The Blooming Cherry Trees at the University of Washington

Cherry Trees at the University of Washington

The ethereal cherry trees at the University of Washington will take your breath away ~

Our daughter happily left our home in Southern California to attend the University of Washington in Seattle. Alex graduated and has been working and living in Seattle for total of 9 years. Our family has spent a great deal of time on this incredible campus and in the “Emerald City” of Seattle. Additionally, we chose to live in Seattle temporarily while our little fixer upper in Pasadena, CA is being renovated.

UW is an absolutely gorgeous campus, with grand architecture, massive green lawns, forests of towering trees, divine fountains and lovely gardens, however, the UW Quad is my favorite spot on campus.

Cherry Trees at the University of Washington
The Quad


The Quad is the outdoor hub of the campus where all of the outlying paths lead and where the students hang out and enjoy nature. It is lined with a small grove of magnificent cherry trees and as it gets close to springtime, you never quite know when they will bloom. These Yoshino Cherry trees are all about 80 years old and will hopefully live about 100 years, and to be safe, replacement trees are being grown in the Skagit Valley.

UW Grounds Management says the Yoshino Cherry trees were first planted around 1939 at the Washington Park Arboretum but they were in the path of what later became the approach to the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge east of Montlake Boulevard. The trees were transplanted on campus in a hurried effort to minimize losses in the wake of impending highway construction. Not one tree was lost!

In the past 9 years, I believe I may have visited campus twice to see the cherry blossoms, but I have never been able to see it at 100%! Today was my day!

standing under the blooming cherry trees at UW


The exact timing always depends on the weather — if the days are warm and sunny, the trees reach full bloom faster, but colder weather stretches out the timing. Still, full bloom by mid-March is about a week earlier than most years, according to Sara Shores, the UW arborist.

cherry trees at the University of Washington


cherry trees at the University of Washington

cherry trees at the University of Washington
Springtime treasure under the trees


Depending upon the amount of rain and wind, the blossoms will likely stay on the trees for at least two weeks, maybe three and this phase of the bloom is Alex’s favorite, she calls it “snow”. The breeze blows the tiny snowy petals all over campus.They flutter about and land on the intense green lawn and cover it with “snow”.


cherry trees at the University of Washington


The Cherry Trees at the University of Washington are so popular that they even have a twitter account and “blossom news” is reported on the university website. When I was in The Quad, there were hundreds of tourists photographing this miracle of nature. You could feel the joy in the air…and then it began to rain. Surprise!

My weather app said that it would start to rain about 12:30pm. At 12:27 it rained right on schedule. I snapped these photos pretty quickly because the wet weather isn’t good for the camera. The rain isn’t good for the blooms either, the flowers will fall off much faster when it rains hard. I was lucky to be in town during this year’s bloom and I waited to the last possible second to visit. It was a sight to behold.


Have you ever enjoyed the cherry trees at the University of Washington?

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15 thoughts on “The Blooming Cherry Trees at the University of Washington”

  1. Oh gosh, it really is stunning! I spent 5 weeks in Seattle in the summer of 2015 and fell in love with the city (and the San Juans). I never made it onto the Campus – but wish I did now as it looks stunning!
    Next time, I will ensure I go. I love Seattle!

    • Thank you Rebecca! I am glad to hear that you love Seattle as much as I do. This is such a beautiful place any season of the year!

    • Isn’t it gorgeous Betsy?! There are cherry trees all over Seattle, but this is the highest concentration and probably the oldest. I have always wanted to see D.C. and Japan too! This was a little closer for me. 🙂

  2. WOW! Unbelievable how many trees and blossoms. Absolutely beautiful. Now I know why you’re temporarily living in Seattle….and visiting the U of W. I would just go there, sit under a tree and read. What a calm environment!

  3. I’m about 30 min away from UW, have lived here for 8 years and STILL HAVEN’T made it out to go see this beautiful sight. Going to try REALLY HARD to make it out there this weekend. Great pictures.

  4. Absolutely lovely. We’ve been in Washington DC at the tail-end of the cherry trees blooming a couple of times and last April we were in Denver when the trees were blooming. However, your photos take BLOOMING to a whole ‘nother level – Glorious. Sounds like you’re enjoying your time in Seattle but I bet you’re looking forward to moving into your home in Pasadena once it’s done!


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