Cherry Blossom Watch Update: April 4, 2017

The cherry blossoms are on their last legs now, but there are still some holdouts with plenty of flowers.

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.

The cherry blossoms are on their last legs now, but there are still some holdouts with plenty of flowers.

They’re not going to last much longer, but if you’re heading down to the Tidal Basin it’s not too late to catch at least some of the blossoms still out. The best clusters are between the MLK Memorial and the Japanese Lantern. Those trees have been bringing up the rear all season and they still have flowers on them.

Most of them are snowing petals in the breeze, and many are starting to leaf out.

Kwanzan Cherry Blossoms

The Kwanzans are getting close to blooming. I have a separate update on them with some new photos from this morning.

Submit to the Reader Photos!

As in past years, I plan to feature a selection of Cherry Blossom Watch reader photos. You can see some from last year here.

If you’d like to submit your photo of DC’s cherry blossoms, please use this upload box:

Submissions are closed for 2017. You can find the posted photos here.

A few notes:

  • A maximum of 2 photos, please. And only photos you own the copyright to.
  • Only of DC’s cherry blossoms please. And only ones shot this year.
  • Must be JPGs, preferably at least 1400px wide.
  • By uploading your photo you’re giving me permission to post it on You retain all copyright, and I add a copyright notice in the caption to each photo.
  • Please include your full name. This is for the copyright notice.
  • If you want to add a watermark, you’re welcome to.
  • I can’t promise that every photo will be included because there are usually too many many submitted to post them all.

How Long Do the Cherry Blossoms Hang Around?

How long the cherry blossoms stick around is about as predictable as everything else about them.

Sometimes they can be out for a week or even, in ideal conditions, even more. Sometimes they can be mostly gone a few days after the peak bloom date.

Once you get to 2 to 3 days after the peak bloom date the blossoms start to become fragile and can be easily knocked off by rain and wind.

It depends a lot on the weather. Cool, calm weather prolongs the bloom. Warm, windy, rainy weather encourages a quick exit. I’ve put together a photo timeline based on recent years that gives some idea of what to expect, when. It also shows how much variation there can be year to year.

Weekend of April 8-9.The main ones (Yoshinos) will be done, and most of them will probably be leafing out by this point. But the timing could good to see the Kwanzan cherry blossoms (and perhaps the tulips, another spring highlight around here). There are fewer of them, but blossom for blossom the Kwanzans are arguably even prettier than the Yoshinos. I have more information on them, including a map showing where to find some of the larger clusters, here.

How to Get Updates

With things wrapping up soon with the 2017 bloom, if you want to look ahead to the 2018 bloom, here are a few ways to get updates:

And once the cherry blossoms are done I’ll be heading out to shoot overseas. Upcoming trips include Europe, Latin America, North Africa, Southeast Asia and inside the Arctic Circle. If you’d like to follow along, my main Instagram feed is @havecamerawilltraveldc.


Traffic Restrictions on Ohio Drive

The temporary traffic restrictions are now gone, and Ohio Drive SW has returned to its normal traffic pattern.

Photos from this Morning

Here’s how they’re looking this morning.

Last updated April 9, 2017

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