Bulger's Beat: Cherry blossom trees add new color in Nashville - WSMV News 4

Bulger's Beat: Cherry blossom trees add new color in Nashville

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We're already thinking about spring, and in Nashville that means dogwoods and Bradford pear trees in full boom. Recently, they have been joined by the newest addition: the cherry blossom.

The cherry blossom tree is a relative rookie on the spring roster of Nashville beauty. Until just a few years ago, you would have needed to travel to Japan or Washington to see that lovely tree, but now you can see it in east Nashville.

"Yes, right here. It was 2009 when I started planting cherry trees," said resident Tony Viglietti.

Since then, Viglietti hasn't stopped. He's responsible for 100 new cherry trees planted last fall along Riverside Drive in east Nashville.

They are not much to see yet, but just wait for their blooms.

"These trees probably bloom towards the end of March. It's going to be beautiful," Viglietti said.

Now, the city's downtown shows it's cherry colors every spring, and more trees are coming soon to other neighborhoods. The plan is to plant 1,000 in a 10-year period.

The cherry blossom is a tree tightly linked to Japanese culture as a sign of springtime and new life.

"It's a wonderful thing - the American people and the Japanese people celebrate the arrival of spring by seeing cherry blossoms here in Nashville," said Japanese Consul-General Motohiko Kato.

From his West End Avenue office, Kato is so proud to share this beautiful part of his country with ours.

"The new life is symbolized by cherry blossoms in full bloom. It's just so beautiful. During the season, our country is covered with cherry blossoms in full bloom," Kato said.

Those 100 cherry saplings along Riverside Drive are going to put on a show.

"With all the rain we've had this fall and winter, those are going to be happy, happy trees," Viglietti said.

Viglietti also believes, eventually, it will lead to happy, happy tourists.

"Someday they'll come to see Riverside to see the blooming of the cherries just like in Washington D.C.," he said.

Much of Japanese life is centered around the cherry blossom. The tree's short but spectacular bloom symbolizes the beauty of new life, but it also serves to remind that it can be fleeting.

The Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival is set for March 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Metro Courthouse Square. For more information, visit: http://nashvillecherryblossomfestival.org/.

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