SEATTLE — Families and students have begun to gather at the University of Washington's quad, where cherry blossoms are continuing to bloom heading into the start of April.
Warm weekend weather propelled their progress, cueing up picture-perfect views with about a quarter of trees blooming.
"This is the first time I've seen them this season and they're coming in really nice," said UW School of Law student Patrick Paulsen, who grew up seeing cherry blossoms and considers them a sign of the coming season. "Spring has sprung."
For Howard Nakase with outside operations for UW Facilities, seeing people enjoy the blooms is a pay-off for year-round care done by a team of dedicated members.
"For our team and our staff it's heartwarming for them," Nakase said. "They embrace taking care of the landscape."
This year, a new UW Bloom Tracker will offer updates on their growth. In recent years, student researchers have been collecting data and working to craft a model to predict peak bloom.
This year, it appears the peak will come in early April. If winds stay low and temperatures don't get too cold, the blossoms will last a couple of weeks.
If you plan to visit the cherry blossoms, going early in the day or visiting on a weekday if possible can mean smaller crowds. It's also advisable to take public transit since parking is limited. Staff who work hard to keep the trees in shape ask that no one climbs on them.