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Spring Is Coming! NPS Predicts Cherry Blossom Peak

WASHINGTON, DC (WJZ) -- Not all news out of Washington is political. Tuesday, a welcome prediction was made about the return of the city's cherry blossoms.

Alex DeMetrick reports it's a sign spring is coming finally.

It may still be more glacial than gorgeous along Washington's tidal basin, but the cherry trees are showing signs of spring. Trees are budding out and the National Park Service is predicting when the cherry blossoms will peak: April 11-14.

Roughly the same time as last year, which also followed a colder than usual winter.

Originally a gift from Japan in 1912, there are now 3,700 cherry trees.

"The cherry trees are a living symbol of the Japan-US partnership, which grows stronger with each year," said Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae.

And each year, the unveiling of a prediction seems to grow bigger---but then, the blossoms bring a million visitors and their money to town, so maybe going a little Hollywood is allowed.

While the cherry trees will be the center of attention for a few weeks, caring for them goes on year round.

"Do everything from basic watering and mulching, aerating. They will periodically replace trees that have died. They'll do wound repair on trees that have perhaps gotten too much attention," said Mike Litterst, National Park Service.

And especially when it seems so long to arrive, it's hard to ignore what the cherry trees do briefly every spring.

Even though peak blooms are expected to start April 11, Washington is hosting a three week Cherry Blossom Festival starting March 20.

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