Helpful links to aid in your blossom viewing experience:
- Use this Google Map to locate the Tidal Basin, then review our Straight to the Blossoms section on car-free ways to get there!
- Read the latest on our Tidal Basin Welcome Area and ANA Performance Stage operations.
- If you’re bringing your dog, read our Pet Ready page.
- Want a more curated experience with the blossoms? Take a tour!
- Looking for attractions close to the Tidal Basin? Keep this pamphlet handy.
2018 Bloom Diary
The following is the diary of information provided to the Festival by National Park Service horticulturists, who monitor the five distinct stages of bud development, as we were tracking the tree’ progress towards peak bloom in 2018.
April 5, 2018: The Japanese flowering cherry trees reached peak bloom this afternoon, meaning that 70% of the Yoshino variety (the most abundant of the approximately 3,700 trees around the Tidal Basin, in East Potomac Park, and on the grounds of the Washington Monument) are in full bloom.
Best viewing of the trees will be for the next four to seven days, but they can last for up to two weeks under ideal conditions.
April 3, 2018: The bloom period has begun, meaning 20% of the Yoshino trees are at full blossom. Peak bloom, occurring when that figure reaches 70%, now projected for April 5-8, thanks to last weekend’s warm temps.
April 1, 2018: The blossoms have advanced to stage 5 – puffy white. Next stop is peak bloom, expected by the end of the week given the continued mild forecast. Plenty to see now – weeping cherries in full bloom, 20% of Yoshinos at peak.
March 29, 2018: We’ve reached peduncle elongation, stage four of six, and unarguably the greatest name of all of the stages. No better way to celebrate the end of 29 consecutive days with high temps below 60 degrees than advancing to the fourth stage of the Bloom Watch. Just two more to go!
March 26, 2018: The cherry blossoms have reached florets extended, the third stage out of six that ends in peak bloom! And with warm temps finally forecast for the end of the week, those pink and white blossoms can’t be too far behind!
March 23, 2018: With continued colder-than-average temperatures this month (February was warmer than March has been this year), the blossoms lack the heating degrees needed to keep the Bloom Watch on track. And with no significant warm-up on the horizon, peak bloom is now forecast for
March 22, 2018: The “indicator tree” hit full bloom today! It usually peaks 7-10 days in advance of the rest of the Yoshino trees, but models have been less reliable this year due to a cold March. National Park Service is checking latest data, forecasts & other indicators and will provide an update on peak bloom tomorrow, if necessary.
March 21, 2018: While wet, heavy snow is unusual for late March, the cherry blossoms buds are still tight enough that they should be unaffected by the snowfall. The trees are still expected to peak between
March 27 and March 31, according to National Park Service.
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.