Things to do in Chicago

Chicago Cherry Blossom Trees Nearing Full Bloom, Park District Says

The best time to check out the cherry blossoms in Chicago is nearly here.

Cherry blossom watch 2023 is underway and according to the Chicago Park District, the gorgeous spring peak is on the horizon.

As of Wednesday, the buds on the trees were reported to be in stages 2-4, meaning "the buds are now swelling, and beginning to show signs of opening."

According to the park district, stage 2 means the buds are "starting to open," stage 3 means "opening petals are visible," and by stage 4 the flowers are visible.

It isn't until stage 6, however, that flowers are fully open.

"Chicago’s cold and wet spring weather keeps the buds tight and closed to protect the trees’ petals until there is a stretch of warm weather," the park district notes. "Once the trees’ blooms are fully opened, the sequence of the blooms is staggered, between beautiful pink and white petals, for over a two-week period."

To be considered in "full bloom," nearly all buds of the cherry blossoms have to be fully opened. The bloom is considered finished when the flower petals have fallen from the trees.

Last year, the trees reached full bloom in early May.

Among the cherry blossoms, there are five different varieties: Yoshino (pink), Gooseberry, Snow Goose, Snow Fountains and Accolade (pink).

According to the park district, the first batch of trees were planted in 2013 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the World's Columbian Exposition, with another 50 trees added the following three years to honor the 50th anniversary of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago.

The trees are located just south of the Museum of Science and Industry and in the Japanese Garden on the Wooded Island, a short walk south of the Columbian Basin.  

Contact Us