Place

East Cherry Blossom Grove

Cherry blossoms in spring bloom with the Fort McHenry visitor center in the background.
The east cherry blossom grove in bloom.

NPS/Tim Ervin

Quick Facts

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Blossoming cherry trees are a welcome sight for visitors each spring at Fort McHenry on the banks of the Potomac River. These trees were planted in 1931 by 1,500 Baltimore school children to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of George Washington’s birth.

Each of the 152 cherry trees were planted to represent a Baltimore public school. The schools were highly segregated at the time, and the groves reflect this segregation. These trees were planted by the African American students, while the trees planted by white students were planted on the west side of the fort. The cherry blossoms have been replanted over the years, and still bloom annually.

Originally plans to establish these groves at Fort McHenry were proposed to attract visitors to Baltimore in the same vein as the popular cherry trees that were planted around the Potomac Park Tidal Basin in Washington D.C. in 1912. Today visitors are invited to walk among these beautiful trees each spring to experience the rebirth of the season.

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

Last updated: February 20, 2021