Here's how to celebrate it—including planting your own cherry blossom tree. 

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated March 29, 2019
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In the fall, we have leaf peeping, but in the spring, we have a natural spectacle that rivals the leaves' changing colors: cherry blossom season. In areas known for an abundance of cherry blossom trees, such as Washington D.C. or Japan, tourists come from far and wide to marvel at the delicate pink blooms that, when grouped together, envelop the landscape in shades of pink and white. Whether you plan to celebrate peak cherry blossom season by taking a trip to D.C. or by planting your own cherry blossom tree in the backyard, here's how to enjoy one of the most spectacular natural events of the year.

When Is Cherry Blossom Season?

This year, peak cherry blossom season is arriving earlier than forecasted. The day peak bloom will start in Washington, D.C. is now predicted to be April 1, according to the National Park Service. At the beginning of March, the organization had originally predicted that peak bloom would be between April 3 and 6, but warmer than anticipated temperatures pushed the date earlier. Peak bloom can't be reliably predicted more than 10 days in advance, so cherry blossom fans have no choice but to keep an eye on the National Park Service's site and Facebook page for updates. The organization tracks six stages of cherry blossom bloom, starting with the green bud stage and ending with peak bloom. Good news, impatient cherry blossom fans: as of March 29, the cherry blossoms in D.C. have reached "puffy white" stage, the last step before peak bloom.

Plan a Trip to See the Blooms

Since peak bloom is predicted to start on Monday, April 1 and generally only lasts for four to seven days, you'll want to take off during the week if you're planning a trip to D.C. If you're going next weekend, there may be some blossoms left, but peak bloom will likely be tapering off by that point. If you're planning to see the blooms in Japan, watch for the updated peak bloom forecasts here.

Plant Your Own Cherry Blossom Tree

Don't want to travel to the blooms? Plant your own. Home Depot is currently selling an extremely affordable $39 ready-to-plant Kwanzan cherry blossom tree. Considered one of the easiest flowering trees to grow, Kwanzan delivers more than just pretty springtime blooms—in the fall, the leaves turn vibrant shades of red and orange.

Watch the Blooms Online

Don't worry if you can't make it to D.C.—the National Park Service has a live camera feed set up so you can watch the blossoms from your home or work cubicle. The camera is currently down for part upgrades but will hopefully be back online in time for peak bloom starting next week.