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Winter Doesn't Deter Cherry Blossoms

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Beyond the balloons you'll see in the Festival parade, the real cherry blossoms are predicted to start blooming March 31st.
Rebecca Sheir
Beyond the balloons you'll see in the Festival parade, the real cherry blossoms are predicted to start blooming March 31st.

By Rebecca Sheir

Just four more weeks until Washington's cherry blossoms bloom: that's the latest prediction of the National Park Service. After this winter, the news comes as a relief.

The Park Services chief horticulturalist, Rob DeFeo, announced the forecast at the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival press briefing.

But before DeFeo took the stage, the Festival's chair, Susan Norton, said, "I know with the weather we've been having it was hard to believe that there would be trees with blossoms on them."

The Japanese Embassys Hideo Fukushima voiced a similar sentiment: "I was a bit worried about the trees, the damage by snow."

And D.C.'s Mayor Adrian Fenty said "This is something really to look forward to as we get away from the snow and the cold!"

But Rob DeFeo calls this cold, snowy winter a no-event.

"Yeah, a few branches broke off; nothing we haven't seen in the last 90-plus years," he says. "And I can guarantee you that by the time the festival comes around, you won't even know there was an event."

The festival starts March 27th. DeFeo predicts the trees will start blooming the 31st, and will peak between April 3rd and 8th. If they do, it will be the tenth year in a row the peak falls during the festival.

I often hear people say, well, the cherries don't cooperate," says DeFeo. "Well, you can always count on the cherries to bloom, through world wars, snow events; theyre gonna bloom."

And when they do, DeFeo says he thinks they'll be the most productive living specimens in our nations capital.

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