UW’s iconic cherry blossoms delayed by cold snap, set to reach peak bloom in early April

SEATTLE — A spring tradition is right around the corner, despite colder-than-usual temperatures.

The University of Washington announced Wednesday that its iconic cherry blossoms are set to reach peak bloom in early April.

That’s slightly later than last year when the UW quad’s cherry trees reached peak bloom during the third week of March.

“The cold snap has delayed the blooms slightly, but I don’t anticipate any damage to the blossoms as a result of the cold weather,” said Sara Shores, UW campus arborist.

As of this week, the Quad’s nearly 90-year-old cherry trees are mostly green buds with a few florets.

Shores estimates about one in every ten buds will emerge by next week, with more blossoming in the weeks to come until the trees reach peak bloom, defined as when 70% of the buds have emerged.

The Quad’s two plum trees, which are often mistaken for cherry trees, have already begun to bloom.

Thousands of people visit the UW’s Seattle campus to witness the iconic cherry trees in peak bloom each year. If you’re looking to avoid crowds, the school recommends planning a visit on a weekday or early morning.

For those who cannot make an in-person visit to the campus, the UW offers several virtual viewing options, including a live webcam and a virtual tour with photos from the campus.