Peak bloom arrived at the Tidal Basin on Saturday afternoon, according to the National Park Service. There was noticeable freeze damage visible in at least half of the yoshino cherry trees, but the bloom still looked good.
We’ve had the most bizarre, semi-frozen and out-of-sync bloom at the Tidal Basin in recent memory, perhaps in the history of the cherry trees which were first planted in 1912. During the past four weeks, spring and winter have flip-flopped multiple times. Despite several freezes and a potent winter storm, a peak bloom did occur, about seven to 10 days later than first predicted.
This year, the blossoms took more than a month to go from their first stage of development (green buds) on Feb. 24 to peak bloom on March 25. Last year, green buds occurred 12 days later, on March 8, but peak bloom also occurred on March 25. The cold weather dramatically delayed the bloom cycle this year.
The weather was beautiful Saturday afternoon with temperatures in the upper 70s when peak bloom was declared by the NPS. At that moment, I was at the Tidal Basin recording the scenes with my camera. The snow and ice from March 14 seemed like a distant memory. The crowd was quite thick but everyone was in good spirits with the warm weather and beautiful blossoms.
In this post, I have included photos I captured Saturday afternoon that focus on the cherry trees and the people who ventured out to check out the bloom. People-watching is always fascinating at the Tidal Basin with the blossoms, but many people need to learn not to climb on the cherry trees.
This concludes my blossom tracking series of posts which I began on Feb. 21. A photo comparison of each shoot is included above. It’s definitely been a wild weather ride this past month, which I hope we don’t repeat for future blooms.
More cherry blossom coverage