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'Peduncle elongation' | DC cherry blossoms hit stage 4

The District's iconic cherry blossoms are expected to reach peak bloom March 22-25.

WASHINGTON β€” D.C.'s cherry trees are nearing peak bloom!  They reached stage four (peduncle elongation) on Saturday, March 11, according to the National Park Service.

Peduncle elongation is the stage of the blooming process before the arrival of puffy white. The flower stems of individual blossoms grow longer and can be clearly seen.  

The Park Service said the trees began budding on Feb. 23, and reached stage 2 of the six-part process on March 1. The trees are expected to reach peak bloom between March 22-25 this year. That's earlier than the historic average peak of April 4, thanks in part to a warm winter.

Here are the six stages NPS tracks: 

  1. Green bud
  2. Florets visible
  3. Extension of florets
  4. Peduncle elongation
  5. Puffy blossom 
  6. Peak bloom

Estimating peak bloom is a difficult process, keeping experts on their toes all the way up to announcement day. In 2021, peak bloom came about a week earlier than anticipated. The NPS uses a combination of temperature analyses, historical records and indicator trees to make their estimate every year.

Warm weather is one of the biggest environmental factors that contribute to the blossoming trees.


The Yoshino Blossoms are just one of a dozen types of Cherry Trees on the National Mall. You may have even seen some of them start to bloom already.

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