NYC's Central Park Just Released a Cherry Blossom Tracking Map — and Some Blooms Are Already at Peak

The interactive map will track when each area of trees is pre-peak, at peak, or post peak bloom.

Cherry blossom trees in Central Park

Courtesy of Central Park Conservancy

Spring has officially sprung in New York City’s Central Park, and one variety of cherry blossoms have already reached their peak.

The Central Park Conservancy, which just launched a cherry blossom tracker, said the early-blooming Okame blossoms along the west side of the reservoir have already reached their peak.

The interactive map will track when each area of trees is pre-peak, at peak, or post peak bloom. Beyond the Okames, each grouping of trees is currently listed as pre-peak. Park visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the flowers should head to six main areas: the east and west sides of the reservoir, the Great Lawn, Cherry Hill, Pilgrim Hill, and the Sheep Meadow. 

The park, which features multiple varieties of cherry trees, is still waiting for the rest to bloom, but said that will likely happen “much earlier than usual” this year due to the warm winter. 

The cherry blossom tracker for the Central Park Conservancy

Courtesy of Central Park Conservancy

“If the temperatures are mild early on, we'll see a sort of fairly extensive growth, whether it's in perennials or in shrubs,” David Bayne, the manager of landscape management at the Conservancy, said in a statement last month. “But then as you go into summer, it's harder for those plants to sustain that growth. So, then they struggle and that then tends to leave space for what can survive.”

In all, the park features four types of cherry trees throughout its 843 acres: Kwanzan (known for its deep pink hue), Higan (known for white and pink flowers), Yoshino (known for white blossoms), and Okame (known for rosy-pink flowers). 

The Central Park cherry blossoms are not the only flowers expected to bloom early this year. Washington D.C.’s famous cherry blossoms are also expected to peak early, blooming by March 22 to March 25. If that prediction holds, it would mark one of the earliest dates the flowers have reached that stage.

Beyond New York and Washington D.C., travelers hoping to view cherry blossoms can head to the Branch Brook Park in Newark, N.J., which has its own Bloomwatch webcam and a Cherry Blossom Festival in April.

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