Each spring, the cherry blossoms lining Washington DC’s Tidal Basin burst into color in a beautiful display of floral fireworks. But the peak bloom period lasts only a few days, and precisely when it happens varies each year. This site brings together information about visiting the cherry blossoms and Washington DC, peak bloom forecasts, and up-to-date photos to help you make the most of your own visit or follow along from afar.
It has been snowing steadily, and there’s a layer of wet, slushy snow around the Tidal Basin. But it’s not a threat to the cherry blossoms.
There’s not much new on the trees since yesterday, but I’ve been getting a lot of questions about things like how this week’s weather forecast will affect things and how this coming weekend is shaping up. So I’m focusing below mostly on answering some of the most common questions.
It’s shaping up as a sparkling spring day, but unfortunately there aren’t many cherry blossoms to see yet.
Progress has been brought to a crawl by the cool temperatures. If you look very closely, they are making headway, but it’s very, very slow.
There’s been steady progress, but with the continuing cool temperatures it has been slow. There are some flowers starting to come out on the so-called indicator tree, but it’s not yet in full bloom. The vast majority still have some work to do before they’re getting really close to blooming.
There’s been some progress, but it’s at a gentle pace in these cool temperatures. The indicator tree is just starting to show some puffy white blossoms that are ready to pop.
The buds are still doing their thing and still have a way to go before blooming. There’s some unsettled weather coming up over the next week or so, but it shouldn’t pose too many problems for the cherry trees.
The cherry trees around the Tidal Basin have emerged mostly unscathed from the very strong winds we saw yesterday.
The experts at the National Park Service has issued their initial peak bloom prediction for 2018: March 17-20.
Around the Tidal Basin, the buds are clearly making progress. And, as usual, the so-called indicator tree is marching ahead of the others. It’s typically a week to 10 days ahead. Stay tuned for the National Park Service peak bloom prediction to be issued later this morning.
The National Park Service determined that 70 percent of the buds had reached the “Green Buds” stage on February 25. That is just a day later than last year and is earlier than the average.
It has been soggy and foggy but still warmer than average. More of the green buds are starting to come through now.
The latest information and forecasts on when Washington DC’s cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin will reach peak bloom in Spring 2018.
The short answer is that there’s no easy answer. On average, the peak bloom occurs sometime around the last week or so of March through the first week or so of April. But precisely when during that period varies year to year. So here’s the longer version.
Some local recommendations on where to stay if you’re visiting from out of town to see the cherry blossoms.
Information on the best ways to get down to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms, including by Metro, by car, and by bike.
So what exactly is “peak bloom” anyway? When does it happen? And does it matter?
Timelapse footage of Yoshino cherry blossoms blooming. It captures about a week of their development leading up to full bloom.
The National Park Service has put together a video on the topic of how climate change affects Washington DC’s cherry blossoms.
The Kwanzan cherry blossoms are particularly pretty and tend to come out 10-14 days after the Yoshinos. So if you miss the end of the Yoshino cherry blossoms’ bloom, the Kwanzans can offer beautiful consolation.
An ultra-high resolution 3-gigapixel panorama of Washington DC’s Tidal Basins with the cherry blossoms in bloom.
The sun can be a very dramatic addition to your photos of Washington DC’s cherry blossoms.
If you’re looking improve your photography skills, a hands-on photo tour of the cherry blossoms can be a wonderful way to do it. Here are some recommended local photo tour operators.
Ideas for playing to the strengths of the camera you have with you all the time.