Cherry blossom bloom prediction seems optimistic

Photo: Kendis Gibson

Wednesday is supposed to mark the start of peak bloom for the Cherry Blossoms in D.C., but, there’s concern it will happen later than predicted.

Mother Nature has not made it easy for the blossoms this year.{ }

The late bloom is hurting the bottom line of some.

Only a few of the cherry blossom trees are near full bloom around the Tidal Basin.

“Every year I say we’re going to see the cherry blossoms and every year something interferes and this year, success,” says Jane Martin, who is visiting Washington.

It’s fairly disappointing for many other visitors.

“It’s a little underwhelming just to see the one cherry blossom tree, but we’re glad to see just a little bit of blooms today,” says Eddie Martin, another visitor.

The National Park Service predicted 70-percent of the more than 3,000 cherry trees would be at peak bloom starting Wednesday, but Mother Nature had other plans.

The trees need several nights of above-freezing temperatures in order to develop. Our weather hasn’t delivered too many of those. Now officials say they expect the trees won’t begin to bloom until Saturday.

All of this is having an impact on the two-week-old National Cherry Blossom Festival. Smaller crowds are braving the cold to walk around the Basin and vendors say sales are down from previous years with few people even browsing.

“If it was a few degrees warmer that would be great, but we just plan as best as we can,” says Daneille Piacente, National Cherry Blossom Festival spokesperson.