West Potomac Park, Southwest, DC
Nothing signifies the arrival of spring in the District quite like the blooming of the cherry blossoms, an event that has spawned a three-week festival celebrating the occasion. More than 1.5 million visitors descend upon Washington, DC each year to admire the 3,000-plus trees. The festival, full of events that honor both American and Japanese cultures, represents a close bond forged between the United States and Japan that began with Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki’s gift of the trees back in 1912.
Tell me more about the blossomsMichael Foley
Peak bloom is the magical moment visitors want to be on hand for during the cherry blossom season. The peak bloom date is defined as the day when 70 percent of the trees surrounding the Tidal Basin have opened their buds, creating an unforgettable sea of pink and white. The National Park Service is responsible for measuring the growth of the buds of the trees, and each year predict when peak bloom will arrive. On average, the peak bloom is on April 4, but that date changes year to year. For instance, 2012’s peak bloom occurred on March 20 due to unseasonably warm weather and then on April 10 in 2014 due to a cold winter.
The blooming period, when 20 percent of the blossoms are open before the petals and leaves fall, can last up to 14 days, depending on weather conditions. "Forecasting peak bloom is almost impossible more than 10 days in advance," according to the National Park Service.
Last but not least, please do your part in helping to protect the National Mall and the cherry blossoms. We kindly remind you to look at the blossoms, but never pick them (it’s against the law).