Flowering cherry trees burst into bloom, usually from mid-March through mid-April throughout the Pacific Northwest. Exactly when depends on the variety: early blooming versus late blooming.
Seattle cherry blossom season begins with (red/pink) buds that burst into (pink/white) flower. As the flowers fade, the trees display two-tone color as (green/red) leaves start to unfold. There are also flowering plum trees, which look very similar. Plum trees tend to bloom earlier than cherry trees.
Early and late blooming cherry blossom trees can be seen on many Seattle streets (along with flowering plum, red camellias and pink/white star and saucer magnolias) before and after the spectacular display on the University of Washington (UW) campus.
The cherry trees surrounding the UW “Quad” in Seattle are typically in peak bloom around the third week of March. During my years as an undergrad on the University of Washington campus, the peak flowering time on the Quad always seemed to come during spring break when we weren’t on campus. Sigh.
Public health experts and Washington governor Jay Inslee have asked EVERYONE to do their part to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.
PLEASE STAY HOME AND STOP THE SPREAD!
Visitors should avoid going to the UW campus to see cherry blossoms amid COVID-19 outbreak. You can view the UW Quad trees via the live webcam below.
It may be possible to take a drive around the city to view cherry blossoms from the car. But you should not get out or walk through parks or take rest stops. So a fairly short drive and back home.
2020 Cherry Blossom Season
Updated March 9, 2020
February 20, 2020. The peak season last year was roughly March 30-April 21, 2019. We’re predicting the 2020 season to be a bit earlier than last year, from March 21 – April 12, 2020. As the current year’s cherry blossom season gets closer, we try to keep an eye on things and update this page with any changes.
The earliest blooming varieties of plum and cherry blossom trees along Seattle city streets could start to bloom the weekend of March 14, 2020, particularly if the weather warms up and the sun comes out. We’ll have to wait and see.
The cherry blossom trees in The Quad on the UW Campus bloom a little later, so we’re figuring between March 21 – April 5, with peak bloom expected the weekend of March 28-29.
For more info, see section below about Cherry blossom trees at the University of Washington Seattle campus, including the live web cam showing the status of UW cherry blossom-ness
Scroll down past the University of Washington section for several more locations in Seattle parks and drives where you can find cherry blossom trees in particular splendor.
Visitors should avoid coming to UW campus to see cherry blossoms amid COVID-19 outbreak. The University is asking people to avoid coming to campus this year to comply with orders by Public Health – Seattle & King County and Governor Jay Inslee that prohibit gatherings of more than 50 people as our region combats the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, parking on campus to view the blossoms is discouraged.
Cherry blossom trees at University of Washington Seattle campus
The University of Washington Seattle campus offers one of the most stunning displays of cherry blossoms in the entire country.
(Yes, even that “other” Washington, which naturally gets more attention. That’s okay, we’re used to it.)
Cherry blossom trees on the UW Quad
The University of Washington “Quad” boasts 30 Japanese cherry trees surrounding a verdant plaza.
The Quad is short for the Liberal Arts Quadrangle. This area of campus is edged by several impressive gothic style buildings: Savery, Smith, Raitt, and Miller Halls. They surround a grassy area, crisscrossed by brick and pebbled paths.
To enjoy the cherry blossoms, watch the UW live webcams and videos below:
Other cherry blossom tree locations in Seattle
Here are some of the best parks and locations to see cherry blossoms in Seattle from about mid-March to mid-April.
(Listed roughly going north to south in Seattle)
Green Lake Park, one of Seattle’s most beloved parks in the center of a dense urban neighborhood, serves as a natural preserve for hundreds of species of trees and plants, as well as numerous birds and waterfowl. The 2.8-mile path around the lake provides a perfect recreational spot for runners, bikers, skaters and walkers. Supplement your walk with the book Trees of Greenlake by Arthur Lee Jacobson (also available from the Seattle Public Library).
Washington Park Arboretum, Azalea Way near the Graham Visitors Center, 2300 Arboretum Drive E, Seattle, WA 98112 (Google map). Withing the 230-acre park are flowering cherry trees along with barberry, camellia, halesia, maple, madrona, magnolia, rhododendron, and serviceberry. The visitor’s center is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mount Baker Park to Seward Park features a lakeside paved walking path lined with cherry blossoms trees, plus water fowl, stunning views, and much more. These trees tend to bloom later than other areas, usually around the time the trees in the UW Quad begin to leaf out as their blossoms fall. So early- to mid-April tends to be the best guess. You can also do this as a driving tour along Lake Washington Blvd South.
Jefferson Park, the sixth largest park in the city of Seattle, offers unparalleled views of the Duwamish River, the city and the Olympic Mountains. The Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival Committee donated 25 cherry trees to be planted at Jefferson Park. The Olmsted inspired path system flanked by trees offers a wonderful respite from city life along with many active opportunities. The park is the home to the Jefferson Park Golf Course, the Jefferson Community Center, Jefferson Lawn Bowling, Jefferson Skatepark, and the Beacon Mountain, an innovative natural play environment .
Other upcoming garden tours
(If nothing is listed below, there are no upcoming garden tours in our calendar. Theoretically, this shouldn’t happen. We update our calendar a few times a year for shows coming up each season.)
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But wait, there’s more!
- Check our list of Home & Garden shows in the Puget Sound region.
- No garden shows? Then explore public gardens and garden tours.
- Bookmark our list of home gardening resources and plant sales.
- Here’s a list of 101+ always free things to do for fun.
- Find free and cheap things to do every day on the Greater Seattle on the Cheap event calendar.
- Visit the Greater Seattle on the Cheap home page and choose from a menu of free and cheap activities in the Puget Sound region.
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