Most beautiful tree
AE Housman called the cherry the "loveliest of trees" in his classic poetry cycle A Shropshire Lad, from 1896. And it's hard to argue when, in spring, they burst into bloom and spark blizzards of confetti-like petals. But the best place to appreciate the flowering tree is a long way from the lanes of Shropshire. Japan's annual hanami - cherry blossom viewing parties - are a millennia-old national institution and a glorious way to enjoy the multitude of trees that break into bloom for a fleeting week to 10 days at some point between January and May.
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