Cherry blossoms are now at their peak, as seen Friday in Upper Senate Park. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is already under way, running through April 10.
Closest to the Capitol stands Stanton Park (Maryland and Massachusetts avenues Northeast), with four acres rimmed by Yoshino cherry trees. The parks’ oldest trees have stood there for more than 50 years. All the local parks are much quieter than Hains Point and the Tidal Basin, and they receive far fewer visitors than the more famous locations.
“You’re talking about a whole different audience,” said Bill Line, a spokesman for the National Park Service. “The number of visitations to the Tidal Basin and to Hains Point really doesn’t compare.”
Like the trees on the Capitol grounds, the trees in the smaller parks are largely safe from problems with climbing tourists and souvenir-seekers who might break branches.
“The trees down there are exposed to more danger,” Line said. “The chances of damage elsewhere are obviously less.”
Despite the risks — and crowds — that D.C.’s more popular trees face, their beauty never fails to impress. With more than 3,750 trees, the Tidal Basin and Hains Point boast the largest concentration of cherry blossoms in America.
“I would still say the Tidal Basin is pretty tops,” Line said. “Especially as the nighttime is coming upon us and the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument light up ... the reflection of the cherry trees on the water is pretty hard to beat.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.