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.
What a difference a couple of very warm days makes! Both Thursday and Friday saw temperatures climb into the upper 70s, and that gave the cherry blossoms quite a jolt. As you can see from the photos below, they’re moving well beyond the green bud phase, and the indicator tree has its first flowers open. And as we head into the spring solstice, the sunrises are lining up directly down the mall to create some unusual scenes like the one above of the golden sunlight directly on the statue inside the Lincoln Memorial’s main chamber.
How It’s Looking This Morning
It’s a beautiful, crisp morning at the Tidal Basin. The cherry buds have made quite a bit of progress in the past few days.
The indicator tree reliably blooms ahead of the others. I have more information about it and how to find it here.
It now has its first flowers coming out. There aren’t many yet, but they’re definitely there.
These are of one of the other trees that also reliably blooms a little ahead of the other, although not as early as the indicator tree. I’ll aim to track this tree regularly as we move through the bloom. You can see the white petals just starting to poke through.
And these aren’t early bloomers, as such–they’re a different variety that often has flowers on it in the fall and even into the winter. I’m including them here because if you want to see cherry blossoms right now, you can find at least some These ones are in the area at the base of the Washington Monument.
The saucer magnolias are also just starting to come out, but they’re not in full bloom yet. It won’t be long now, though. I’ll aim to check in on the ones at the Enid A. Haupt Garden at the Smithsonian Castle in the next few days and include in an update.
These shots were taken of the ones at the George Mason Memorial and the other side of the Mall at the Organisation of American States building.
There’s not much to see in terms of tulips at the Floral Library just yet.
If you’re after something a bit different and willing to get up early, it’s the time of year when the sun lines up directly along the National Mall at sunrise. And with a clear morning like we had this morning, the sunlight shines in directly on the statue of Abraham Lincoln briefly.
These shots were taken this morning with the new Sony a6400, which is one of the cameras I’m testing out at the moment (stay tuned for my review!). And I’ve put together a more detailed how-to guide on how to get this shot 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.