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100th Season Ahead For D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Trees

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A woman (R) takes pictures of cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 29, 2011 in Washington, DC. Americans celebrating the beauty of Washington's landmark pink cherry blossoms this spring have at heart the tragedies jolting Japan, which gave the trees to the United States. More than 27,000 people are dead or missing, and two weeks after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami crippled the aging nuclear plant in northeastern Japan, rescue work is still under way to avoid a major nuclear disaster. As many as one million people are expected to stream through the Mall esplanade area during the Cherry Blossom Festival from March 26 through April 10. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman (R) takes pictures of cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin on March 29, 2011 in Washington, DC. Americans celebrating the beauty of Washington’s landmark pink cherry blossoms this spring have at heart the tragedies jolting Japan, which gave the trees to the United States. More than 27,000 people are dead or missing, and two weeks after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami crippled the aging nuclear plant in northeastern Japan, rescue work is still under way to avoid a major nuclear disaster. As many as one million people are expected to stream through the Mall esplanade area during the Cherry Blossom Festival from March 26 through April 10. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Mary Bubala 370x278 Mary Bubala
Mary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4-4:30...
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WASHINGTON (WJZ)—Washington, D.C. is getting ready to celebrate 100 years with its famous cherry blossom trees.

Mary Bubala reports peak bloom season is right around this corner thanks to this winter’s mild weather.

In 1912, an incredible gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees was bestowed on Washington, D.C. by Tokyo, Japan.

The trees have withstood the test of time.

“Cherry blossoms symbolize rebirth, renewal,” said Rob DeFeo, National Park Service.

Now nearly a century later, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is preparing for an unprecedented and once-in-a lifetime celebration of 100 years of blooming trees.

“They are almost just heavenly, heavenly wonderful,” said a visitor.

The National Park Service announced Thursday the peak bloom dates for the tree’s pink and white flowers is earlier this year because of the mild winter. At least 70 percent of the trees are expected to be in full bloom from March 24-31.

“If we go into bloom and it stays cool we might get the 17-18 days you had a bunch of years ago, but if it gets hot maybe seven to 10 days,” DeFeo said.

The annual Cherry Blossom Festival attracts about 1 million visitors each year.  It runs until April 27.

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