The blooming of the cherry trees in Washington, D.C. has become a symbol of the natural beauty of America’s capital city. The famous trees herald Washington’s rite of spring with a vivid explosion of life and colour that blankets the city’s in a sea of fragrant pale pink and white blossoms.

The first cherry trees were presented as a gift of friendship from the Japanese people to the people of the United States in the early twentieth century.

On March 27, 1912, Helen Taft, the American First Lady, and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted two Yoshino cherry trees on the northern bank of the Tidal Basin.

Sources: National Geographic and National First Ladies’ Library

Since First Lady Taft’s involvement, all American first ladies have been proponents of National Cherry Blossom Festival.  Historically, many were involved in events through the National Conference of State Societies’ Princess Program.

Sources: NBC News and National Geographic

Washington’s renowned Festival grew from a simple ceremony to a three-week event, becoming the nation’s greatest springtime celebration and drawing hundreds of people from around the world.

Cherry blossom blooming peaks anywhere from mid-March to mid-April. You can check out the BloomWatch page to find out when the Cherry Trees are expected to bloom in and how this compares to prior years here.

There are approximately 3,800 cherry trees within the park. See this list for information about the different varieties and their location.

More information about the history of the cherry trees in Washington, including a timeline, can be found at National Park Service and at the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

A guide to everything you need to know about cherry trees and the cherry blossom season in Washington DC. can be found here, and a Photo Gallery by the National Geographic is available here.

See a video of D.C. cherry blossoms in full bloom, made available by USA Today:

 

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Be sure to check out the Official Tourism Site of Washington DC to discover all of what this amazing city has to offer. Information about the history of Washington is available here.

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