This year’s record-setting snowfall should not have a negative effect on the University of Washington cherry trees.
February’s cold snap may delay the peak bloom until the last weekend of March, but it won’t be far off from previous years.
The cherry trees started to bloom this week but UW expects the weekend of March 30 should be prime time to see the iconic cherry blossoms.
“Temperature and amount of sunlight are the big factors that determine bloom timing,” campus arborist Sara Shores said. “Once the trees reach peak bloom, then we hope that the temperatures drop and the air is fully still for two or three weeks. That will help the blossoms last longer.”
There are 29 large cherry trees on the UW campus and flocks of tourists descend on the Quad each year to see them. They were originally planted as a gift from the Mayor of Tokyo, Yukio Ozaki, in 1912 as a sign of friendship.
Although there are many cherry trees on campus, the light pink blooms in the Quad, called “Somei-yoshino,” are usually the first ones to reveal themselves. Clones of the Quad cherry trees planted near the law school should bloom simultaneously, according to UW. The more vibrant pink blossoms near Rainier Vista are a different species and tend to bloom later.
The plum trees near the iconic Suzzallo Library usually bloom before the cherry trees in the Quad and have whiteish blooms.
Visitors are asked not to climb on the trees or pick blooms, so the 86-year-old trees can remain healthy for years to come.
You can monitor bloom status by watching the UW’s livestream here, and follow @uwcherryblossom on Twitter. Be sure to share all of your spring flower photos with us by tagging #k5spring on Instagram and Twitter.