SEATTLE — While a cold snap slightly delayed the cherry blossom blooms, the University of Washington (UW) said peak bloom is still on track for early April and none of the blossoms appeared to be damaged.
Every year thousands of guests gather in the Quad to enjoy the iconic cherry blossoms in bloom.
There are more than 120 cherry blossom trees on campus including 29 of the Yoshino variety in the Quad. Other varieties around the university's campus include the Higan, Hisakura, Kwanzan, Mt. Fuji, and Shirofugen trees. You can find a map of all the locations here.
As of March 15, the cherry trees in the UW Quad are mostly green buds with a few florets, Sara Shores, the UW campus arborist said. The trees will likely hit 10% bloom, meaning one in every 10 buds has erupted in pink or white blossoms, the week of March 20.
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According to Shores, peak bloom - when 70% of the buds have emerged - will happen in early April.
Shores advise that those who wish to avoid crowds visit the Quad on the weekdays and in the early mornings. Visitors can also expect traffic congestion. To avoid traffic, consider taking public transportation. UW's campus is accessible by many bus routes and the U District light rail station.
A UW research group has been monitoring campus blossoms from January to April for the past six years with the goal of creating a model that uses weather data to predict peak bloom. How long blossoms remain on the trees depends on the weather. Cooler temperatures, less rain, and lighter winds will keep blossoms on the trees.
PHOTOS | Cherry blossoms in full bloom on the UW Quad
UW also asks that visitors not climb the trees or shake their branches as this can damage the tree. The University launched a new website dedicated to the cherry blossoms. It includes tips on visiting the campus, the current status of the blooms, activities, nearby food options, and more.
The Yoshino cherry trees, which are the variety planted at the quad, were bought and planted in the Washington Park Arboretum in 1939. They were later re-planted in the Quad during the construction of the 520 bridge near the arboretum. The Yoshino variety is some of the longest living with an average lifespan of 80 to 100 years.