For a very brief window of time this spring, Washington, DC, will come alive with cherry blossoms. According to a forecast from the National Park Service, the National Mall and Memorial Parks’ thousands of Yoshino cherry trees will hit peak bloom between March 27 and 30, 2020. While many trees are in their early stages of blooming right now (stage three of six), peak bloom in DC generally occurs between the last week of March and the first week of April. “Peak bloom” is defined as the day when 70 percent of the blossoms are open.
Yoshino trees usually bloom for several days, though the length of the bloom depends upon the weather conditions. Cool, calm weather is more conducive to a lengthy bloom, while rain and wind don’t do the cherry blossoms any favors and late frost is simply disastrous.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival extends beyond just those four dates, however. It will run from March 20 to April 12, commemorating Japan’s gift of over 3,000 cherry trees to DC in 1912. The festival includes a parade, traditional Japanese folk songs, blossom kite events, and even Washington Wizards and Washington Nationals games.
A version of this article was previously published on March 8, 2019, and was updated on March 5, 2020, with more information.