UW News

March 10, 2022

UW welcomes community to view cherry blossoms; peak bloom expected mid-March

UW News

The University of Washington welcomes the community and visitors to enjoy the iconic Quad cherry blossoms this spring. The cherry blossoms usually draw large crowds on campus. While masks are not required, some individuals may opt to wear a face covering. We encourage the community to be respectful of one another’s choices.

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.

The 29 cherry trees in the Quad usually reach peak bloom the third week of March, said UW arborist Sara Shores, and this year is on track to meet that timing. Warmer temperatures and mild weather all factor into when the cherry trees start to blossom and when they reach peak bloom.

Virtual viewing options are also available, including UW Video’s live webcam overlooking the Quad, a virtual tour with photos from campus and tweets from @uwcherryblossom. Hear Shores explain how a cherry tree functions in this interactive “anatomy of a cherry tree” illustration:

Once the trees reach peak bloom — when at least 70% of the blossoms have emerged — cooler temperatures, drier weather and lighter winds will keep the blossoms on the trees longer. The university asks that visitors not climb the trees or shake their branches, as this can cause damage.

More information


Dozens of varieties of blossoming cherry and plum trees can be found across the Seattle area, with blooms visible from early February until, for some species, May. Petal 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.

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

The Seattle Department of Transportation maintains this interactive map of trees across the city. To see cherry trees in your neighborhood, click on “Explore street trees” in the top navigation bar, then click on “trees by type” and look for trees with the “Prunus” genus (cherry and plum trees).

For more information on the UW campus cherry blossoms, contact Michelle Ma at mcma@uw.edu.

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