Mar 9, 2023 - Things to Do

Cherry blossoms are on track for peak bloom this month

Not there ... yet. Photo: Chelsea Cirruzzo/Axios

The cherry blossoms are halfway to peak bloom as the National Park Service prepares them for their big moment.

State of play: The blossoms are in their third stage — florets extended — which still puts them on track for a predicted peak bloom of March 22-25, NPS arborist Matthew Morrison tells Axios.

Yes, but: Our rollercoaster temperatures in recent weeks have made the prediction a bit dicier than usual, says Morrison, so don’t be surprised if peak bloom is a couple of days after expected.

  • It depends on the cold days, Morrison adds. “If we have two or three or four [cold days] back-to-back-to-back, peak bloom might even be a little bit further into the future, closer to the end of March."
We're at stage 3. Photo: National Park Service

Threat level: While climate change is threatening the trees year-round, Morrison says a cold snap could be detrimental this year if it hits right after the flowers bloom.

  • Below-freezing temperatures are more likely to kill the beautiful blossoms and cause them to fall off, though they may not necessarily damage the trees, he observes.

What’s happening: Yesterday morning, work crews prepared the groves by sawing dead limbs off of the trees. Those limbs will later be ground up into wood chips and spread onto the soil to provide nutrients to the trees and protect their roots.


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