Ready or not, here the cherry blossoms come. Some of the beloved pink flowers are already blooming even though it’s only early March. With this year’s warm winter, the flowers are popping up much earlier than usual, Central Park announced today.
The Central Park Conservancy launched a cherry blossom map so you can track the buds before you head out for a walk. While most of the park is still in the “pre-peak phase,” one section of the park is at peak bloom.
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On the western edge of Central Park near the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, the early-blooming Okames have peaked, according to the park’s map. You’ll find the Okames between the reservoir running track and the bridle path. But fear not if you can’t head to Central Park quickly. The Kwanzans in that area haven’t bloomed yet, so you still have time to catch the blossoms on the park’s west side.
Other prime locations for cherry blossom fans in Central Park include the east side of the reservoir, the Great Lawn, Cherry Hill, Pilgrim Hill and Sheep Meadow. All of those spots are still in pre-peak.
The Conservancy’s arborists care for more than 170 species of trees and they’ll keep the map updated so you can find these must-see trees.
Across the East River, Brooklyn Botanic Garden “Cherrywatch” tracker is also ready for the spring season. All of the trees there are in the pre-bloom phase.
With the seasons in flux, Central Park staff say they’ve come to expect unpredictability, whether that’s a lack of snow or a “tropical rainforest climate.” These dizzying affects of climate change can also spell a warmer winter making way for earlier cherry blossoms.
Looking for more places to find cherry blossoms around town? We’ve rounded up 13 spots with excellent views of the trees, including Green-Wood Cemetery, Sakura Park, Little Island, Roosevelt Island and Queens Botanical Garden. Normally the blooms begin in late March, but this year, you might want to head to your favorite garden earlier than usual.
If you’re heading out of town this spring, cherry blossoms delight in cities across the U.S. Here’s our guide for the best cities to see cherry blossoms in the USA.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.