Cherry Blossom Watch Update: February 28, 2020

There are plenty of green buds now, and all indications are still pointing to an early bloom. The NPS will be revealing their peak bloom prediction next week.

UPDATE: The National Park Service has said that the cherry trees reached the green buds stage on February 28. That’s early, but not record-setting early.

DC Cherry Blossoms in 2021

It seems increasingly likely that DC will still be under COVID-19 restrictions in spring 2021 while the cherry blossoms are blooming. So it's shaping up to be a good year to follow along from afar from the safety and comfort of your home.

There are plenty of green buds now. It has been cooler this week, but temperatures have still been (mostly) averaging above normal for this time of year. And it looks to be warming up again next week. So all indications are still pointing to an early bloom.

Next week, the National Park Service will be revealing their initial peak bloom prediction for this year. So stay tuned!

How The Tidal Basin Looks This Morning

Here are some shots I took at the Tidal Basin this morning.

As usual, the Indicator Tree is well ahead of the others. It’s hard to get good close shots of it because it’s branches are quite high up.

Renovations at the Jefferson Memorial.

Saucer Magnolias

We’re starting to get some pink coming on the saucer magnolias (aka tulip magnolias). Here are some photos I took this morning at the Enid Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle and at the George Mason Memorial next to the Tidal Basin.

The saucer magnolias tend to bloom a couple of weeks earlier than the cherry blossoms. And if you’re wondering why I make special mention of them, here some photos of them in bloom.

Saucer magnolias at the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle.

Saucer magnolias at the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle.

Saucer magnolias at the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle.

Saucer magnolias at the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle.

Saucer magnolias at the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle.

Saucer magnolias at the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle.

Cherry Blossoms Flowering Now

If you want to get a tiny taste of the cherry blossoms, there’s a different variety blooming now. Actually, they have had some flowers on them through much of the fall and winter. They’re the Higan cherry trees, and there are some small clusters of them around the base of the Washington Monument. They are pretty, although they’re nothing like the full-throated bloom of the Yoshinos around the Tidal Basin that’s coming soon.

Here are a few shots of the Higan cherry blossoms that I took this morning.

Higan cherry blossoms near the Washington Monument.

Higan cherry blossoms near the Washington Monument.

Higan cherry blossoms near the Washington Monument.

Higan cherry blossoms near the Washington Monument.

Things Happening Nearby

Elsewhere near the Tidal Basin:

Last updated February 29, 2020

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    • I haven't come across a purple cherry blossom, sorry. There are some Higan cherry blossoms blooming around the base of the Washington Monument, and the saucer magnolias (which are pink/purple) will be out over the next couple of weeks. There are also lots of other flowering fruit trees starting to come out in the area, some of which start purple-ish.

  • Thank you David, been waiting for your update! Time to get the camera gear cleaned up and ready to go! Hope you will have time to update like in the past, as it might go fast this year?

  • hi, I found your site from a search for cherry blossom festival. I'm a photographer and web marketer. I have a client who operates a tour company here in dc, for whom I would like to grow exposure. I would like to know if you would be interested in embedding a link to his website. if so, how much? thank you.

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