All You Need to Know About Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC
Without a doubt, cherry blossom trees are the highlight of springtime in Washington, DC. So, if you are all for witnessing this wonder of nature and the capital city drenched in pink, the best thing you can do is be a part of the National Cherry Blossom festival, which will take place this year from 18 March to 16 April. To get the most out of your experience, hiring tour bus guides, such as Washington DC bus tours, by USA Guided Tours is a good investment.
Therefore, before your big visit to the DC festival, here are five things you need to know about the capital’s cherry blossoms.
The cherry blossoms of Washington originated in 1912 as a gift from the people of Japan to the US as a gesture of goodwill and friendship. Viscountess and First Lady Taft Chinda, the Japanese Ambassador’s wife planted the first two cherry blossom trees on the Northern bank of the Tidal Basin. These original trees still stand today at the 17th Street near the John Jones statue. Workmen then planted rest of the trees all around the East Potomac Park and Tidal Basin. Ever since, the number of trees has multiplied and expanded to around 3,750 trees of 16 different varieties present in the National Park Service land. In the 1990s, the grandeur of the trees resulted in the introduction of the Cherry Blossom Festival, which turned into a 14-day long celebration, and continues to this day.
The date when cherry blossoms reach their peak varies from one year to another, and is mainly dependent on the weather. The National Cherry Blossom Festival dates are based on the standard blooming date, which is somewhere around 4th Every year, the Park Service announces its predicted dates so tourists can have a better idea of when to book their tickets.
The famous cherry blossom trees of Washington are mainly grown in East Potomac Park, West Potomac Park and near the Tidal Basin. You can also find these trees on the grounds of the Washington Monument. In total, around 3,750 trees sit on the Tidal Basin where a majority of them is the Yoshino Cherry. Other varieties include Akebono Cherry, Kwanzan Cherry, Weeping Japanese Cherry, Okame Cherry, Takesimensis Cherry, Sargent Cherry, Shirofugen Cherry, Fugenzo Cherry, Autumn Flowering Cherry, Afterglow Cherry, and Usuzumi Cherry.
The Japanese Cherry Blossoms are not always pink. The Takesimensis species, famous for its white flowers, is in fact more common in the United States. Other cherry flowers keep changing colors throughout the period. For instance, the Ukon variety goes from greenish yellow to white before it turns pink.
Each cherry blossom tree blooms for around 7 days, while the trees normally have a lifespan of 30 to 40 years. Book your tour today and don’t miss out on the national festival while touring the Washington, DC.
Brandi Marcene | USA Guided Tours DC Blog Contributor