Outdoor Fun

SoCal's ‘Pink Tree Season' Begins to Open Its Petals

From apricot blossoms to saucer magnolia blooms, branches at our region's public gardens are growing frillier, and more fabulous, by the day.

Creativ Studio Heinemann

What to Know

  • Apricot trees are beginning to blossom at the Chinese Garden at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
  • Saucer magnolia trees are looking magnificent at Descanso Gardens
  • Flowering trees in our area often peak around late March or early April; follow your favorite garden to follow the 2022 bloom

Flowers growing in the ground never cease to thrill those people who love the gorgeous gifts that spring from soil and sunlight, while blooms bedecking shrubs and bushes have a way of lifting the spirits and adding a note of joy.

But flowers above our heads? The kind that festoon the branches of trees?

That's a concept that almost seems surreal, too fanciful to exist on this plane of existence, something marvelous but probably invented by a dreamer with an especially florid imagination.

And yet, we're lucky enough to live in a place where many trees are blanketed with beautiful buds each year, with the first petite petals making a tender and tentatively showing just a month or so after winter has begun.

These ethereal and arboreal sights are famously associated with March and April around Los Angeles, when cherry blossom festivals flower around town and public gardens are awash in painterly color.

But the first blossoms appear long before spring's start, and they're starting to do just that as we reach the middle of January 2022.

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens recently declared the beginning of "(p)ink tree season" on its Facebook page, thanks to the flowery fact that apricot blossoms are appearing in the San Marino landmark's Chinese Garden.

And, not too far from The Huntington, in La Cañada Flintridge?

The saucer magnolia trees, with their pointy-of-petal, delicate-of-shape flowers, are prettily popping at Descanso Gardens, where the annual holiday lighting displays of "Enchanted Forest of Light" only just wrapped.

You may have seen one or a few saucer magnolias in your own neighborhood, for these wintertime bloomers are very much of the can't-miss-'em variety, thanks to those big blossoms that seem to boast about a dozen shades of pink and purple, if you look closely.

More flowering trees will do their dazzling thing in the weeks to come, with March being a prime time to steep in their grandeur, frilly-a-tude, and look-up loveliness.

And isn't that really what makes us cheer these cheerful specimens? We're so accustomed to gazing down, at the ground, to see flowers, or perhaps straight ahead at a bush or shrub.

But flowers in the sky seem truly unusual, super-fantastical, and something worth celebrating, an annual return that lifts our hopes, our thoughts, and our faces, too.

For more "blossoms above our heads" beauty, check out your favorite local garden's feeds to find out when their fruit trees will begin to burst.

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