There’s still not a lot to report. There’s not much to see on the trees yet, but things will start picking up in coming weeks. We’re starting to get into the period when the trees start waking from their dormancy, so there’ll be more development to see in the buds. And the National Park Service will be announcing their peak bloom prediction on March 1.
As you can see from these photos taken this morning, there’s not much to see on the trees themselves. The buds are still wrapped up tight; here’s a close-up to show what I mean. You can compare them to other close-ups from this time last year and see that the ones this year aren’t quote as far along just yet. But then, that’s not particularly surprising given that last year saw an abnormally early start to the bloom.
So far this winter temperatures have been pretty normal. We’ve had some colder days and some warmer days, but overall the average is hovering around the average.
Half-way through February, the average is only 1.3° above normal for the month. The beginning of the month was colder, but things have warmed up a bit now and the National Weather Service is expecting much of the rest of February to be warmer than normal. If those warmer-than-normal temperatures end up happening, and if they persist deep into March, the odds of a late-March bloom increase. But this far out, those are very big “ifs,” and as always, it’s hard to put too much stock in long-term weather forecasts. Things might yet change dramatically, as they did last year; it’s entirely possible that winter comes back with a vengeance in March.
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.