The cherry trees at the Tidal Basin have reached peak bloom, March 25. (Kevin Ambrose)

To track the blossom bloom, every week I’ll post a photo of the cherry tree (above) at the Tidal Basin as we transition from winter to spring. This is the sixth and final post in the series. Here’s the post from week one, the post from week two, the post  from week three, the post from week four, and the post  from week five.


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.


A photo comparison showing the same tree at the Tidal Basin with various stages of bloom, starting Feb. 21 (upper left) and ending March 25 (lower right). (Dennis Govoni/Kevin Ambrose)

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.


Many cherry blossoms survived the freeze. This photo was taken Saturday afternoon when the National Park Service announced peak bloom at the Tidal Basin. (Kevin Ambrose)

Peak bloom at the Tidal Basin Saturday afternoon. (Kevin Ambrose)

The Tidal Basin trail Saturday afternoon with temperatures in the upper 70s. (Kevin Ambrose)

A couple enjoys the nice weather and blossom views Saturday afternoon. (Kevin Ambrose)

A family poses for a photo with a cherry tree Saturday. (Kevin Ambrose)

This is the same cherry tree displayed in the lead photo of this post and the past posts. Apparently, it is popular for group photos. (Kevin Ambrose)

Newlyweds at the Tidal Basin Saturday afternoon. (Kevin Ambrose)

Posing for a photo with a cherry tree Saturday afternoon. (Kevin Ambrose)

Everyone is a photographer when the cherry blossoms bloom. (Kevin Ambrose)

Ashley Lubenkov displays her sketch of the cherry trees with the Washington Monument. (Kevin Ambrose)

Jordana Merran makes jewelry under the cherry trees. (Kevin Ambrose)

A scene at the Tidal Basin Saturday afternoon. (Kevin Ambrose)

A scene at the Tidal Basin Saturday afternoon. (Kevin Ambrose)

A scene at the Tidal Basin Saturday afternoon. (Kevin Ambrose)

Paddle boats on the Tidal Basin Saturday. (Kevin Ambrose)

More cherry blossom coverage

Don’t panic! The cherry blossoms survived better than expected

Can the cherry blossoms survive this cold, snowy week?

D.C.’s cherry blossoms face the perfect storm

Some cherry trees may be a week from peak bloom

Cherry blossom forecast: Peak bloom may be record early this year

Tracking the cherry blossoms to full bloom — Week one

The warmer winter means cherry blossoms will peak early

Tracking blossoms to full bloom — what a difference a year makes

All Capital Weather Gang cherry blossom posts