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By Mike DeNardo

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Our especially cold winter is causing an especially late bloom for local cherry trees.

The National Park Service in Washington D.C. projects the peak bloom for cherry blossoms there will arrive April 9th. That’s as late as it’s been in a decade.

Joe Zanghi, who started a 40-year effort to plant cherry trees along Cherry Hill’s Chapel Avenue, says he rolls with nature’s punches when it comes to planning the annual cherry blossom ceremony.

Joe Zanghi (creditL Mike DeNardo)

Joe Zanghi (creditL Mike DeNardo)

“I only check Washington’s calendar. And they’re scheduled for April 8-12. The peak blooms, down in Washington,” he said. “We follow, like, within two weeks of that date.”

Zanghi founded the township’s Cherry Blossom Parade in 1973, and still organizes an annual ceremony at peak bloom time.

“We don’t have the parade any longer. So my scheduling is strictly the blossoms,” he said. “Whenever they arrive, that’s when the word should go out that ‘Hey — here they are in Cherry Hill. Come out and visit them.'”

Tony Aiello, director of horticulture at the Morris Arboretum, says after a cold winter, cherry trees need a stretch of moderately warm weather before they bloom. And that’s something we obviously haven’t had.

For more info on the Chapel Avenue cherry blossoms, visit



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