Washington, DC’s cherry trees draw tourists in each spring with their blooms. The cherry trees were a gift from Japan in 1912 as a token of friendship and are now nearly as famous as the blossoms in the origin country. Upon receiving the cherry trees, the US responded under President William Howard Taft by sending flowering dogwood trees.
The cherry trees have become a staple of the DC skyline and a symbol of the Japan – US relationship. In the days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, however, some of the limbs of DC’s trees were broken in retaliation. According to the National Park Service, in the 1980s, there was a flood in Japan that destroyed many of this variety of cherry tree, but Japanese horticulturalists were able to restore some of the lost trees using hundreds of cuttings from the Washington, DC trees.