Ready to bloom

Like the 2012 cherry blossom stamps, the Gifts of Friendship stamps feature illustrations by Paul Rogers.

The Postal Service and Japan will jointly issue stamps April 10 to commemorate former President William Howard Taft’s 1915 gift of dogwood trees to the East Asian nation.

The two Gifts of Friendship stamps show scenes from Washington, DC. One stamp depicts cherry blossoms at the Lincoln Memorial while the other features dogwood blossoms in white and pink near the U.S. Capitol.

USPS will issue the stamps in panes of 12. Each pane will have five Lincoln Memorial cherry blossom stamps, five U.S. Capitol dogwood blossom stamps and two stamps with Japanese designs, which will be unveiled later.

Taft’s gift came three years after Japan gave the United States 3,000 cherry blossom trees, which were planted in Washington and commemorated on a 2012 joint stamp release.

The Postal Service revealed the new stamps during a Feb. 20 briefing with Linn’s Stamp News and other philatelic publications.

Also announced: stamps to raise awareness of missing children and honor the Special Olympics and artist Martín Ramírez, along with designs for the final Civil War 1865 stamps.

USPS previously announced plans for stamps to honor letter writing and other subjects. Additional stamps will be announced throughout 2015.