Japanese proverb sternly reminds social media users about an often forgotten way in which cherry blossom trees are extremely delicate.

With the cherry blossoms in full bloom, people across Japan have been heading out to parks, gardens, and just about anywhere the sakura trees can be found, But though the flowers themselves are breathtakingly beautiful, Japanese Twitter user @gomafu_ks spotted something that she wasn’t so happy to see.

As she was doing some hanami (cherry blossom viewing) at a local park, @gomafu_ks’s happy mood was spoiled by the sound of branches snapping. Two other women had begun breaking branches off the sakura trees in order to fashion hair accessories out of them.

@gomafu_ks says that this has become a trend among certain social media-loving young women in Japan, and even tweeted a few screen captures to back up the claim.


Crafting accessories like this might do wonders for one’s follower count, it can be disastrous for the tree. As a matter of fact, @gomafu_ks took the opportunity to tweet a reminder of a Japanese proverb: “Sakura kiru baka, ume wo kiranu baka,” or “People who break cherry branches are idiots, and people who don’t break plum branches are idiots.”


While just about everyone knows how beautiful sakura trees are, not many are aware of how delicate they can be. Japanese cherry trees are highly susceptible to wood-rotting fungus entering from the point where a branch is snapped off, and the farther the breakage occurs from the trunk, the more likely the infection. Plum trees, on the other hand, don’t have this problem, and actually need to be regularly pruned, as failing to do so will result in an overabundance of branches and prevent the tree from flowering, which would be a shame, given how amazingly beautiful plum blossoms look (that said, you should still leave the pruning of any plum trees in a garden or park to the professional gardeners).

@gomafu_ks goes so gar as to say what the women she saw were as harmful to the tree as wood-devouring insects would have been, and other Twitter users were similarly miffed.

“People who grew up in the city don’t know enough about nature.”
“That level of ignorance is sinful.”
“Please don’t kill the sakura just so you can take one measly picture.”
“To be honest, I think it’s dirty to put unwashed tree branches and flowers in your hair anyway.”

Luckily, harvesting sakura branches to make accessories hasn’t become an epidemic, and hopefully @gomafu_ks’s tweet will keep the practice from spreading.

Source: Twitter/@gomafu_ks via Hachima Kiko
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