The cherry blossoms are well past their prime now and on their way out, but as of this morning there are still plenty of flowers to see. After a sudden surge leading up to peak bloom, they're now taking their time. A few trees are mostly green leaves. A few are mostly covered in blossoms. The majority of the trees are somewhere in between.
It's a gorgeous spring morning and very quiet down around the Tidal Basin. There are quite a few joggers, not many photographers, and one happy couple who just got engaged around sunrise with a "marry me" proposal crafted out of fallen cherry blossom petals.
We had rain on Tuesday, but since then there hasn't been much in the way of wind, which has helped prolong the process (or, at least, not hurry it along). So the flowers are hanging around longer than they did last year. They're very fragile at this stage and can be knocked off with wind or rain.
Over the next days they'll disappear. But not every tree is on precisely the same schedule, and even in trees standing right next each other you can find neighbors looking very different because one still has flowers and the next has dropped them all. Because of that, there might be some stragglers still with flowers on them over the weekend, but the majority are well on the way out.
The traffic restrictions on Ohio Drive have been lifted (signs warn of roadwork on April 20), and the parking lot off Maine Ave has reopened.
Here are some photos from this morning that will give you some idea of what to expect if you head down to the Tidal Basin today.
Kwanzan Cherry Blossoms
For the most part, the Kwanzan Cherry Blossoms aren't yet blooming, but it is possible to find the occasional flower that's open on some trees. You can find more on the Kwanzan cherry trees here, including where to find them.
Here are some shots of how they're looking this morning.
These are the tulip magnolias (also known as saucer magnolias) over near the George Mason Memorial. They started blooming ahead of the cherry blossoms and are still looking lovely, although as you can see from these (and the many others you'll come across around town), they're getting past their prime and the petals are coming off.
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.