According to the Capitol's website, cherry trees were sent by the Japanese to Utah as a symbol of friendship and reconciliation following World War II. In Japan, blossoming cherry trees, with their rapidly appearing flowers that die within weeks, symbolize the impermanence of life. Those trees and others at the Capitol, however, were damaged or lost when a tornado struck downtown Salt Lake City in 1999. The current Yoshino cherry trees were planted during the 2004–08 Capitol restoration project.
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