This spring, the nearly 1,700 cherry trees around the Tidal Basin (and about 2,100 others nearby) will come into bloom. The arrival of the cherry blossoms, or sakura, has become an annual Washington DC tradition for over a century and provides a colorful symbolic beginning of spring. It also provides the inspiration for Washington DC’s cherry blossom festival, one of many celebrated around the world.
On average, the blooms come out around the last days of March into the beginning of April. But it’s different every year. Sometimes it’s a bit earlier. Sometimes it’s a bit later. Precisely when it is depends on the weather in the weeks and months leading up to it. Temperatures, in particular, make the difference. A long, cold winter suggests a late bloom, while a warmer-than-average winter likely means a bloom on the earlier side.
If you’re planning a visit to Washington DC and hoping to catch the famous cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin in bloom in spring 2019, I’ll be posting information on this site so you can at least make an educated guess.
You can find the latest peak bloom predictions for 2020 here.
And for background, you might find these posts useful:
- When is the best time to visit Washington DC to see the cherry blossoms
- What peak bloom and why it (sort of) matters
If you’d just like to see what all the fuss is about, here are some of my favorite shots taken in past years.
About this Site
The information on this site is provided in good faith and is accurate to the best of my knowledge. It is not affiliated with the National Cherry Blossom Festival or the National Park Service. My hope is that I can provide different kinds of useful information in a more responsive and agile way than is available from those organizations.
This site is divided up into different sections, which are updated on the front page.
2020 Cherry Blossom Watch
On the site’s front page I post regular updates with photos of how the cherry blossoms are progressing. I post updates more frequently as we get closer to the bloom. During January and February, these will be every week or two, but during the bloom period I aim to provide daily updates.
Updates going back to 2010 are archived there, so you can take a look at the progression in previous years.
I’ve put together some visitor guides where you can find information about the cherry blossoms as well as information to help you with visiting in person–things like the latest peak bloom forecasts, best places to stay, and how to get to and from the Tidal Basin.
And, finally, I’ve also put together some photography tips and suggestions for taking photos of this beautiful event.
I’ll be adding new posts and photos pretty regularly as we head into the spring.
So welcome, and enjoy!
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.