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March 27, 2006

Cherry Trees: Washington, DC

cherry blossoms in Washington DC

National Park Service

March 30, 2006. Cherry Blossoms at Peak Bloom: National Mall, Washington, DC

The Peak Bloom Date is defined as the day in which 70 percent of the blossoms of the Yoshino Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis) trees are open. The date when the Yoshino cherry blossoms reach peak bloom varies from year to year, depending on weather conditions. Cherry Blossom Festival dates are set based on the average date of blooming (April 4), but nature is not always cooperative. Unseasonably warm and/or cool temperatures have resulted in the Yoshino cherries reaching peak bloom as early as March 15 (1990) and as late as April 18 (1958).

On this day in 1912, President Taft's wife and the wife of the ambassador from Japan planted the first of Washington D.C.'s cherry trees. The cuttings were scions from the most famous trees in Tokyo, the ones that grow along the banks of the Arakawa River. Workers took over, and thousands of cherry trees—all gifts from the Japanese government—were planted around the Tidal Basin. During the Second World War, Tokyo lost scores of cherry trees in the allied bombing raids; after the surrender, horticulturists took cuttings from the trees in Washington and sent them back to Tokyo. Years later, some of the Washington trees died, and Tokyo sent cuttings back across the Pacific.
—Garrison Keillor

Source: The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor for Monday, March 27th, 2006

  Posted by niganit at March 27, 2006 6:10 PM
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