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Cherry trees bloom early in Washington

posted 19 Mar 2012, 14:23 by Mpelembe   [ updated 19 Mar 2012, 14:24 ]

Washington, D.C.’s iconic cherry blossoms begin to bloom, marking the 100th anniversary of the cherry trees' arrival to the United States, sent as a gift from Japan.

USA-CHERRY BLOSSOMS - Cherry blossom trees blooming in Washington, D.C. signal an early start to Spring.

Thanks to an unseasonably warm end to winter, tourists caught a glimpse of the early buds while touring the nation's capitol.

Bernadette Kiel, tourist from Maryland, saying

"Yeah, you know, it is kind of exciting that it's early for us because a lot of people go away for Spring break, and if you live here, you don't really get to see them often."

June, visitor from Florida, saying

"I'm in love with the cherry blossoms and I planned a whole trip around them blooming, and half of them are here - but we're still excited to be here."

Every year, more than one million visitors admire the 3,770 trees around the capitol's Tidal Basin during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Japan's gift of cherry trees as a sign of friendship with the United States.

Kilmeny Duchardt, Reuters.