Univ. of Washington cherry trees close in on full bloom

Mar 11, 2024, 4:15 PM

Cherry blossom trees UW...

The cherry trees in the UW Quad photographed March 30, 2023. (Photo: Kiyomi Taguchi/University of Washington)

(Photo: Kiyomi Taguchi/University of Washington)

It has become an annual rite of spring around Seattle. Cherry trees on the University of Washington campus are set to bloom and because skies sometimes don’t clear until June or July, it is often the only way we can tell the summer is coming.

Peak blooms should begin after March 20, according to UW arborist Sara Shores.

“Historically, peak bloom in the Quad typically begins during the third full week of March and goes into the fourth week of March. That seems to be what this year is going to look like,” said Shores. “Right now, I would guess that the last two weekends of March are ideal viewing conditions.”

There are 29 Yoshino cherry trees in the UW Quad. The burst of color is a great counterbalance to the usual gray skies.

Ted Buehner: This week will feature warmest temperatures since October

Overall, there are more than 100 cherry trees on the Seattle campus. Other varieties include the Higan, Hisakura, Kwanzan, Mt. Fuji and Shirofugen trees that can be viewed at locations across campus.

The blossoms stay on the trees as long as the weather permits. Cooler temperatures, less rain and lighter winds all will help keep blossoms on the trees.

The UW maintains a website dedicated to the school’s cherry blossoms. The site has updates on the status of the blooms as well as details on transportation, activities and amenities. For cherry tree enthusiasts who can’t make the trip, campus webcams are a good option for virtual viewing.

“Even as bloom season wanes for the Yoshino trees in early April, other trees on campus will be starting,” said Shores.

The U District also holds a Cherry Blossom Festival, from March 16 – April 1. More than 80 U District businesses come together to present special menu items featuring a variety of cherry and blossom-themed food, drink, and retail specials.

Bill Kaczaraba is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here. Follow Bill on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email him here.

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Univ. of Washington cherry trees close in on full bloom