What December’s cherry blossoms mean for spring

Cherry blossoms in full bloom line the Kenwood neighborhood in Montgomery County. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
Cherry blossoms in full bloom line the Kenwood neighborhood in Montgomery County. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty) (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
(1/5)
Cherry blossoms in full bloom line the Kenwood neighborhood in Montgomery County. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

WASHINGTON — There are patches of pink popping up around the D.C. area as some cherry blossom varietals are in what’s called an “autumn bloom.” But the longer it continues, the more if affects the amount of blossoms come spring.

Area residents are seeing the little pink blossoms poking out around the region including some trees along on the National Mall and Montgomery County’s Kenwood neighborhood, which is known for its spring cherry tree show.

“If you get some warm weather in late November, early December they’ll sporadically bloom, which is what we’re seeing now,” says Mike Litterst with the National Park Service.

It’s not uncommon to have a warm snap during a D.C. autumn season, but this streak has been longer than normal.

Some of the Higan varietals in an autumn bloom are scattered around the Tidal Basin and in East Potomac Park, Litterst says.

“It may not be the best show next spring,” says WTOP Garden Editor Mike McGrath.

The longer warm temperatures allow cherry trees to bloom, the fewer blossoms the region will see in spring, he says. As long as the trees don’t reach full bloom, they’ll still blossom in the spring.

He says a tree with, say 1,000 blossoms still has a lot left to give.

“So if you get 100 in the winter — which is going to look like a lot — you’ve still got 900 bucks in the bank,” McGrath says.

Like cherry trees that are being fooled into a longer bloom by the warm temperatures, some forsythia and azaleas are flowering as well.

“You’re always going to have some misfires. The misfires are what make us appreciate a perfect spring,” he says.

Here are some photos being shared on social media about the December blooms. See more in the gallery above.

 

 

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up