Mar 15, 2024 - News

Philadelphia's peak bloom for cherry blossoms draws near

Cherry blossom trees in Philadelphia

Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty

Philadelphia's cherry blossoms will reach peak bloom starting the first week of April.

Why it matters: The annual bloom symbolizes early spring, drawing swarms of tourists and residents to the city's most popular spots.

Driving the news: The early April peak bloom date is primarily for the city's major collection of groves and clusters of cherry blossoms along the Schuylkill River and in West Fairmount Park, Sandi Polyakov, head gardener at the Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center, tells Axios.

  • Once the buds pop, expect them to last up to two weeks, depending on the weather.

The caveat: A string of warm weather days could make them bloom sooner.

Zoom in: Philly has a wide variety of cherry blossom trees scattered throughout the city, some of which have later blooms, Polyakov says.

  • As a result, expect a rolling window of peak blooms lasting between three to four weeks.

Of note: Philly's peak bloom forecast is about a week behind the famous cherry blossoms in Washington.

Between the lines: Despite coming off another warm winter, the first week of April is about the average time for the city's peak bloom, Polyakov says.

1 big bloom: The annual Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival returns April 13 and 14 at the Shofuso Center and nearby Fairmount Park Horticulture Center in Fairmount Park. There, you can see most of the original trees Japan gifted to Philly in 1926.

  • The family friendly event will feature a beer garden, live music, a pet parade, dance performances, a tea ceremony, a calligraphy booth, and face painting.
  • The event is free and expected to draw more than 40,000 people.

1 tip to go: Polyakov says Martin Luther King Drive is among his favorite places in the city to spot hidden pockets of cherry blossom trees.

  • "Look out for pink and white during the bloom times because it'll pop out at you from a mile away," he says. "They'll pop out at you from a place that you've never been to."

Stop by: Visit Philly has listed 14 spots to see some of the best cherry blossoms in the city.

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