Cherry Blossoms Peak Bloom at Tidal Basin

The National Park Service has revised the dates for the peak bloom of cherry blossoms this spring for the dates of April 6-8 because of cooler daytime and nighttime temperatures recently. The peak bloom date is expected when 70 percent of the Yoshino Cherry trees along the Tidal Basin are in bloom, according to the National Park Service’s website.

The date when the Yoshino cherry blossoms reach peak bloom varies from year to year, depending on weather conditions. Cherry Blossom Festival dates are set based on the average date of blooming (April 4), but nature is not always cooperative. Unseasonably warm and/or cool temperatures have resulted in the Yoshino cherries reaching peak bloom as early as March 15 (1990) and as late as April 18 (1958).

The blooming period is defined as the period that starts when 20% of the blossoms are open and ends when the petals fall and the leaves appear. The blooming period starts several days before the peak bloom date and can last as long as 14 days; however, frost or high temperatures combined with wind and/or rain can shorten this period.

During the blooming period, the National Park Service conducts annual Cherry Tree Walks and other unique programs around the Tidal Basin. These Park Ranger conducted programs present an interpretive look at the historical and cultural influence of the Japanese flowering cherry trees in our nation’s capital. For information on the dates and times of the walks and bike tours, call 202.426.6841.

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