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Rock Splitting Cherry Tree

by Bob Kerstetter

Three to four hundred years ago—or so the majority thinking goes—a cherry seed of the Edo Higan variety slipped into a crack in a granite rock—a fairly large rock in Morioka, Japan.

Today, the tree from the seed continues to use its pink and white power to gradually split the igneous boulder.

The Rock Splitting Cherry Tree—石割桜 (ishiwarizakura) in Japanese—pleases thousands of admirers each year. It stands in front of the Regional Court Building in Morioka City.

Morioka serves as the capital city of Iwate Prefecture in Eastern Japan.

These photo show the Rock Splitting Cherry Tree in bloom during the season of sakura.


After cracking open its host igneous rock for 300 to 400 years, the Rock Splitting Cherry Tree now receives support for its longest and heaviest limbs.


A little girl and her rabbit enjoy the Rock Splitting Cherry Tree—石割桜 (ishiwarizakura).


This angle emphasizes the size of the igneous rock split by the cherry tree.


A closeup shows the rock splitting cherry tree creating its rift in a solid igneous boulder.

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