Cherry Blossoms Ready Themselves Under Blanket of Snow

Rogue tree blossoms under snow; Cherry Blossom Fest begins Thursday

It's the most depressing view the Cherry Blossom Cam could possibly show: an expanse of bare, dark trees above a landscape of snow. The look is completed by an oppressively gray, cloudy sky.

This is not the view most people want to see two days before the start of spring.

Nonetheless, there are subtle developments on the blossom front. A few rogue trees have already bloomed, like one on Q Street NW near Logan Circle, pictured above. (It's between 14th and 15th streets, if you're desperate to find it for yourself.)

And despite this seemingly endless winter, the Yoshino cherry trees along the tidal basin entered their first stage of bud development over the weekend, the green bud stage.

The National Park Service recently predicted the blossoms' peak bloom dates to be April 8-12, and it's an estimate they're sticking with despite this week's latest snowstorm.

However, you'll get to enjoy the view even sooner, since the peak bloom date is actually defined as the date that 70 percent of the trees are open along the Tidal Bason. We're sure you'll enjoy them even when that percentage is just 50, or 40, or 25.... Hey, it's been a long winter. We'll take what we can get.

Florets will become visible about 16 to 21 days before peak boom, and the obviously best-named phase, Puffy White, usually falls four to six days in advance. See descriptions and photos of the blossoms' phases on the NPS website here.

And although you might want to bring a jacket, the National Cherry Blossom Festival itself kicks off Thursday, running through April 13.

Some festival highlights:

Find more events here.

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