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Cherry blossoms in December? What this means for the DC region

WJLA – Washington D.C. 12/5/2022 Joy Wang
© Provided by WJLA – Washington D.C.

On a cold day in December, you might find yourself missing that springtime weather. That’s when the National Cherry Blossom Parade and Festival happens too. Each year, 7News is a proud media partner.

But what if we told you, even though we are months away from spring, you can actually catch cherry blossoms blooming in December?

SEE MORE | VIDEO: Festival officials announce grand marshals for 2023 Cherry Blossom Parade

Near the Washington Monument, the Autumnal Flowering Cherry Tree is blooming! They’re one of a dozen varieties of cherry trees around the National Mall.

You’ve likely heard of the Yoshinos, which bloom in the spring during the Cherry Blossom Festival. They take up about 70 percent of the 37 hundred trees on the mall. The Autumnal Flowering Cherry Tree is slightly different in shape and color. You can catch them when the DMV gets a warm snap in late November or December.

“Like all cherry blossoms, the length that says is weather dependent,” said Mike Litterst with the National Park Service. “If we get deep frost or if we get high wind and heavy rain, they’ll bring the blossoms down sooner and their fall bloom does not last as long as the spring bloom.”

So if you plan on catching the flowers, go sooner than later. They were already blooming in late November and survived the cold, windy, and rainy conditions this weekend. But they won’t last for long!

“The fall bloom catches people by surprise it oftentimes becomes a thing on social media, or we’ll get a lot of questions about them,” said Litterst. “People expect the National Cherry Blossom Festival in late march or early April every year and to be walking across the Washington monument grounds and all of a sudden be confronted by half a dozen or so cherry blossom trees in bloom is kind of a secret or sort of special thing to find on the mall.”

7News is once again proud to be a media partner of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The nation’s springtime parade returns to Constitution Avenue on Saturday, April 15, 2023.

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