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.
The past couple of days have felt like we’ve jumped straight to late-spring. It’s warm, sunny, and windy, with record-setting temperatures today breaking through 80°. Things will get back closer to normal tonight.
It feels like spring, and it’s also suddenly starting to look a little more like spring. This time last year the daffodils were starting to come out. We’re not quite there yet–I haven’t seen any blooming yet this year–but there are definitely buds getting ready. And some of the other early spring flowers are starting to come out–all the photos below were taken this morning.
The unusually warm weather is helping to wake the cherry trees up from their winter dormancy, and when you look closely, the green buds are just starting to poke through.
The National Park Service will be issuing their peak bloom forecast next week. Right now, it’s tempting to think that these current warm temperatures will bring an early bloom, but there’s still plenty of potential for the weather to make things uncertain.
If you want an early taste of spring, some of the area’s early bloomers are just starting to appear. These were all taken this morning.
The Other Cherry Blossoms
Yes, these are cherry blossoms, and yes, they’re blooming. But they’re not cause for panic. They’re a different variety, and they’re on a very different blooming schedule, often flowering through the fall and into the winter. As you can see from the photos, their bloom is much more timid and patchy than the main ones. You can find more detail about autumn-blooming cherry blossoms here.
You can find a number of these trees in the area around the Washington Monument.
Flowering Fruit Trees at the DC World War One Memorial
There’s a small cluster of fruit trees near the World War One Memorial that often blooms early. They have some pretty pink and white flowers, but again their bloom is nowhere near as full-throated as the main cherry blossoms. I have information on how to find this group of trees here.
And some other shots from the area while out walking this morning.
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.