Cherry Blossom Watch Update: March 6, 2023

We’ve had a few more warmer days, and the cherry blossoms are coming along. There’s a wide spread of progress on the trees around the Tidal Basin.

Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
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2024 Peak Bloom

It's still too early to know precisely when the famous cherry blossoms will bloom around the Tidal Basin in Spring 2024. By early March, we'll start getting a better sense of timing, after we see how temperatures are trending during the latter part of the winter. Warmer temperatures bring an earlier bloom; cooler temperatures push the bloom later.

We’ve had a few more warmer days, and the cherry blossoms are coming along. So far, March has started much warmer than normal. But we’re about to head into a cooler stretch.

There’s a wide spread of progress on the trees around the Tidal Basin. Many of the trees are still in the florets visible stage (stage 2 of 6), but there are also many that are racing well ahead of that into stages 3, 4, and even some close to the puffy white stage (which the stage right before they open and bloom). There’s even a (very) small number of trees that have blossoms popping. I’ve tried to include a variety in the photos below.

It suggests that we might be in store for a slower, drawn-out bloom, at least in the sense of some trees popping well before others.

Today will be relatively warm, which will help progress, but we have some cooler weather coming through at least the rest of the week. That will slow things down a bit.

This map shows what the National Weather Service is predicting for temperatures looking 8 to 14 days ahead. The blue is for temperatures below normal. It is outlooks like this that help explain why peak bloom isn’t imminent just yet despite how far along many of the trees are already.

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The cooler temperatures will also help prolong the saucer magnolias’ bloom. They’re now in full bloom, and I have posted a separate update on them this morning.

How it Looks This Morning

These were all taken this morning. I’ve included more close-ups than normal in order to show how the trees are at quite different stages at the moment. There are very few blooming, but it’s possible to find some. Most of the trees are spread somewhere between the florets visible and peduncle elongation stages.

Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
This is not the indicator tree. It’s another tree that has some blossoms out. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
Indicator tree. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
One of the vinyl signs on the fence around the Jefferson Memorial where the renovations are underway. This sign is the one one right in front where tour groups (and school groups) use as a meeting point. The graffiti isn’t white marker–it’s scratching the banner’s paint off. (I’m not including it here to make a point–just thought it was visually interesting.) Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
This is not the indicator tree. It’s another tree that has some blossoms out. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
This is not the indicator tree. It’s another tree that has some blossoms out. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC – Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 6, 2023. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH

Indicator Tree

The indicator tree is in full bloom. I have more information on the indicator tree and how to find it separately. This is how it’s looking this morning.

Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
Indicator tree. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
Indicator tree. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
Indicator tree. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
Indicator tree. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
Indicator tree. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
Indicator tree. Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH

Saucer Magnolias

The saucer magnolias are in full bloom and looking beautiful. Here’s a few photos of them from this morning, but I’ve included many more in the separate saucer magnolias update.

Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC — Saucer magnolias at the Enid A. Haupt Garden (behind the Smithsonian Castle). Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
Saucer magnolias at the George Mason Memorial.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC — Saucer magnolias at the Enid A. Haupt Garden (behind the Smithsonian Castle). Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
WASHINGTON, DC — Saucer magnolias at the Enid A. Haupt Garden (behind the Smithsonian Castle). Photo © David Coleman / CHERRYBLOSSOMWATCH

Things Worth Knowing

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Discussion

  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful, informative site!
    We are coming to Washington in two weeks, from still very snowy Minnesota, and are hoping to see the blossoms for the first time! Having only been to DC once, I am not oriented to where the cherry trees are growing, other than the “Tidal Basin,” which I don’t fully understand for location.
    Is there a map of locations of the trees, and possible viewing areas and pathways to reach them?
    Also, is it wise to arrive via public transportation, rather than try to find parking?
    I have browsed the site, and not found the above info, but pardon me if I’ve missed it, and just provide links.
    Thank you! Very excited! Your photos are gorgeous!

    Reply
    • I’ve put together a post with directions and info for getting there here.

      The Tidal Basin is right next to the National Mall, which is where many of the famous monuments and landmarks are (Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Second World War Memorial, etc). So if you’re at the Washington Monument, which you can’t miss, you just have to cross the street. If you’re getting a cab or Uber or Lyft, you can tell them to take you to the Tidal Basin, Jefferson Memorial, or FDR Memorial.

      During the bloom, traffic can be extremely heavy and parking hard to find in the immediate area around the Tidal Basin. So public transportation is generally a much better option.

      Reply
  2. Hi, You should note to visitors that the Parking Lot B and C will be closed to the public due to the construction of the Yellow Line. Parking Lot A will be half full (reserved for construction workers).
    Plan to find parking elsewhere along Ohio Drive SW.
    There will also be a Rock N’ Roll Marathon the National Mall on the 18th of March.

    Reply

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