National Park Service

DC Cherry Blossoms (Finally) Reach Stage 3 of 6

Peak bloom is expected April 8-12

We're finally halfway there. Hey, at least it's something.

After their peak bloom date was pushed back due to cold weather -- twice -- D.C.'s famed cherry blossoms have reached stage three of six, the National Park Service (NPS) announced Monday.

The news comes three days after the NPS adjusted its forecast, with peak bloom now expected April 8 to 12. Initially, it was expected to happen as early as March 17.

"We're gonna go into April with the trees where they were expected to be the first of March," NPS spokesman Mike Litterst said last week.

On Monday, the NPS announced that the blossoms have reached stage three, the extension of florets. Phase four is the most scientific-sounding phase -- peduncle elongation -- to be followed be the least scientific-sounding -- puffy white.

Peak bloom is defined as when at least 70 percent of the trees around the Tidal Basin are blossoming. Once they reach peak bloom, the blossoms can remain on the trees from four to 10 days. 

Last year's peak bloom was predicted to happen between March 14 through March 17, but a cold snap damaged some of the blossoms and pushed it back five days. 

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