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In 1959, the citizens of Tokyo presented the citizens of Toronto with our city’s first Yoshino Cherry tree—what’s known in Japanese as somei yoshino. In Japan, these deciduous trees—relatively small in stature, growing to between five and 12 metres in height—are naturally occurring hybrids, believed to be descended from the Oshima cherry trees of Japan’s Izu Peninsula, near Tokyo. Because of their adaptability to a range of temperate environments, the trees have become globally renowned, and are perhaps one of the most widely cultivated types of sakura in the world. (

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