Japan donates 250 cherry trees for Tidal Basin project

By Rob Hotakainen | 04/11/2024 04:35 PM EDT

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he decided to send the gift when he heard that some of the original trees would be removed as part of a renovation by the National Park Service.

'Stumpy' the popular cherry tree is seen at the tidal basin as cherry trees enter peak bloom in Washington.

"Stumpy," a popular cherry tree, is seen at the Tidal Basin as cherry trees in Washington entered peak bloom in the last week of March. The weakened tree experienced its last peak bloom before being removed for a renovation project that will rebuild sea walls around the Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park. Jose Luis Magana/AP

Japan will contribute 250 cherry trees to assist in the long-planned renovation of the Tidal Basin in Washington, President Joe Biden said Wednesday.

The president made the announcement during an arrival ceremony for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and first lady Yuko Kishida, who were honored at a state dinner Wednesday night.

Biden said the trees will commemorate the nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026 and serve as a symbol of the ties of friendship between the two countries.


“They’ll be planted at the Tidal Basin not far from the Martin Luther King Memorial,” Biden said. “And like our friendship, these trees are timeless, inspiring and thriving.”