It's still too early to guess with any confidence when DC's cherry blossoms will bloom in 2020, and no peak bloom forecasts have been issued yet. Stay tuned for the first peak bloom forecasts to be announced around the beginning of March.
The winter so far has been much warmer than normal. January and February have both tracked well above average. If that continues--and that's always a big "if"--it points to an earlier-than-average bloom, more late-March than early-April. But there's still plenty of time for cold weather to arrive and settle in, so it's still too early to predict with confidence.
Petals are starting to come off, but for now it’s a very gentle pace. The cold weather has slowed development down and kept the green leaves at bay. But if you start looking up close you can see more green, a combination of the green flower stems being revealed as petals come off and green leaves starting to poke through. The pace will begin picking up starting tomorrow, with warm weather coming and potentially some gusty winds.
The entire bloom is a constant state of transition, and that’s especially true now as the flowers are being replaced by green leaves. For now, they’re holding up very well indeed, and they’re looking beautiful. As we head into the weekend more and more petals will come off in the breeze (and rain, if there is some) and more green leaves will be coming through.
A big thank you to everyone who has sent in their photos. The response has been extraordinary, with hundreds of readers sending in photos. So there are a lot of photos to choose from–I just wish I could post them all. You can find the first two posts of reader photos here and here. Stay tuned for another post later today. Submissions are now closed–thanks again to all who have sent photos in.
Keep reading down below for some shots of how the Kwanzans are doing as well as the tulips at the Floral Library.
Weekend of April 14-15. They peaked this past Thursday (April 5), so we’re now coming up to a week after peak bloom. In ideal conditions they can last a week or more beyond peak–maybe even as much as two weeks. So far the weather has been good for keeping them around–cool and calm. That’s about to change, starting tomorrow, with much warmer temperatures and gusty breezes. There’s a chance of rain Sunday afternoon/evening.
I’ll be posting more updates before the weekend which will give a sense of how things are progressing. So be sure to check back.
How It Looks This Morning
It’s overcast but not as cold as it has been lately.
Kwanzan Cherry Blossoms
The Kwanzans still have some work to do. You can start to see some of the color of the petals just starting to poke through on the buds. The cold weather has been keeping them slow as well, and it looks like they’ll be further behind the Yoshinos (the historical average is 15 days later, but it can be up to a month).
Here are some photos showing how they look this morning.
About half the tulips are now flowering. Some shots from this morning.
I’ve put together some more detailed information in posts on how to get there and where to park:
The Maine Ave parking lot (near the paddle boats) is still closed for parking to make way for the Welcome Area. It will remain in place at least through April 15.
The special one-way traffic restrictions are in place along Ohio Drive, so you can’t enter down by the John Ericsson Memorial (the Lincoln Memorial end). Instead, you’ll have to do the circuit around the Jefferson Memorial.
Alternative Locations for Cherry Blossoms
The cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin aren’t the only cherry blossoms in town, and if you miss the ones there by a few days you might have more luck at some of the alternative locations nearby. The ones I’ve seen elsewhere in town have been behind the ones at the Tidal Basin, so if you’re coming into town next week or next weekend, you still might be able to catch cherry blossoms elsewhere around town. You can find some suggestions here.
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 history National Mall area. I'm not affiliated with the Trust--just an admirer of their efforts.