Spring has arrived early this year and due to the unusually warm temperatures, cherry blossom trees are already blooming!
It may still be early March, but Spring weather is already here and DC’s cherry blossoms definitely know it! As the National Park Service reported via Twitter earlier this week, our beautiful sakura trees reached the third stage of blooming on Mar 9. The above-average temperatures we’ve been experiencing in the district since early February may be behind the acceleration of the bloom cycle, NPS says.
The blossoming cycle for sakura trees has a total of six stages, meaning DC cherry blossoms are halfway through their cycle. This third stage is noticeable by the extension of the florets, and usually occurs about 10-12 days before peak bloom. During this stage, the sakura florets (small flowers) start to shoot out of their buds, giving the trees that pinkish hue you’ve probably noticed they have if you’ve been walking around the Tidal Basin these days. The florets will remain a deep pink hue until they reach stage five (Fluffy White) and they start fully blossoming into the beautiful sakura flowers we’re most familiar with!
The fact that the trees have already reached the third stage of the cycle could also mean peak bloom will happen earlier than expected! Last week the NPS predicted the cherry blossoms would reach peak bloom Mar 27-30, just in time for the Blossom Kite Festival, but with the high temperatures it looks like they’ll be in full bloom for the Opening Ceremony of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
But we’re not the only ones wondering whether peak bloom will arrive earlier this year than predicted or not. The Washington Post Capital Weather Gang also revised its peak bloom predictions and moved peak bloom up to Mar 20-24.
Meanwhile, as Spring continues to unfold around DC, the magnificent magnolias at Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle are already in full bloom and looking absolutely stunning!
We cannot wait to see what the cherry blossoms will look like this year, so make sure to tag us with #MySecretDC on all your lovely IG posts to spring up our feed!
Feature image: @cherryblossfest