It’s coming up sooner than you’d think.
Washington D.C.’s famous cherry blossoms are expected to reach peak bloom by March 22 to March 25, a prediction that — if it holds — will mark one of the earliest dates the flowers have reached that stage.
The prediction, which was made by the National Park Service on Wednesday, is when the agency expects 70 percent of cherry trees will be in bloom. The forecast follows an unseasonably warm winter with very variable conditions that have ranged from spring-like days to snow storms.
“Emerging from the third warmest winter on record, this has been a particularly challenging year to read the trees and to project peak bloom,” Jeff Reinbold, NPS superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks, said at a news conference. “Due to the warmer than average temperatures, the trees never reached their winter dormancy, which is the starting point for calculating when the blooms will emerge.”
In fact, Reinbold said the NPS natural resource manager “likened the trees this year — our indicator tree — to a teenager. There’s a lot going on there right now.”
The peak bloom prediction is one of the earliest on record, only surpassed by a few years, including 2020 and 2012, when the trees reached peak bloom on March 20. The earliest recorded peak bloom was in 1990 when they reached that stage by March 15, while the latest was on April 18 in 1958, according to the NPS.
After reaching their peak, the trees are expected to keep their blossoms for about 10 days.
The trees themselves were a gift from Japan in 1912 and planted around the Tidal Basin near the National Mall with several spots to view them. To celebrate the blooms, Washington D.C. hosts an annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, which includes several events.
“This is the real business of our city: welcoming people, having them experience our city, tell their friends, and come back next year,” Washington D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser said during the news conference. “And we’re just happy to be a part of that work.”
Beyond Washington D.C., there are several places to view cherry blossoms in spring like Branch Brook Park in Newark, N.J. and, of course, Japan.
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