Follow along on this page as we update information provided to the Festival by National Park Service horticulturists, who monitor the five distinct stages of bud development. [Newest information is posted at the top]
March 15, 2018: After 18 days, the cherry trees have FINALLY progressed to florets visible, the second of six stages to peak bloom. It’s the longest time between green bud and florets since 2008, when it took them 21 days. But with no end in sight to the cold weather pattern that has gripped DC this month, how long will it be until they make it to the next stage, florets extended?
March 12, 2018: The National Park Service today updated the peak bloom prediction of the cherry trees to March 27 – March 31.
March 1, 2018: National Park Service officials at the National Cherry Blossom Festival Press Conference announce that, because the trees reached their first stage of development – green color in buds – on February 25th, their prediction for peak bloom as today is
March 17 – March 20, 2018.
The Peak Bloom Date is defined as the day on which 70 percent of the blossoms of the Yoshino cherry trees that surround the Tidal Basin are open. This date varies from year to year, depending on weather conditions. The Blooming Period is defined as that period when 20 percent of the blossoms are open until the petals fall and leaves appear. The blooming period starts several days before the peak bloom date and can last as long as 14 days, however, frost or high temperatures combined with wind or rain can shorten this period.
The following is a comparative record of past bud development. The date listed is when 70 percent of the buds have reached each stage:
- Green Color in Buds: Mid to late February – Early March
- Florets Visible: Early to Mid March, Av. 16-21 days to Peak Bloom
- Extension of Florets: Av. 12-17 days to Peak Bloom
- Peduncle Elongation: Av. 5-10 days to Peak Bloom (Frost Critical)
- Puffy White: Av. 4-6 days to Peak Bloom
|Year||Green Color in Buds||Florets Visible||Extension of
|Peduncle Elongation||Puffy White||Peak Bloom|
View the NPS Tidal Basin map here.