Mar 12th, 2015

Cherry Blossoms Make Debut on New Cherry Tree Walk

Cherry Blossoms and Cherry Tree Walk

Have you ever been issued a “save the date” card without an actual date? Seems silly I suppose, but with our new Cherry Tree Walk blooming for the first time this year, we are gearing up for a very exciting spring. Trouble is, no one can predict exactly when they will bloom. Predicting the bloom time for Washington, D.C.’s National Cherry Blossom Festival around the Tidal Basin has become a focus “Bloom Watch,” set up by the National Park Service.  They are predicting 2015 peak bloom dates as April 11 – 14, 2015. Traditionally we are about a week to 10 days earlier. So possibly, maybe, (yes we are totally guessing) ours might peak around April 3-4.

I can’t think of anyone who takes the cherry blossoms more seriously than the National Park Service. In addition to the horticulturists who monitor the trees’s buds during this time period, they have a fascinating informational page with detailed pictures from green color in buds to peduncle elongation to “puffy white” bud descriptions. But we take our cherry blossoms seriously too! The trees around the Tidal basin in D.C. are mostly Yoshino (Prunus x yedoensis) but they also have Kwanzan, now called Prunus ‘Kanzan’.

Our Cherry Tree Walk, on the other hand has a wide variety of specimens (even including some ornamental plums and edible fruiting cherry trees) in order to add variety and to extend the bloom time as much as possible.  Director of Horticulture Grace Chapman also added some rare Prunus specimens from the  U. S. National Arboretum as well. So stay tuned to our Facebook page, our Instagram photos and this blog. We’ll be keeping you posted on cherry blossom bloom time as much as we can, but also, pencil in a trip to the Garden the week of April 1st – April 12th. You won’t want to miss our inaugural Cherry Tree Walk bloom.  Come to think of it, April 4-5 is Easter Weekend with Peter Rabbit, so why not make a weekend of it, have Easter Brunch, do some shopping, and make this a weekend to remember.

Update: One of our readers was kind enough to point me in the direction of a full list of cherry trees in the National Park Service collection including the Tidal Basin, East Potomac Park, Washington Monument, and other D.C. parks. Turns out that while most of them are Yoshino or Kanzan, they also have quite a few other varieties including more varieties than I could list here.  Check out the link if you are curious! 

Cherry Blossoms and the Conservatory


Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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