Additional Math Pages & Resources

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Japanese Cherry Trees — Do the Math

On March 27, 1912, Japanese cherry trees were planted along the Potomac River in Washington, DC. Today, people time their vacations and field trips just to be able to see these amazing trees in bloom. The sight is really spectacular.

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Helen Taft, wife of President William Taft, and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted two Yoshina cherry trees on the northern bank of the Potomac River, near the Jefferson Memorial. The event was held in celebration of a gift of 3,020 cherry trees from the Japanese government  to the U.S. government. The first shipment of trees were diseased so a private Japanese donor replaced all 3,020 of the trees and sent a new shipment. Read more at

Today the Yoshina cherry trees are practically an historical landmark. These photos were taken by my daughter on her eighth grade field trip to Washington DC a few years ago. Each year people estimate the days the cherry trees will be in full bloom. Peak bloom is defined as 70% of the cherry blossoms in bloom. This year, peak bloom is predicted to take place April 4-6. However, the bloom period can last up to 14 days. Even so, a sudden rain spell can shorten that time dramatically.

Here's a word problem that includes cherry trees from our Excel Math Grade 2 lesson sheet. See if you can find the correct answer (shown below): Adena has 3 cherry trees, 2 apple trees and 3 pine trees in her yard. How many trees does she have?

To see more word problems and sample lessons from Excel Math Kindergarten through Grade 6, visit our website:

If you want to take part in the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, you can get tickets to the festival and party on Friday online:

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(The answer to the Grade 2 word problem given above is 8.)

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