UW News

March 12, 2021

Soundbites & B-roll: UW arborist on cherry blossom viewing tips

UW News


UW arborist Sara Shores recommends looking for cherry blossoms in your local parks and neighborhood streets. There are dozens of different varieties of blossoming cherry and plum trees in the Seattle area, with blooms visible from early February until May, for some species.


Bloom colors range from white to light rose to dark pink, and cherry trees — unlike plums — have distinct horizontal-line patterns on their bark called lenticels. These help the trees “exhale” or release carbon dioxide and water.

Face of woman outdoors

Sara Shores, UW arboristUW News

Plum trees, which often are mistaken for cherry trees, bloom earlier than most cherries and don’t have lenticels on their bark.

Many of the earliest-flowering pink trees each spring are plums, Shores said. She recommends checking the bark to verify. Plum flowers also tend to smell sweeter than cherry flowers.

More information here.


Kiyomi Taguchi ktaguchi@uw.edu / 206-685-2716