Cherry Blossom Watch 2012

Cherry blossom watch updates for 2012.

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The cherry blossoms around Washington DC's Tidal Basin have come and gone for 2012 and are now heading into their green phase that they'll carry into the fall. There are some other trees around the National Mall and Hains Point still blooming, including some other varieties of cherry blossoms, but the main cluster of Yoshino cherry trees around the Tidal Basin are done for the season. If you head on over to East Potomac Park you might still catch a cluster of Kwanzan cherry trees blooming right around the western bank of Hains Point at the intersection of Buckeye Drive and Ohio Drive SW (near the National Park Service headquarters)–they bloom a week or two after the Yoshinos.

A warm winter and early fall this year brought the flowers out very early. They officially reached peak bloom on March 20 this year, according to the National Park Service. While early, it was not the earliest on record.

Below are some photos of how the trees look at various stages through this season. You can also see my main gallery of photos of the Cherry Blossoms, find much more information on Washington DC's Cherry Blossoms in 2012, and check out information for photographers.

So that's pretty much it for this year. Be sure to check back next year for Cherry Blossom Watch 2013!

6 Days After Peak Bloom

March 26, 2012

For all intents and purposes, the bloom is over. There's a tiny number of stragglers still with some blossoms, but most trees have lost their petals (helped along by this past weekend's rain and today's wind). The green leaves are starting to come through on some trees, but they still have a way to go.

3 Days After Peak Bloom

March 23, 2012

The color has mostly shifted from white to pink, although there are still some holdouts. The trees are beautiful, but look closely and you'll see the telltale signs that they're on their way out.  Green is starting to poke through a little more in some places. More petals are falling.

They should look fantastic at least through the weekend, but unfortunately the weather forecast isn't great. So if you have the option, today would be a good time to head down.

Pink Cherry Blossoms  Close-up

Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC Before Dawn

Close-up of Pink Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin in Washington DC

Martin Luther King Memorial with Cherry Blossoms

Closeup of Pink Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC

Cherry Blossoms Closeup with the Washington Monument

Photographer Taking Photos of the Cherry Blossoms

1 Day After Peak Bloom

March 21, 2012

The flowers are starting to shift from puffy white to getting a pale pink tint. On a very small number of trees, some green leaves are starting to come through. And some of the petals are starting to fall–in a gust of wind it looks a bit like it's snowing.

Cherry Blossoms Close-Up Against Overcast Sky

Each spring, the blooming of the nearly 1700 Japanese cherry blossom trees around the Tidal Basin (and about 2000 others nearby) is a major tourist draw for Washington DC.

Cherry Blossoms Overhanging the Walkway on an Overcast Morning

Cherry Blossoms and Washington Monument with Low Clouds

2 Days Before Peak Bloom

March 18, 2012

Yep, they're a-blooming. They'll be in peak bloom through the beginning of this week. By next weekend, there should still be a lot of flowers on the trees, but some will probably be starting on the way out.

Washington DC Cherry Blossoms in Peak Bloom

Washington DC Cherry Blossoms in Peak Bloom

6 Days Before Peak Bloom

March 14, 2012

A small number of buds are starting to pop into bloom. Seen from a distance, the trees have turned a deep reddish pinkish color as the outside of the buds get larger. The blossoms will start to come out en masse over the next 2 to 3 days. And the tour buses are already lining Hains Point.

9 Days Before Peak Bloom

March 11, 2012

16 Days Before Peak Bloom

March 4, 2012

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