Although peak bloom time may be over, you can still enjoy the cherry trees with these fun cherry blossom facts!
The cherry blossoms have been synonymous with springtime in Washington, D.C., for years. If you have visited the cherry trees firsthand, it is easy to see why! The peak time ended on April 8, but you can still celebrate these iconic trees with these fun cherry blossom facts
1. The cherry blossoms were given to the United States as a gift from Japan.
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Courtesy of Brianna Grant[/caption]
The mayor of Tokyo gave Washington, D.C., 3,020 cherry trees as a gift to honor the friendship between the United States and Japan and to ease tensions over immigration. The trees were planted in 1912. The United States responded by giving flowering dogwood trees to Japan as a gift in 1915.
2. The first cherry trees were actually burned.
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Courtesy of U.S. National Arboretum[/caption]
The first batch of cherry trees arrived in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 1910. When the Department of Agriculture examined the trees, they found that they were diseased and infested with insects and nematodes. The Department of Agriculture ruled that the trees should be destroyed.
3. Not all of the trees are from 1912.
New trees were planted as recently as 2006, according to the National Park Service.
4. A late frost can prevent the cherry trees from blooming at all.
A recent snowfall in late March this year almost prevented the blossoms from opening up. Thankfully the flowers survived and DMV residents got to take in the beautiful sights. The National Park Service also says that rainy, windy weather can cause the blossoms to abruptly end early.
5. Vandals once chopped down some of the cherry trees.
Four days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, unknown vandals cut down four of the cherry trees as an act of retaliation against Japan. The cherry blossoms caused a controversy afterwards when people began to call for the cutting down of all the cherry trees and replacing them with an American variety of tree. Thankfully, the government kept these beautiful trees intact!
6. The trees were also attacked by beavers.
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Courtesy of Dream Stop[/caption]
In 1999, nine of the trees were chopped down by over-eager beavers. The beavers were subsequently removed from the Tidal Basin. Thanks to the calls from many concerned citizens, the beavers were humanely taken from the basin.
7. It's illegal to climb the cherry trees or pick the blossoms.
Keep this in mind before you pluck one of the flowers for an Instagram photo! The Crime Museum conducted a survey of their visitors and found that 17 percent
of them admitted to picking the flowers in the past.
8. April 4 is the safest day to plan to visit the cherry trees.
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Courtesy of Tasting Table[/caption]
April 4 is the mean date of the peak bloom of the cherry trees. If you want to plan a visit ahead of time, this is probably the safest date!
What do you think? Are you surprised by these fun cherry blossom facts? Do you miss the cherry blossoms already?