The blooming of the cherry trees in Washington, D.C. has become a symbol of the natural beauty of America’s capital city. The famous trees herald Washington’s rite of spring with a vivid explosion of life and colour that blankets the city’s in a sea of fragrant pale pink and white blossoms.
The first cherry trees were presented as a gift of friendship from the Japanese people to the people of the United States in the early twentieth century.
On March 27, 1912, Helen Taft, the American First Lady, and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted two Yoshino cherry trees on the northern bank of the Tidal Basin.
Since First Lady Taft’s involvement, all American first ladies have been proponents of National Cherry Blossom Festival. Historically, many were involved in events through the National Conference of State Societies’ Princess Program.
Washington’s renowned Festival grew from a simple ceremony to a two-week event, becoming the nation’s greatest springtime celebration and drawing hundreds of people from around the world.
Cherry blossom blooming peaks anywhere from mid-March to mid-April. You can check out the BloomWatch page to find out when the Cherry Trees are expected to bloom in and how this compares to prior years here.
There are approximately 3,800 cherry trees within the park. See this list for information about the different varieties and their location.
See a video of D.C. cherry blossoms in full bloom, made available by USA Today:
You may also find the following articles interesting:
- How Cherry Blossoms Came into Budding US Popularity
- The Colourful History of Washington’s Cherry Blossoms
- Japanese Cherry Blossoms Almost Didn’t Make It to DC