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(WASHINGTON) — The National Mall’s iconic cherry blossom trees will be making their big bloom soon.
The National Parks Service announced that full bloom for its Yoshino cherry blossom trees, which comprise 70% of the cherry blossoms around the mall, is forecasted to reach peak bloom status between March 20 and 25. The trees reached full bloom this early in 2012 and 2020, according to NPS data.
Jeff Reinbold, the superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks for the National Park Service, told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that the city’s warm winter, which he said was the third warmest winter on record, greatly affected the bloom and their calculations.
“The trees never reached their winter dormancy, which is the starting point for calculating,” he said.
The city’s annual cherry blossom festival will occur between March 20 and April 16 and include concerts, art shows, the blossom kite festival and a parade. Organizers told ABC News that visitors who come later in the spring will still be able to see the flowers.
Several Washington, D.C., cherry blossom trees already began showing their full bloom last month as temperatures reached as high as 80 degrees during some days in February. The average January temperature was 45.2 degrees, which is nearly eight degrees higher than the normal January average, according to data from the National Weather Service.
The 3,700 Tidal Basin cherry blossom trees, most of which have been around since they were brought to the city in 1912, are mostly made up of Yoshino Cherry, which bloom later than other cherry blossom trees in the city, according to NPS.
Park officials and National Mall caretakers have warned that climate change has affected the trees’ health in recent years and if these warming trends continue could affect pollinators in the area.
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