POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Mar 09, 2014
WASHINGTON » Despite the long, snowy winter in the Mid-Atlantic region, Washington's famous cherry blossom trees are expected to bring the first sure sign of spring between April 8 and 12, when they're predicted to reach peak bloom, the National Park Service said Tuesday.
About 70 percent of the trees around the Tidal Basin must be in bloom for the park service to declare peak bloom. Tree workers will be looking for the first sign of green buds, monitoring the weather forecast and searching historical records to help update the prediction, said James Perry, chief of resource management for the National Park Service.
"The colder it is, the slower the process will be," he said. But there hasn't been any significant damage from the recent snow and ice, he added.
This year's National Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled to run from March 20 to April 13 with events celebrating the trees and Japanese culture.
This year marks the 102nd anniversary of the gift of the trees from Japan as a symbol of friendship with the United States.
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