Unusual cherry blossoms observed in mid-October

Unusual cherry blossoms observed in mid-October

A series of typhoons may have led to an unusual phenomenon in this fall season. Cherry trees that normally blossom in spring have been blooming in the past few weeks.

A private weather company has received 354 reports of blooming cherry trees in an area stretching from Kyushu, western Japan, to the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido as of Sunday.

Tree surgeon Hiroyuki Wada says the popular Somei-yoshino variety develops floral buds in the summer. But they do not usually bloom immediately because the tree's leaves release a hormone that stops the buds from growing.

He says this year trees have lost their leaves, stripped off by violent winds or left to wither from salt exposure.

Wada says warmer temperatures following the storms likely set off blooming impulses in the buds.