Central Park’s Cherry Blossom Tracker Tells You When the Trees Are in Peak Bloom

Cherry blossoms as seen from Central Park's Reservoir, with the El Dorado in the background.
Cherry blossoms as seen from Central Park's Reservoir, with the El Dorado in the background. / Mint Images/Mint Images RF/Getty Images

Of all the flowers that flourish in spring, cherry blossoms might be the most highly anticipated. The hype is so huge that certain hotspots have tools to help people time their visits for when the cherry trees are in peak bloom.

Japan-guide.com, for example, has a color-coded map of Japan in its entirety, detailing what stage each city’s blossoms have reached. Pink means they’re in bloom; green means leaves have appeared; and tan means the buds are still closed. The map also estimates when the cherry blossoms will be in peak bloom and tells you the best parks and other spots to see them in. 

In the U.S., the Trust for the National Mall and EarthCam host #BloomCam: a livestream of the National Mall Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., so you can see what phase the region’s cherry trees are in for yourself. They’re pretty dazzling at the moment.

While New York City’s famed Central Park might be a bit better known for its fall foliage (surely thanks in part to When Harry Met Sally…) than its cherry blossoms, it has quite a few of the latter. The Central Park Conservancy’s Cherry Blossom Tracker can tell you exactly where to find them and when to visit. There are six spots on the interactive map: the northernmost two are on either side of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, and the Great Lawn is just slightly beneath those. The final three, all below the Lake, are located on Cherry Hill, on Pilgrim Hill, and in Sheep Meadow. The site even features details on which cherry tree variety is found in each spot.

cherry blossoms in bloom on central park's great lawn
New Yorkers lounge beneath blossoms on the Great Lawn. / Toshi Sasaki/Photodisc/Getty Images

As of March 22, only the Kwanzan (or Kanzan) trees to the west of the Reservoir are in peak bloom; Tokyo’s mayor gifted the trees to the U.S. back in 1912. All the rest are currently classified as “pre-peak.” In other words, there’s still time to plan a last-minute trip to New York City to see the flowers in person.