Cherry Blossom Watch Update: March 11, 2022

The buds have been making good progress with the warm weather. There’s an Arctic Blast incoming, but it shouldn’t pose much of a problem.

Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
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Washington DC's cherry blossoms reached peak bloom on March 21. They are now done for the year. You can find the most updates from the 2022 bloom here.

It's a beautiful, sunny spring morning and shaping up for a lovely day. But it's not going to last. Winter is coming back tomorrow with some potentially wild weather and plunging temperatures.

The cherry buds have been making good progress. As usual, not all the trees are exactly the same schedule, with some racing ahead of others. But the warm weather over the past week or two has helped with brisk progress.

The National Park Service has determined that they reached the Florets Visible stage on March 7. That's the second of the five stages tracked before peak bloom.

And the saucer magnolias (aka tulip magnolias) at the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle are getting closer to blooming. The cooler weather over the next few days will slow things, but warmer weather after that will help bring them out. You can see some photos of them taken this morning below.

Will The Arctic Blast Threaten the Cherry Blossoms?

There are some specific stages in the development of the blossoms where they're particularly susceptible to frost and freezing temperatures. But the buds haven't yet reached that stage and are still well protected. So the cold temperatures and moisture from the storm are unlikely to do any harm, and we won't see the same kind of blossom carnage from this winter storm that we saw in 2017 when about half of the blossoms were killed off. In 2017, the blossoms were much further along in the process when the freezing temperatures hit.

The strong winds might cause some physical damage to fragile branches, although the NPS arborists do a good job of pruning the most fragile branches as part of their routine care.

The magnolias might be at more risk. Their buds are further along in the process and potentially more susceptible to freezing temperatures expected early Sunday morning.

How the Tidal Basin Looks This Morning

Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.

How the Magnolias Look This Morning

These were all taken this morning at the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle.

Photo of Washington DC Saucer Magnolias - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Saucer Magnolias - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Saucer Magnolias - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Saucer Magnolias - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Saucer Magnolias - March 11, 2022 taken by David Coleman.

Local Charity Spotlight

Looking to give back? Here's one of the local charities (or with local links) that is well worth contributing to.

Cape Ivy

Cape Ivy provides warmth, comfort and support to children who have chronic or critical illnesses and their families.

Cape Ivy provides fleece ponchos to children in the hospital because robes, sweaters and jackets don’t work well with IV lines and other medical equipment. Cape Ivy is a resource for families experiencing long-term hospitalization of children.

I've had the pleasure of personally seeing a small glimpse of the impact this organization. They're wonderful people doing wonderful work.

You can donate directly on their website and learn more about their mission and impact.

3 thoughts on “Cherry Blossom Watch Update: March 11, 2022”

    • Yes, there are lots of them all around the region–they’re quite common. Some other good spots nearby include Rawlins Park and around the George Mason Memorial.

      Reply

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