Cherry Blossom Watch Update: March 14, 2017

The cherry blossoms don't seem to be able to catch a break. As if freezing temperatures weren't enough to deal with, they're now encased in ice.

UPDATE: Given the weather, the opening of the Welcome Area in the parking lot off Maine Ave SW has been rescheduled again. It will now open on March 18.

The cherry blossoms don’t seem to be able to catch a break. As if freezing temperatures weren’t enough to deal with, they’re now encased in ice.

The storm overnight and this morning left about 1 1/2 inches of wet, slushy snow accumulated around the Tidal Basin. And the next couple of nights could see the coldest temperatures we’ve seen yet in this cold snap.

360° Panoramas

If you’re not able or inclined to go down to the Tidal Basin today, here are a couple of interactive 360° panoramas that give you a bit of a taste of what it’s like. These are amongst some of the old trees near the MLK Memorial; they’re running a bit behind many of the others.

Are the cold temperatures causing problems?

Yes. It’s slowing things down to a crawl and causing at least some damage. So far, the overnight temperatures haven’t been getting quite as low as some of the forecasts, and the blossoms have been holding up remarkably well. But there’s still more wintry weather to come and no way to know what effect it’s going to have when it’s all said and done.

Check in for the daily updates to get the latest photos of how they’re doing.

New Cherry Blossom Watch Instagram Feed

I’ve started a new Cherry Blossom Watch Instagram account. I’ll often be able to post short updates there more quickly than on the website, so if you want to get a jump on the very latest updates, be sure to check it out.

You can follow it at @cherryblossomwatch.

For Photographers

Sunrise tomorrow at the Tidal Basin is at 7:19AM and sunset at 7:15PM.

Several photographers planning to visit in coming weeks have asked about locations to catch the sunrise. I’ve started putting together some detailed guides on particular vantage points, beginning with this one for the Jefferson Memorial.

Common Questions

Maine Ave SW Parking Lot

It’s closed for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. They’ve started setting up temporary tents and facilities for the Welcome Center due to open on March 18 (rescheduled again from the rescheduled March 15.

Traffic Restrictions on Ohio Drive

The temporary traffic restrictions are now in place. Ohio Drive SW is now one-way, and the entrance to it from the Lincoln Memorial end is closed. To get to it you have to enter via Maine Ave SW and go around the Jefferson Memorial.

Photos from this Morning

If you head down around the Tidal Basin today, this is the kind of thing you can expect to see.

Cross-country skiing by the Reflecting Pool.

Korean War Veterans Memorial

A holly bush near the Tidal Basin.

Early Bloomers

A handful of trees got a jumpstart on the others and have been blooming for a while. They’re now moving past their prime even as the others still haven’t full bloomed. Up close, their flowers are starting wither and look their age.

This is a small cluster of flowers that I’ve been photographing for the past several days. Aside from the different lighting conditions, you can see how they’ve been progressing.

A handful of trees got a jumpstart on the others and have been blooming for a while. They’re now moving past their prime even as the others still haven’t full bloomed. Up close, their flowers are starting wither and look their age.

This is a small cluster of flowers that I’ve been photographing for the past several days. Aside from the different lighting conditions, you can see how they’ve been progressing.

March 7

March 8

March 9

March 10

March 11

March 12

March 13

March 14

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.

Last updated March 15, 2017 5:08 pm

View Comments

    • It's impossible to say right now how many are going to be able to ride out this cold weather. More details in the update from this morning.

  • Ooohhhh we were there this time last year April 6th and there were beautiful little piles of cherry blossoms all over the ground. Not to mention the frigid temps, (SoCal girl here) Can't wait to try again! I recall walking from the FDR side to the Smithsonian, so Cold! Your pictures are so beautiful.

  • This site is extremely helpful, thank you so much.

    David Luria, Washington photo Safari

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