The Cherry Blossom Festival: Around D.C. and Arlington

Published March 25, 2016

The National Cherry Blossom Festival has started in Washington, D.C. From now until April 17, you will be able to see the beautiful trees all over D.C. as well as surrounding areas like Arlington, Virginia.

While many residents and visitors are familiar with the Cherry blossoms of D.C., not everyone is aware of their local origin. In fact, the Cherry blossom was a gift from Japan, circa 1912. The United States received over 3,000, which were then divided up and planted in Manhattan, NYC and Washington, D.C. Within the 3,020 trees, there were 12 different types. Helen Herron Taft, wife and First Lady to then president William Howard Taft, planted the first 2 trees which now span the shore of the Tidal Basin as well as the East Potomac Park roadway in D.C. (1)

While the initial batch contained twelve varieties of trees, most visitors to Northern Virginia will notice the two dominate ones in the crowd: Kwanzan and Yoshino. The most glaring difference between the two is that the Yoshino, found around the Washington Monument and Tidal Basin, is generally white while the Kwanzan, mainly in East Potomac Park, is pink. (2)

These beautiful trees may have started out in Washington, D.C., but they are also clearly visible in and around various parts of Arlington, not to mention the view from Arlington over the Potomac. Rosslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon, Virginia Square and Ballston already have great walking routes (which we have highlighted here), and these Cherry blossoms only help to enhance the walking experience. It should be noted that many of the Arlington Cherry blossoms appear to be a different type than the Yoshino or Kwanzan, but that’s a story for another time. For more information on the National Cherry Blossom Festival, visit the official website here.


By S Pakhrin

arlington-virginia-shooshan-blog-post 1

A different type may be seen in and around Arlington


  1. History of the Cherry Blossom Trees and Festival. (2016). National Cherry Blossom Festival. Source:
  2. Cherry Blossom Festival: Types. (2016). National Park Service. Source: