cherry blossom tree at the New York Botanical Garden
Photo courtesy New York Botanical Garden

The cherry blossom trees in NYC are beginning to bloom! During this time of year, many will make the annual trek to Washington D.C. to partake in the National Cherry Blossom Festival, but our city is home to its own collection of sakura, the famous Japanese trees — some of which you can find in unlikely locations.

Unknown to many, collections of cherry blossom trees in New York City come from the initial gift from Japan in 1909-1912 to Washington D.C. In fact, the largest collection of cherry blossoms in the United States is in Branch Brook Park, New Jersey with more than 2,700 trees. Though the park is not in New York City proper, we’ve included it at the end of this list. Discover where you can find these beautiful pink-flowered trees now through mid-April across all five boroughs!

1. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Cherry Blossom trees

The most famous location for cherry blossom viewing in New York City is the Cherry Esplanade at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. You can track the blooms on the Garden’s “Cherrywatch” map which shows which trees are in Prebloom, First Bloom, Peak Bloom, and Post-Peak Bloom. There are 26 different species and cultivars in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Flowering Cherry Collection.

The Garden’s website notes that “no one tree remains in flower for more than a week, and there is no moment when all are blooming at once,” so the Cherrywatch map will come in handy! Check out our previous photography of the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden here.