D.C.’s famous cherry blossoms are blooming a bit earlier than expected.
Initially expected to reach peak bloom between April 3 and April 6, the cherry trees around the Tidal Basin are on track to peak about April 1, according to the National Park Service. The change was due to mild weather and higher temperatures in the coming days.
Trees that are known to be early indicators reached full bloom this week, with the majority of other buds having reached the fourth of six stages in the bloom cycle, the Park Service announced.
Predicting the date the Tidal Basin’s 3,800 cherry trees will reach peak bloom — the point when 70 percent of the blossoms have opened — is an inexact science. Weather can push the date forward or back, depending on how many warm or cold days the buds face.
Once the blossoms bloom, they will last on trees for about two weeks, as long as no strong winds or rain knock them from their branches.
Reaching peak bloom on April 1 is within what is considered a normal range — last year’s peak bloom was on April 5 — and falls right in the middle of the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. This year’s festival, which began March 20, will run through April 14.
Its festivities will include old standbys — the parade, kite festival and fireworks show — as well as new attractions, including a cherry blossom-themed night with D.C. United and a Sailor Moon musical from Japan at the Warner Theatre.
Pop singer Meghan Trainor will headline the Blossom Bash, a concert event April 5 at the Anthem, which premiered along the Southwest Waterfront during last year’s festival. The city will see events in all eight wards.
The festival, considered the world’s largest U.S.-Japanese celebration, commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the District from Tokyo.