lot of Ogawara Senbon Zakura Sports Park, erected poles to support the saplings and sprinkled water. on them.

The trees are expected to bloom in about five years.

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