DC’s cherry blossoms reach 3rd stage of growth, halfway to peak bloom

The National Cherry Blossom Festival starts this weekend, and blossoms on the Yoshino cherry trees around D.C.’s Tidal Basin are developing nicely.

The cherry blossoms go through six stages of growth, and the National Park Service says they have now reached stage three, called extension of florets.

In this stage, it’s time to start watching for white petals emerging from the green florets.

The blossoms are expected to reach peak bloom between March 22 and March 25. However, that’s a prediction, not a guarantee.

West Basin Drive is now closed for the setup of the Tidal Basin welcome area, which opens this Saturday.

Among the festival’s first official events will be the Cherry Blossom Family Celebration at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Saturday, and the ticketed opening ceremony at the Warner Theatre on Sunday.

If you don’t have tickets to Sunday’s event, you can watch a livestream on the festival’s YouTube channel. See a list of events on the festival’s website.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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