And even earlier than we thought! Spotted this morning, the beautiful blooms can most certainly be seen in NYC as of March 8 in Queens—even earlier than last year’s first sighting in NYC on March 19th.
According to Central Park, “Okame cherry trees are the first cherry trees to blossom in spring, earlier than the more famous Yoshino and Kwanzan cherry trees.”
Though last year, the first cherry blossoms were observed at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park, this year, these trees can currently be seen in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
We can only hope the trees in Central Park will bloom next!
The main cherry blossom blooms of Central Park are the Okame, Yoshino, and Kwanzan trees. As noted, the Okame are usually the first to bloom. Yet, perhaps the most striking are the Yoshino trees, which are located along the east side of the Reservoir and also on Cherry Hill. These 35 tress were gifted from Japan in 1912 and bloom in very light pink, almost white.
The trees usually bloom for about a week, and then drop their petals which leaves a beautiful natural confetti that is just as picturesque. That said, the season is short, so be sure to catch them while you can!
If you want to keep an eye out for some other spots, early trees also tend to bloom along the East River walkway on Roosevelt Island.
So even though the temperatures don’t feel like it’s spring, the blooming cherry blossoms are an exciting sign that the change of seasons is quickly approaching. You can even look forward to longer and lighter days as NYC’s first 7pm sunset of the year will be next week!