Visit Philadelphia Notes Local Spot for Viewing a Harbinger of Spring

cherry blossoms
Image via Morris Arboretum at Visit Philadelphia,
The cherry blossoms at Morris Arboretum, Chestnut Hill.

Despite winter 2023 not being as snowy as others, it has nonetheless had plenty of frosty days and chilly rain, conditions causing a yen for spring. Visit Philadelphia cites a solid promise of warmer days and later sunsets: the annual bloom of cherry blossoms at locations that include Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill.

The idea of welcoming cherry blossoms as a sign of winter’s end goes back to Japan, where it was a centuries-old tradition. The following history, from the National Park Service, traces its evolution.

In 1885, Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore, then a 25-year-old world traveler, returned from a Japan trip to visit her brother, a diplomatic employee there. She brought back with her a great appreciation for its people and culture, including the native cherry trees and their colorful spring buds.

By 1908, her advocacy yielded cherry trees in a Washington D.C. park; they proved so popular, plantings proliferated widely.

Morris Arboretum director of horticulture Vince Marrocco has massed enough seasonal experience to be able to pinpoint the timing of the landscape’s awakening in shades of pinks and whites.

He also consults data from the National Park Service and the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington to prognosticate.

For spring 2023, he’s calling it for some time around Mar. 29.

Additional nearby spots for viewing beautiful cherry blossoms is at Visit Philadelphia.


An in-depth look at the Washington, D.C., spring cherry blossom festival.

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