UW News

March 5, 2020

Visitors should avoid coming to UW campus to see cherry blossoms amid COVID-19 outbreak

UW News

Note: Thousands of people usually visit campus each spring to see the cherry blossoms. The University is asking people to avoid coming to campus this year to comply with Gov. Jay Inslee’s March 23 statewide stay-at-home order as our region combats the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, parking on campus to view the blossoms is discouraged.

There are several options to enjoy the blossoms virtually this year: UW Video’s live webcam | Facebook photo album | UW Video’s Aerial footage| Follow @uwcherryblossom on Twitter


Nota: Habitualmente miles de personas visitan el campus cada primavera para mirar los cerezos en flor. La Universidad le pide al público que evite venir al campus este año a fin de cumplir las órdenes emitidas por Salud Pública de la Ciudad de Seattle y el Condado de King, así como por el Gobernador Jay Inslee, que prohíben las reuniones masivas mientras en nuestra región se combate la epidemia de COVID-19.


注意:通常每年春天會有成千上萬的人到校園來觀賞櫻花。本校要求人們今年避免前來校園,遵守西雅圖市和金縣公共衛生部以及Jay Inslee州長禁止大批人群聚集的命令,因為本地區正在與2019年新型冠狀病毒(COVID-19)的傳播作鬥爭。




Paunawa: Libu-libo ang karaniwang bumibisita sa campus bawat spring upang tingnan ang cherry blossoms. Nakikiusap ang University sa mga tao na huwag magpunta sa campus sa taóng ito upang matupad nito ang utos ng Public Health – Seattle & King County at ni Gov. Jay Inslee. Ipinagbabawal ng utos na ito ang malalaking gathering habang nilalabanan ng ating rehiyon ang pagkalat ng COVID-19.


ማስታወሻ፣ በሽህዎች የሚቆጠሩ ሰዎች በስፕሪንግ ሁሌም cherry blossoms ን ለማየት ካምፓሱን ይጎበኛሉ። በ አከባቢያችን COVID-19 ን ለመዋጋት የወጣውን የህዝብ ጤና መመሪያን _ የ Seattle ፤ King County እና Gov. Jay Inslee ተእዛዝ ለማስከበር ዩንቨርሲትው በዚህ ኣመት ሰዎች ወደ ካምፓሱ ከመምጣት እንድቆጠቡ ይጠይቃል።


UW Video’s live blossom camera

In case the video above is unavailable, check out UW Video’s page here.

Facebook album

Full album here

Aerial footage

ORIGINAL POST on March 5: A relatively mild winter in the Seattle area means the iconic cherry trees in the University of Washington Quad are on track for a typical bloom season.

cherry buds opening

Blossoms are just beginning to open on cherry trees in the UW Quad. Photo taken March 4.University of Washington

The trees likely will reach peak bloom in late March, said Michael Bradshaw, a UW doctoral student in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences who leads a team of undergraduates collecting data on bloom timing.

The buds appear to be progressing a few days ahead of last year’s timing, Bradshaw said, according to the data that students have been collecting since early February. Warmer temperatures and sunlight usually influence bloom timing each year.

Once the trees reach peak bloom — when at least 70% of the blossoms have emerged — cooler temperatures, dry weather and low wind will keep the blossoms on the trees longer, he explained.

The cherry trees in the Quad, “Somei-yoshino,” are particularly striking when they reach full bloom because unlike many other flowering tree species, their white-pink blossoms take center stage before the leaves start filling in.

“Something that’s really special about these trees compared with other cherry trees is they bloom before their leaves are out, and that’s such a beautiful thing to see,” said Bradshaw, who also works as a pest management coordinator with the UW’s grounds maintenance team. “It’s amazing to see these massive trees with only their blooms out.”

A cherry tree in the UW Quad on March 4.University of Washington

The 29 large cherry trees in the Quad are about 87 years old and healthy, said campus arborist Sara Shores.

The Quad cherry trees were originally planted on arboretum land near Montlake Boulevard where Highway 520 passes through. They were moved to campus in 1962 when the highway’s construction required the trees to be relocated. These details, as well as more history on the cherry trees, are described in a recent report written by Yuki Shiotani, a student at Waseda University in Tokyo who studied at the UW as an exchange student.

This is the second year that Bradshaw has enlisted the help of about 10 undergraduate students to collect data on bloom timing for the 118 cherry trees across campus, including the Quad trees. The students visit each tree at least twice a week on average, taking photos and noting which of the five bloom stages the trees appear to be in, and how much of that stage is complete.

The goal is to gather enough data year after year to build a model that will help predict peak bloom timing, similar to the success Washington, D.C. has had with its model.

“We’re hoping to better track when they will bloom, and in the future align our data with weather data to be able to answer how much temperature and weather are dictating when they bloom,” Bradshaw said.