Theory:

The story "The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom" is from William Elliot Griffs's book "Japan in History, Folk-Lore and Art", published in the year \(1895\).

It is a translated version of a Japanese folk tale named Hanasaka Jiisan, also called Hanasaka Jijii, which means "old man who made flowers blossom".
 
Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford collected this tale in Tales of Old Japan (1871), as "The Story of the Old Man Who Made Withered Trees to Blossom".
 
Rev. David Thomson translated it as "The Old Man Who Made the Dead Trees Blossom" for Hasegawa Takejirō's Japanese Fairy Tale Series (1885).
 
Andrew Lang included it as "The Envious Neighbor" in The Violet Fairy Book (1901), adapting it from a German text in Japanische Märchen, compiled by David August Brauns (the original German title being Der neidische Nachbar).
 
There are slight differences between the original edition and the translated version. Apart, the story remains the same. For example, the dog's name is 'Shiro' in Hanasaka Jiisan and its 'Muko' in the translated version.
Reference:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanasaka_Jiisan