Video Shows Disrespectful Crowds Damaging Cherry Blossoms In Toronto’s High Park

Toronto’s cherry blossom season is coming to an end after more than a week of peak blooms in Toronto – and that’s probably a good thing for our city’s Sakura trees, not to mention everyone who lives in the area.

Although cherry trees can be found in several groves around the city, there is no better place to take in the delicate pink blossoms than High Park.

Thousands upon thousands of people flock to the western end every year during peak blooms to celebrate the beauty of Toronto’s cherry trees, forming huge crowds that can become problematic; think of traffic jams, overloaded facilities and downright disrespectful behaviour.

There are no reports of cherry blossom-related tramplings or police investigations in 2022 (so far), but there is evidence online that some people have gone to unpleasant, even harmful, efforts for their Sakura selfies.

Some Canadian YouTubers working on the handle of FKOTW recently went to the park for a “joke” where some young men dressed up as cherry blossom “officers” and basically just did the city a nice free service.

“Hello everyone, it’s the gardener here. I want to give Japan a big round of applause for giving us all these trees in 1959,” says one of the YouTubers at the top of the video, educating everyone around him about the origins of the historic forest.

Not long after, the fake guard (“CH Blossom” lol) can be seen asking people to get out of the cherry blossom trees and stop pulling their branches, inadvertently highlighting seriously disturbed behavior.

“This is incredible’ he says as he approaches a woman perched in a tree, posing for photos. “Guys, we can’t have anyone in the trees. Here this is a crime. We have to get off.”

For the record, it’s not a crime. It’s just a dick move.

“Hey, sir, sir, sir, we can’t pull,” he says to another reveler, as someone can watch someone pull down a branch for a photo. As the person releases the branch, delicate flowers are detached from the tree and fall to the ground.

“Look what happens. They’re going to die. We can’t have this… I’d give you a ticket, but this time it’s going to be okay. Just not anymore, okay guys?”

The YouTubers enjoy walking around with their character and talking to people, but the stunt feels more like a funny public service announcement than a real joke – and I say that in a positive way. Not only did these guys help educate park visitors about Toronto’s Sakura trees, they also saved many delicate flowers from damage.

Despite all the people you might see pulling branches, climbing trees and doing equally destructive things in the name of the same damn photo they’ve taken a thousand times, human hands are meant to keep off the cherry blossoms.

“Climbing the cherry trees, pulling on the branches and picking off the flowers can damage the trees,” the city’s website said. “Stay on existing trails to protect environmentally sensitive areas.”

As a huge sign installed by the city in High Park for the cherry blossom season reads, “Please stay away from the flowering trees. Take only memories and photos.”

And if you’re going to take pictures, it’s best to have a cute dog in the foreground. Just for the personal enjoyment of everyone you follow on Instagram.

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