Cherry Blossom Watch Update: March 18, 2022

Some of the trees are starting to pop. Most of the trees aren’t quite there yet, but it’s shaping up nicely for full bloom next week.

Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.

This post may include affiliate links. Read more.

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.

Some of the trees are starting to pop. Most need a few more days to get there, but it's easy to find some flowers out all the way around the Tidal Basin. There's a particularly dense area in full bloom in the MLK Memorial.

The National Park Service has judged that the blossoms have reached the awkwardly named Peduncle Elongation stage. That's the fourth of the five stages that the NPS tracks before peak bloom. Next up is puffy white. With the warm days, progress is moving quickly, and it's shaping up nicely for full bloom next week.

See below on prospects for this weekend as well as logistical information (eg. Ohio Drive, Welcome Area, etc).

What to Expect Over the Weekend

If you're heading down to the Tidal Basin today or through the weekend, you'll have no trouble finding some cherry blossoms in bloom. Most of the trees aren't quite there yet, but more and more will be coming out over the next few days in this warm weather.

Expect traffic and changed traffic patterns around the Tidal Basin (see below). Metro is running extra services.

There are no access restrictions beyond the usual one-way traffic pattern around the Tidal Basin. There aren't any fences to restrict pedestrian traffic.

Logistics for Visiting

Ohio Drive is open today but will be switched to the special one-way traffic pattern tomorrow (March 19). That will remain in place during the main bloom. So you'll need to enter up by the Jefferson Memorial; you won't be able to enter from the Lincoln Memorial End.

Welcome Area. The NPS is switching things up this year and has moved the Welcome Area from the old Maine Ave parking area to next to the MLK Memorial (West Basin Dr SW). So West Basin Dr SW is closed to traffic from Ohio Drive. That has displaced some disabled parking spots; they've been moved to a temporarily signed area about 100 yards or so away at the intersection of Ohio Drive and West Basin Dr SW).

Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
The National Park Service has moved the Welcome Area to West Basin Dr SW, next to the MLK Memorial.

Metro will be running extra services during the bloom. The closest stops are Smithsonian and L'Enfant Plaza. I have more information on getting to the cherry blossoms separately.

How it Looks at the Tidal Basin This Morning

It's a foggy start to the day, but that will soon burn off and leave a sunny and warm day.

Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.

Indicator Tree

The Indicator Tree is in full bloom. This is a specific tree that reliably runs a week or two ahead of the others.

Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 18, 2022 taken by David Coleman.
Indicator Tree this morning.

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.

6 thoughts on “Cherry Blossom Watch Update: March 18, 2022”

  1. Cindy & I (Ted) will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary a little early to see the Flowers coming out on March 23 though March 31. Our 1st time to DC it should be lots of fun. Today Friday 18mar2022 it is 34 degrees here.

    Reply
    • Most likely. But the reason it’s not possible to say definitively is that so much depends on the weather. In the right conditions (calm, cool, dry), the blossoms can stay out for up to two weeks or so. In the wrong conditions (rainy, windy, warm, stormy), they can be chased out in less than a week.

      Reply

Leave a Comment