DC’s cherry blossom indicator tree starting to show buds

The cherry blossom indicator tree that reliably blooms ahead of the other cherry blossoms around D.C.'s Tidal Basin is starting to bud.

National Park Service spokesperson Mike Litterst told FOX 5 Tuesday that the indicator tree is starting to show buds approximately 10 days earlier than it did last year.

The tree, which is located just east of the Jefferson Memorial, traditionally blooms a week to 10 days before the others. That distinctive trait makes it useful for making peak bloom predictions.

It's been a warmer than usual winter across the D.C. region with hardly any snow and plenty of springlike days. However, Litterst cautions against making early bloom predictions especially since spring is still over a month away and potential cold snaps are always possible.

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In 2022, D.C.'s cherry blossoms reached peak bloom on March 21. The National Park Service defines peak bloom as the day when 70 percent of the Yoshino Cherry blossoms are open. The dates always vary depending on weather conditions – but typically fall between the last week of March and the first week of April.

Last month, flowering Japanese plum trees embraced the warmer temperatures by blooming earlier than usual.

FOX 5's Tucker Barnes and Claire Anderson say the earliest recorded peak bloom of the cherry blossoms was on March 15, 1990.

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