As all University of Washington students know, the UW campus in Seattle is famous for its towering Japanese cherry blossom trees, blooming over the Quad each spring. Students, families, and tourists alike all flock to campus to see and photograph these magnificent blossoms, taking your acceptance picture in front of one of these trees being almost a right of passage for every UW freshman. However, in these unusual times, this spring staple seems to be missing from our lives, something many students dread as they are cooped up in their rooms instead of appreciating campus in the warming spring weather like usual. In this article, we’ll let you know what you can do to still appreciate the famous cherry blossoms safely from home, as well as give you some insight into where these trees came from.
The cherry blossoms in the Quad consist of 30 Yoshino cherry trees, shipped directly from Japan in the 1930s. They were originally planted in the Washington State Arboretum, but moved to the Quad in 1963. Since then, the cherry blossoms bloom usually every mid-March to early April, have been cloned and grown by researchers, and have been visited by thousands of tourists from all over.
This year, the University of Washington’s Seattle campus has implemented lots of new programs to encourage to public to see the blossoms from their own home. The university itself greatly encourages everyone to stay home and stay safe, and urges the general public to please not visit the UW campus (there aren’t even public restrooms open!).
If you feel like there just aren’t enough of these blossoms on your feed this year and are missing all of the picturesque posts we usually see around this time, head to @uwcherryblossom to see the UW blossoms’ very own Twitter page. You’ll get almost daily updates and plenty of pretty pictures to put you in the spring mood.
If you want something more interactive and realistic to simulate the feeling of being in the Quad itself, you can visit this link to see this 24/7 YouTube live stream of the cherry blossoms in the Quad. That’s right, you can see the fully bloomed blossoms all day long, even in the middle of the night. Another live stream also exists of Red Square 24/7, at this link, if you’re just missing being on campus in general and are curious to see what it looks like in the middle of a pandemic (spoiler alert, not very different).
Of course, there are also other locations in Seattle you can visit to see some cherry blossoms, like Green Lake Park or Jefferson Park. If you do choose to visit any place in Seattle, it’s important that you choose a time that isn’t very busy, wear a mask, and make sure to socially distance from others! Even if you can’t see the cherry blossoms on campus this year, we hope you know that you’re staying safe at home, and making sure that we can all safely return and see the blossoms next time.