NPS pushes back cherry tree peak bloom in D.C.

FILE - In this March 18, 2012 file photo, cherry blossom trees are in bloom around the Tidal Basin, with the Jefferson Memorial in the background in Washington. Officials in Washington are going to be predicting this year\'s peak bloom dates for the city\'s famed cherry trees. This year\'s National Cherry Blossom Festival is already planned for March 20 through April 14, but the National Park Service will be more specific about the predicted bloom dates on Monday. The average peak bloom date is April 4, but last year\'s peak bloom date was March 20. The cherry blossoms draw about 1 million visitors each spring. This year marks the 101st anniversary of the gift of trees from Japan. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service is updating its predicted peak bloom time for the District of Columbia’s cherry trees, now saying the peak bloom will come in early April.

Officials had said the city’s famous cherry tree blooms would be at their best between March 26 and March 30. On Tuesday the National Park Service updated its website to say the peak bloom dates would be April 3 through 6. Spokeswoman Carol Johnson says cold weather slowed the blossoms’ development.

The average peak bloom date is April 4, but last year’s peak bloom date came earlier on March 20, due to the warm weather.

The cherry blossoms draw about 1 million visitors to the nation’s capital each spring. This year marks the 101st anniversary of the gift of trees from Japan.

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