- The Washington Times - Friday, March 17, 2017

This week’s cold snap decimated about half of the city’s cherry blossoms, but festival organizers said tourists traveling to see the famous trees will still get a spectacular show.

The drop in temperature killed most of the blossoms that were in their final stage just before full bloom, National Park Service Spokesman Mike Litterist said at a Friday news conference. Those blossoms had progressed more quickly because of the warm temperatures in February.

But an inspection of buds in the earlier stages showed that those remaining blossoms are safe and should reach peak bloom by the end of next week.

“It’s a glass half-full, glass half-empty situation,” Mr. Litterist said.

Despite huge loss, NPS and the National Cherry Blossom Festival said because the trees are so dense near the main viewing area at the Tidal Basin, tourists coming to see the blossoms won’t be let down.

“There will be a peak bloom of the Yoshino cherry trees this year at the Tidal Basin, and we are delighted to be able to say that we know it’s going to be beautiful, spectacular as ever,” Gay Vietzke, NPS superintendent of the National Mall said Friday.

Because the cherry blossoms are lush and dense along the Tidal Basin, those hoping to see them can still expect a spectacular showing. The city holds about 3,800 cherry blossom trees, most of which dot the Tidal Basin downtown.

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