Published: Thu, March 02, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

Festival officials predict best dates to see DC cherry blossoms

Festival officials predict best dates to see DC cherry blossoms

Peak bloom is when 70 percent of the blossoms of the Yoshino cherry trees around the Tidal Basin are in bloom.

National Mall and Memorial Parks Superintendent Gay Vietzke announced Wednesday that the peak bloom is expected between March 14 and March 17. The average date for the trees' peak bloom is April 1, but this year's blooming period may be just around the corner. We came close in 2012, when the peak bloom happened March 20. In the past, the peak blooming period has begun as early as March 15, in 1990, and as late as April 18, in 1958.

Last year, peak bloom started March 25, while each of the previous three years it was either April 9 or April 10. In 2016, environmental officials voiced concerns because the peak bloom was set to occur as early as March 23. Elliot Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination D.C., tells the Washington Business Journal that previous early blooms did not change festival attendance numbers "at all".

The National Park Service plans to update its website daily with the progress of the blooms. All dates for planned events will stay the same, said Diana Mayhew, president of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

The original approximately 3,000 cherry trees were a gift from Japan in 1912.

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