WASHINGTON — The iconic cherry blossom trees in Washington, D.C., are expected to reach peak bloom sometime between March 14 and March 17, the National Park service announced this week. The earliest peak bloom on record was March 15, 1990, meaning this year’s peak bloom could be the earliest ever.
Peak bloom occurs when 70 percent of blossoms on the Yoshino cherry trees surrounding the Tidal Basin open. It normally falls between the last week of March and the first week of April. This year, National Park Service horticulturists first observed green buds on February 24, the earliest emergence since 2008.
The National Park Service makes peak bloom predictions using weather forecasts, historical data and other observations. Because of the earlier peak bloom prediction, the National Cherry Blossom Festival will start Wednesday, March 15, five days earlier than originally planned.