By: Kelly Young
Cherry blossoms are a beloved and highly anticipated sight across the world. In the United States, visitors travel to see the stunning white and pink blossoms that canopy the National Mall in Washington D.C. Given as a gift from Japan in 1912, the 3,020+ cherry blossom trees in Washington D.C. are normally celebrated as part of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival each year. While COVID-19 has caused the festival to be cancelled for the second year in a row, the flowers are still on display for pedestrians and visitors alike. This year, the flowers have reached peak bloom even earlier than expected, so hurry before they are gone! Luckily, this week’s Map of the Week looks at where the cherry blossoms can be found in D.C.!
Hosted by Esri, Casey Trees and the Urban Forestry Division, this map is part of an ongoing effort to take inventory of trees and flowers in Washington D.C. Twelve cherry blossom species are mapped ranging from Yoshino Cherry to Sour Cherry. According to the map, cherry blossoms are distributed fairly evenly across Washington D.C., with higher concentrations in Wards 2, 4, 6, and 7. In these areas, the species of cherry blossoms are also evenly distributed. The National Mall, however, has the highest concentration of cherry blossom trees in Washington D.C., all of them being exclusively of the same kind. The zoomed in map below shows the locations of these trees on the National Mall.
Furthermore, cherry blossoms are historically significant and symbolic to Japanese culture. Also known as “sakura”, these flowers are symbolic of spring, renewal and the fleeting nature of life. Cherry blossoms reach peak bloom for only two weeks a year, which led to the popularity of cherry blossom parties and festivals across Japan, known as hanami.
If you are interested in visiting the cherry blossoms while they are in bloom, check out THIS Esri-hosted interactive map to learn more. To learn more about the significance and history of cherry blossoms, take a look at this Esri storyboard.