Japan Gives US 250 Replacement Cherry Trees For Tidal Basin: REPORT

(KAREN BLEIER/AFP via Getty Images)

Fiona McLoughlin Contributor
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Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida, announced Wednesday that Japan will gift 250 cherry trees to replace the ones torn down during construction at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., the New York Times (NYT) reported.

“These Japanese-born cherry trees have been sounding the arrival of spring to the city every year for over 110 years,” Kishida said, according to the NYT. “Just as the local residents have cherished and protected these cherry trees, the Japan-U.S. relationship has been supported and nurtured by the many people who love each other’s country.”

Kishida said this gift is meant to honor the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which will be celebrated in 2026, the outlet noted. President Joe Biden thanked Kishida for the gift, which has been a long-time symbol of the relationship between Japan and the U.S., the NYT reported.

“Like our friendship, these trees are timeless, inspiring and thriving,” Biden said, according to the NYT.

The Tidal Basin is under construction to create new, taller sea walls meant to protect the Jefferson Memorial, the outlet reported. The current sea walls, constructed in the 1800s, have sunk too low and no longer protect against storm surges and tidal waves. Because of the construction, 140 cherry trees will be torn down, the NYT noted. (RELATED: Terrorist Beaver Seriously Damages National Landmark).

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 22: Water puddles are left behind after high tide as visitors walk on the seawalls at the Tidal Basin on March 22, 2024 in Washington, DC. The National Park Service announced that it will begin to cut down over 140 Cherry Blossom trees around the Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park in anticipation of construction for an upgraded sea wall to guard against flooding. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“It’s spring in Washington. The sun is shining. And every spring, cherry blossoms bloom across this city thanks to a gift from Japan of 3,000 cherry trees over a century ago,” Biden said, according to the NYT.

In 1912, the mayor of Tokyo gifted 3,000 cherry trees to the U.S., the NYT reported. Kishida explained the Somei Yoshino variety of cherry trees have a lifespan of nearly 60 years when planted in Washington. Yet, the original trees thrived for over 100 years, the outlet noted.