LatestEarly Cherry Blossom in D.C. and NYC Due to Climate Crisis

Early Cherry Blossom in D.C. and NYC Due to Climate Crisis

In Washington, D.C., and New York City, cherry blossom trees have reached their second-earliest peak bloom ever. At this point, the blossoms on 70% of the Yoshino cherry trees along the National Mall and the Tidal Basin will open.

According to Climate Central, winter is the season in the nation’s capital that warms up the quickest, with D.C. gaining 20 extra days to its growing season since 1970. Between 1970 and 2023, the average spring temperature in Washington, D.C., increased by 3.6 degrees.

Following one of the warmest winters ever recorded in Washington, with highs reaching 80 degrees by late January, comes the bloom in D.C. Ever since Japan donated the trees in 1912, the blossoming season has gotten earlier and earlier. The trees peaked in 2021 on March 28, which also happened to be Kyoto’s earliest bloom in more than 1,200 years.

The Big Apple is also experiencing cherry blossom season; during the second week of March 2023, some well-known trees in Central Park will have already reached their full bloom. As reported by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, from 1970, the state’s average temperature has increased by 0.6°F every decade.

The timing of a tree’s peak bloom varies based on its species; Okame cherry blossom often peak sooner than those of other kinds. Warmer temperatures may cause the flowers to open early or reduce their full-bloom phase, reducing the amount of time that may spent observing them overall. This could put tourism at risk. Due to their early blossoming, the trees are also more susceptible to unexpected cold fronts, as demonstrated by the March 2017 loss of half of the Yoshino blooms in Washington, D.C. Cherry blossoms can delay blossoms and decrease flower and fruit production if they not exposed to temperatures of approximately 45 degrees, which will cause them to go into a dormant period that required before blossoming in the spring.

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