CommunityEventsOffice News March 13, 2024

Cherry Blossom Trees at the University of Washington

Cherry Blossom Trees at UW

Here in Washington, we have a few celebrity flowers that have blossomed their own dedicated cult following. One of these blooms even has its own Twitter account and a year-round live feed webcam. That’s right! The beauty of the Cherry Blossom Trees at the University of Washington’s quad is a renowned crowd drawer.

A Guide to Visiting the UW Cherry Blossom Trees

Explore the beauty of the University of Washington’s Cherry Blossom Trees with my guide! Learn about when and where to view the blooming flowers, the history of the trees, and tips for making the best of your visit. Unforgettable photos, magnificent memories, and a unique experience await you at the UW Cherry Blossom Trees!

When do they bloom?

The UW Cherry Blossom Trees usually start blooming in mid-March and can continue through mid-April. Typically, peak bloom happens in the third week in March, according to UW arborist Sara Shores. But the exact timing of the blooms depends on the weather, so it can vary from year to year. It’s a gorgeous sight to see the campus in full bloom, so be sure to take some time to enjoy it when it happens!

The History of The UW Cherry Blossom Trees

The true origin story of the UW Cherry Blossom Trees has been lost to time and myth. One consistent is that the trees arrived in Washington sometime in the early 1900’s. One story says they were originally planted at Washington Park Arboretum and transplanted in UW’s quad later. Another version is that they were gifted to Seattle in 1912 by the mayor of Tokyo. Either way, they’re old.

The Route to View the Blossoms

When I say these trees draw a crowd, I’m not kidding. The University of Washington offers viewers a route to get to the Cherry Blossoms.

4/1/22 update: Traffic congestion on campus is significant during cherry blossoms season and parking is limited. Please take light rail to the University District Station or park in the Central Parking Garage or Padelford Parking Garage.”- University of Washington

Check Out UW’s Live Webcam

To Remove any guesswork, head over to UW’s live webcam to see if the flowers have opened.

UW Cherry Blossoms 2024

Want to Try to Avoid Crowds?

There are Cherry Blossom Trees planted throughout the greater Seattle Area. The Seattle Department of Transportation created an interactive map of trees across the city. To Find the cherry trees look for the spots marked Prunus (Cherry/Plum); just be aware the trees could be a plum tree. Happy Hunting!

Click this image to head over to Seattle’s Department of Transportation Interactive Tree Map

 They Won’t Last Long So See them ASAP!

Cherry blossoms are often thought to represent many things. The beauty and fragility of life, renewal, spring, love, hope, joy, and friendship. Many of the trees gifted to Seattle by Tokyo were offered to the city as a token of friendship. They are a beautiful sight to see and they don’t last long. One year a windstorm swept them away during peak bloom. So, make sure to stay on top of their socials if you want to see them in person this year!


By Kerriann Jenkins