It’s cherry blossom season: Park officials name dates for DC’s peak bloom

Cherry blossoms swayed in the brisk winds Monday. The flags surrounding the Washington Monument whipped in the wind. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

Rise and shine, D.C. cherry blossoms. Spring is on the horizon, and National Park Service officials have announced their projected date for this year’s peak bloom.

Mark your calendars: Peak bloom is predicted to be from March 27 to 30, park service officials said at a news conference Wednesday morning.

As of Tuesday, 70% of the Yoshino cherry trees that line the District’s Tidal Basin had florets visible — well into the second of five phases researches use to track the capital’s famous blossoms. On average, this phase happens between 16 and 21 days ahead of peak bloom.

See WTOP’s complete guide to the National Cherry Blossom Festival

Warmer weather had left some wondering whether this year’s peak would happen earlier than usual or fizzle altogether. NPS staff spent the last few weeks collecting data and running them through algorithms to make their prediction.

2019’s cherry blossoms peaked around April 1. The date varies year by year and depends on weather conditions.

“We’ve had a mild winter and we haven’t had much snow, the trees really haven’t gone into a deep dormancy,” said Brian Hall, spokesman for the NPS unit which oversees the National Mall and its monuments.

“The trees are just fine, but it’s about whether or not it’s going to throw off the blooming cycle, and that’s why we’re trying to get the best information from our professionals.”

WTOP’s Melissa Howell contributed to this report.

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Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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