Washington DC's famous cherry blossom reached peak bloom on March 28, 2021. They're now done for the year.
You can find the most recent updates here.
There are quite a few cherry blossoms out now. The vast majority aren’t quite there yet, but as you walk around the Tidal Basin, it’s easy to find at least some flowers out and the occasional early-blooming whole tree. And the indicator tree is in full bloom.
The National Park Service judged that 70 percent of the cherry buds had reached the “peduncle elongation” stage as of yesterday.
The morning started damp, overcast, and bleak, but as the morning has gone on, the sun’s out and bringing with it strong winds and unseasonably warm temperatures.
The National Park Service has closed the roads around the Tidal Basin and put up fences around the entire perimeter. As of this morning, at least, the area was still open to pedestrian traffic. But they’ve done it in such a way that they just need to close a few choke points in order to close the fence fully. They’ve said that they’re prepared to do that if the crowds get too large. Where that threshold is seems to be a “we’ll know it when we see it” situation. This is what an NPS spokesperson told NBC4:
It is a judgment call, but it is based on the CDC guidance of 6-foot social distancing and the city’s mass-gathering limitations of 50 people. We are going to keep everything open as long as we possibly can, but when we reach that point, we have bike rack [fencing] out [and] Park Police will be on patrol to enforce those closures.
There are other places in the area that are very good for taking in cherry blossoms with much more opportunity for social distancing. The National Arboretum and Meadowlark are good places to start; there are some more ideas here.
It was very quiet earlier this morning. There was even a beaver out for swim, which is the first time I’ve actually seen one here–I’ve only ever seen their gnawed trunks before (I couldn’t get a decent shot of it, unfortunately, without it coming out looking like a Loch Ness monster photo).
Here are some photos taken early this morning (before the sun came out).
The saucer magnolias are out now and looking wonderful. Here are some photos I took this morning at the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle.
Want to Help Support DC's Cherry Trees?
If you'd like to help support the care and upkeep of the cherry trees around the Tidal Basin, the Trust for The National Mall has launched an Endow a Cherry Tree Campaign. Donations go to the official Cherry Tree Endowment, which will give the National Park Service additional resources to fund the care, maintenance, and possible replacement of the cherry trees. You can find more information here.
The Trust is dedicated to marshaling private support for maintaining and improving the historic National Mall area. I'm not affiliated with the Trust--just an admirer of their efforts.