Cherry blossom fans, plan for early pinkiness.
The 100-year-old Yoshino cherry trees that line the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., are expected to erupt in fragrant pink blossoms as early as March 22 and should reach their peak between March 24 and 31. It's a bit early, as the average peak bloom period is April 4.
The forecast came Thursday from Rob DeFeo, chief horticulturist at the National Park Service, who made the announcement during a press conference at the Newseum.
So what determines bloom time? DeFeo and his team have been monitoring the buds in five stages of development, according to the park service's website. Peak is defined as a time when at least 70% of the trees around the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial will be blooming.