Fifty cherry trees were planted at the Arboretum April 2008– 30 along the sides of the walkway leading to the entrance of Japan House, and the remaining trees placed throughout the property. The idea to add cherry trees to the Japan House landscape evolved during a garden tour and informal conversation between Genshitsue Sen and Japan House director Kimiko Gunji when Sen visited the campus to receive an honorary degree in May of 2007.
The trees are a gift from Sen, who is a former grandmaster of Japan’s Urasenke Tradition of Tea. The tea school dispatched master landscape gardener Katsuo Kubo of Japan, to the UI campus in early April to oversee the planting. Kubo was assisted by Arboretum staff Carlos Donaldson, student worker Claire Vial and Kurt Nofftz.