A tree by any other name
January 24, 2010 8:36 PM   Subscribe

Plantfilter: Can anyone identify the species of tree in this image?

My better half needs to know the species of tree depicted here.

It's not sakura and having hunted around for plant finders, I have a hunch that it might be this, but I'm not sure.

What I know about identifying plants would fit on the head of a pin, so if any of you botanists or greenthumbs out there can help out, that'd be ace.
posted by CardinalRichelieuHandPuppet to Home & Garden (17 answers total)
If it helps, Pippa Lee was filmed in Southwestern Connecticut (where I grew up) and dogwoods are very popular. However, the petals on those are usually larger.
posted by girlhacker at 8:45 PM on January 24, 2010

Maybe peach blossom? It's really difficult to do it with the tree out of focus.
posted by b33j at 8:45 PM on January 24, 2010

And if it's a shrub, it could be a pink mountain laurel. Like this.
posted by girlhacker at 8:48 PM on January 24, 2010

Response by poster: There's a clearer image on the Japanese movie home page, but there's some ugly flash navigation to get through.

skip intro -> story -> page 4

Thanks for the answers so far.
posted by CardinalRichelieuHandPuppet at 9:12 PM on January 24, 2010

I think it's a plum tree; we have a row of them near where I live and in spring they are thickly covered in blooms like that picture, where you can hardly see any bark, for all the blooms. The ones near me are fruitless plums but there are many kinds of plums used as ornamentals; some have purple foliage all year, but that looks like green foliage.
posted by The otter lady at 9:24 PM on January 24, 2010

it looks like cherry to me, but it's hard to tell
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:32 PM on January 24, 2010

It looks like an ornamental flowering fruit tree: cherry or plum or something like that.
posted by fshgrl at 10:49 PM on January 24, 2010

Third-ing the cherry tree idea. We have one that looks just like that in our driveway.
posted by Iggley at 11:22 PM on January 24, 2010

Oo posted too soon. Checked out the clearer picture and now I'm not so sure. I like fshgrl's ornamental plum idea. Those seem to have leaves among the flowers more frequently than cherry trees do.
posted by Iggley at 11:33 PM on January 24, 2010

I can't be too useful here except to throw a little cold water...
Sakura is cherry. So if it's definitely not Sakura, then its not cherry.
The second pic you linked to is an apple tree. Which is not generally used as an ornamantal in an urban environment as pictured.
Good luck!
posted by SLC Mom at 11:36 PM on January 24, 2010

It is almost certainly a cherry or plum or almond (all in the Prunus genus). There are so many, it's hard to tell from a blurry photo.
posted by Red Loop at 3:19 AM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm going to say flowering crabapple, which would fit with the Malus (apple trees in general) that you selected. We have a row of flowering crabapples in downtown Toronto that look very similar, with petals darker on the outside and lighter on the inside, and dense placement on the branch.
posted by nprigoda at 4:04 AM on January 25, 2010

Looks just like the crabapples that line the square in my little (Ohio) town. I think your hunch is pretty good.
posted by jon1270 at 4:14 AM on January 25, 2010

My vote is for crabapple because the closed buds seem dark pink, then lightening to pink and white as the flower opens; the petals aren't a uniform color.
posted by violette at 4:35 AM on January 25, 2010

Response by poster: Almost certain it's not a cherry as in my experience, they tend not to have leaves when they flower, and the clearer image that I posted in my first follow-up shows that the way the flowers cluster is different to what you tend to get with cherry blossoms.

What you get in Connecticut may be a lot different than what you get in Tokyo, so hey, I could be wrong. Still haven't seen anything that looks closer than crabapple, though the mountain laurel also looked close.

The better half says that's close enough for her. Thanks all for your help.
posted by CardinalRichelieuHandPuppet at 6:06 AM on January 25, 2010

Cherries will flower with leaves, it just depends. I don't think there's any way to tell from that picture what it is definitively: could be cherry, plum, crabapple... there's dozens of varieties of each. I tend to lean toward crabapple, but there's really no way to tell from that photo alone.

The second pic you linked to is an apple tree. Which is not generally used as an ornamantal in an urban environment as pictured.

??? Flowering crabapples are often used in urban environments.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:09 PM on January 25, 2010

Very late to the party here but could it be flowering quince?
posted by lunaazul at 5:27 PM on January 30, 2010

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