Cherry blossom trees in Washington DC
Washington D.C. and Cherry blossom trees have now 100 years history. This year (2013) marks the 101st year anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC.
In 1912, Japan gave 3,020 cherry blossom trees to the United States as a gift to celebrate the two nations growing friendship. These trees were planted around the shore line of the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. In 1965, the gift was renewed with another 3,800 trees.
The cherry blossom trees continue to be a popular tourist attraction when they reach full bloom in early spring.
How Many Cherry Trees are there in Washington DC?
Approximately 3,750 cherry trees are on the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. Most of the trees are Yoshino Cherry. Other species include Kwanzan Cherry, Akebono Cherry, Takesimensis Cherry, Usuzumi Cherry, Weeping Japanese Cherry, Sargent Cherry, Autumn Flowering Cherry, Fugenzo Cherry, Afterglow Cherry, Shirofugen Cherry and Okame Cherry. See photos of the Cherry Trees
Where are the Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC?
Famed cherry trees grow in three park locations: around the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, in East Potomac Park (Hains Point), and on the grounds of the Washington Monument. Some cherry trees are also located in some quieter places around the region.
Cherry Tree Life
Cherry blossom trees survive for about 50 years, but the city still has just over 100 of the original 3,000 trees given to the city by Japan in 1912. Those original trees are near the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. Thousands of other trees have been replaced or grown from the original trees’ genetic line.
The average cherry blossom flower lasts four to ten days, but that depends on the weather. If it’s cool when the flowers bloom, they will last longer. The entire flowering period lasts approximately 10 to 18 days. The average peak bloom date is April 4.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival
This year celebrates the 100th year anniversary of the 1912 gift of the cherry blossom trees by Japan. The Cherry Blossom Festival will last an epic five weeks this year as opposed to the normal two-week period. From the Opening Ceremony and the Smithsonian Kite Festival that kick off the Cherry Blossom Festival to sushi tasting, Japanese street festivals, a 10-mile run, fireworks, and daily cultural performances at the Tidal Basin stage, there is something for everyone to enjoy and celebrate springtime in our Nation’s Capital.
Cherry are “Like life, the blossoms come, they bloom, and they’re gone. Short but sweet,” DeFeo the trees’ head tender said.
Cherry Blossom Tours
OnBoard Tours was selected to be the Official Bus Tour of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The DC The Blossoms Tour will show you the best views of the Cherry Blossoms in DC, and your tour guide will hop off the bus with you and tell you all the history of the Cherry Trees. Another great way to experience the blossoms is to take the DC It All! Tour, which includes a cherry blossom boat cruise to see the blossoms from the Potomac River in Washington DC.
Written by Mukesh Shah, OnBoard Tours staff writer