After a chilly weekend there's not much change in the trees around the Tidal Basin. We had a few very cold nights with temperatures well below freezing, but the cherry blossoms don't look to be any worse for wear. (The saucer magnolias, by contrast, did not fare so well.)
The same (very) few trees that were flowering on Friday are still the only ones blooming now. The vast majority of them are still somewhere between the florets visible and peduncle elongation stages.
The National Park Service currently lists the latest development stage reached to be the florets visible stage (on March 1). They'll likely update it to extension of florets anyday now when they determine that 70 percent of the trees have reached that stage.
It's perfectly normal for the trees to be at slightly different stages—they're not precisely synchronized, and there are even some different varieties mixed in—but it does appear to me that there's an unusually wide spread this year. Some trees are racing ahead to the peduncle elongation stage and even on the verge of puffy white, while others are still at the florets visible or even green buds stages. That might translate into a particularly drawn-out bloom process this year, with some trees firing early and quite a few lagging behind. Interestingly, many of the biggest, oldest trees--the grizzled ones down near the MLK Memorial--seem to be noticeably lagging behind. That could be good news for those with travel plans that don't precisely align with the peak bloom prediction of March 14-17.
New Cherry Blossom Watch Instagram Feed
I've started a brand 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.
Family and Engagement Photos
Now that we have a better sense of when the cherry blossoms will be out, I've been getting people asking whether I'm available to shoot family portraits or engagement photos with the cherry blossoms. That's not really my area, but I've put together some recommendations for other local photographers who might be able to help. It includes some we've hired for our own family photos.
Check out their websites for examples of their style, and please contact them directly for their availability and rates.
- Kieley at Plum Photography
- Chelsea at Chelsea Hudson Photography
- Stephen at Stephen Bobb Photography
- Jim at Jim Craige Photography
I also get quite a few people asking whether I do photo tours of the cherry blossoms. As much as I'd enjoy doing that, it's not currently something I offer. But I do have some recommendations for outfits and great photographers that do:
Where to Stay?
If you’re coming in from out of town and wondering where to stay, I’ve put together some ideas on hotel and accommodation options.
Photos from this Morning
Here's how the indicator tree is doing this morning.
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.