Cherry blossom season countdown begins as green buds start to show

- The first day of spring is less than a month away -- and with that comes cherry blossom season in D.C.

Mike Litterst with the National Park Service says "if there was a national green bud festival we would be in the middle of it now."

There are six stages with a cherry blossom bloom and Litterst says 70 percent of the Yoshino cherry tree reached the first stage, which is the green buds stage over the weekend. 

Many trees are starting to "go green" but there are still a lot more to go.

Litterst tells FOX 5 trees have to go dormant before they bloom. The trees have already gone dormant earlier than last year due to the chilling cold temps in D.C. in December.

Litterst says average peak bloom is April 4. Last year, peak bloom was March 25.

The NPS will be announcing their initial peak bloom prediction for the season at a press conference on March 1.

Litterst says predicting peak bloom is a tricky process, especially last year with frost and snowfalls as well as tornadoes that affected the blossoms and lead to an early end of the season.

Tickets for the National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony are already sold out.

This year's festival will run from March 20-April 15.

Watch: Tucker and Tony give their predictions on when the Cherry Blossoms will reach peak bloom.

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