National Park Service predicts DC cherry blossom peak bloom date - New York News

National Park Service predicts DC cherry blossom peak bloom dates

Posted: Updated:

By BRETT ZONGKER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's been a long, snowy winter, but Washington's fabled cherry blossom trees are a hardy bunch and their blooming is right around the corner.

The famous trees are expected to bring the first sure sign of spring April 8-12, when they're predicted to reach peak bloom, the National Park Service said Tuesday.

"Relax and let Mother Nature take her course," said James Perry, chief of resource management for the National Park Service "This has not been the coldest winter on record or the snowiest. These trees have been around for 102 years, so we know pretty well how they're going to react."

The weather in March will be the most critical factor for the trees' blooming period, he said.

This year's flowers could come slightly later than last year and later than the average bloom date of April 4. Last year's blossoms were delayed by cold weather. The latest the trees have ever bloomed is April 18, Perry said.

About 70 percent of the trees around the Tidal Basin must be blossoming with pink and white flowers for the park service to declare peak bloom. Tree workers will be looking for the first sign of green buds, monitoring the weather forecast and reviewing historical records to update Perry's prediction because the projection is not an exact science, he said.

"The colder it is, the slower the process will be," he said. But there hasn't been any significant damage from the recent snow and ice, he said.

"The buds are naturally protected within the trees during the winter," Perry said. "That's a dormant phase for the development of the trees."

Perry made the flourishing prediction as organizers announced plans Tuesday for this year's National Cherry Blossom Festival, one of the nation's biggest springtime parties. It's scheduled to run from March 20-April 13 with events permeating around the city to celebrate the trees and Japanese culture. About 1.5 million people enjoyed the pink and white blooms last year.

This year marks the 102nd anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees from Japan as a symbol of friendship with the United States.

This year's festival includes a fitness theme with free exercise sessions planned around the city's monuments. There is also a new water shuttle service to the Tidal Basin from the Georgetown waterfront, a new hop-on, hop-off bus tour and a Japanese film festival for the first time.

Washington's restaurants plan special menus, city buildings will be lit in a dazzling pink and hotels are offering more specials for visitors this year, organizers said. Some signature events associated with the cherry blossoms include a Japanese street festival, a kite festival and a parade on Constitution Avenue.

___

National Cherry Blossom Festival: http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/

___

Follow Brett Zongker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat .

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Hope's Land of Candy

    Hope's Land of Candy

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:13 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:13:34 GMT
    Step through the doors of Hope's Land of Candy in Island Park, Long Island and you''ll be taking a trip back in time. There's no WIFI but they do have a Victrola piano. And then there's the candy.. lots and lots of it.
    Step through the doors of Hope's Land of Candy in Island Park, Long Island and you''ll be taking a trip back in time. There's no WIFI but they do have a Victrola piano. And then there's the candy.. lots and lots of it.
  • Subway bedbug infestations on the rise

    Subway bedbug infestations on the rise

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:48:09 GMT
    It appears the subway bedbug problem we've been reporting is getting worse. Commuters already have to contend with sweltering platforms, scurrying rats and packed train cars, and now there's another transit woe: fear of bedbugs.
    It appears the subway bedbug problem we've been reporting is getting worse. Commuters already have to contend with sweltering platforms, scurrying rats and packed train cars, and now there's another transit woe: fear of bedbugs.
  • West Indian Day Parade steps off amid shootings

    West Indian Day Parade steps off amid shootings

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:05 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:05:47 GMT
    The West Indian Day Parade is supposed to be a time of fun and excitement in celebration of Caribbean culture. However, several shootings near the parade has turned it into a day of tragedy for some.
    The West Indian Day Parade is supposed to be a time of fun and excitement in celebration of Caribbean culture. However, several shootings near the parade has turned it into a day of tragedy for some.

Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices