Edvotek is located just a few miles away from the bright star of springtime in Washington D.C., the cherry blossom trees! Every spring the cherry blossom trees all bloom and the city is vibrantly filled with a beautiful tinge of pink. D.C. is also notorious for being a pollen-filled city, often causing quite a lot of seasonal allergies for its citizens. Stock up on those antihistamines and head to the Tidal Basin during the peak bloom this March between the 22nd and the 25th!
History behind the Trees
The thousands of cherry blossom trees we see today in D.C. are all thanks to the passion and drive of the travel writer Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore. After an unforgettable trip to Japan in 1885, Eliza was determined to make cherry blossoms a part of the Potomac River’s parkland, now known as the Tidal Basin. Unfortunately, those in power of that land at the time were not as keen on the trees as Scidmore was, and it wasn’t until she met an unlikely friend 24 years later that her dream became a reality. After meeting David Fairchild, and learning of their mutual admiration for cherry blossom trees, the two wrote a letter to First Lady Helen Taft. In two days, Mrs. Taft responded and had a plan set-in motion for the arrival of the trees. The first shipment of trees were not as expected, when they arrived it was obvious that the trees were infested with insects and parasites. That lot of trees were burned, but an additional donation of trees were sent to D.C. from Tokyo, in perfect condition, acting as a symbol of international friendship. On March 27, 1912 the first two trees were planted, and can still be found today! The rest of the trees were planted for the following ten years and became a central part of every Washingtonian’s spring experience.
Click here to learn more about the cherry blossom tree history!
Pollen and Allergies
When the cherry blossoms are in season, I know it’s that time of year to start using allergy medication. D.C. is notorious for triggering seasonal allergies. Like many cities, most of the trees planted in this area are male trees, which are known to produce large amounts of pollen. Pollen allergies are very common around these parts, and they happen because your immune system misinterprets pollen protein as a threat and kicks into defense mode. This results in the common allergy symptoms: red/itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, and stuffy nose.
If you want to learn more about Spring Allergies and the Antibody-Antigen Connection, check out this blog we wrote a while back!
Enjoy some pictures that some of our staff have taken throughout the years!