2021 | News

UPDATED: Kenwood cherry blossoms in peak bloom

About 1,200 trees line neighborhood’s streets

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The Kenwood cherry blossoms in Bethesda and Chevy Chase were in full bloom on Tuesday.

Photos by Dan Schere

This story was updated at 4:30 p.m. to include additional information about planned street closures this weekend and to clarify that Kenwood includes both Bethesda and Chevy Chase

The cherry blossoms of the Kenwood neighborhood, in Bethesda and Chevy Chase, are blanketing the streets in white petals.

David Barron, of the Kenwood Citizens Association, said on Tuesday that the blossoms have reached their peak bloom.

About 1,200 Yoshino cherry trees line the streets of Kenwood, and typically bloom around late March or early April.

The cherry trees were planted between 1929 and 1934 as part of a plan by the Kennedy-Chamberlin Development Company to line the streets with the trees, according to the Kenwood Garden Club.

Thousands of people typically visit the neighborhood each year to look at the blossoms, as an alternative to the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. — a tourist attraction that normally draws large crowds.

The warm weather and sunshine on Tuesday brought a number of spectators to the neighborhood, and “no parking” signs lined the streets to prevent congestion.

Last year’s cherry blossoms peaked just a few weeks after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when Gov. Larry Hogan had ordered a prohibition of gatherings of more than 10 people. (The outdoor gathering limit has since been raised to 50.)

Barron told Bethesda Beat on Wednesday that county police have told the neighborhood they will close streets to vehicular traffic in Kenwood this weekend. In a text message, he wrote that the closures will be between noon and 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and is related to restrictions at the Tidal Basin.

Montgomery County police blocked off some streets and officers patrolled the area to discourage crowding. During one weekend, Maryland State Police were called in response to a crowd of 100 that had formed, but no arrests were made.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com