On a very rainy day we decided to head to Seattle to University of Washington’s campus. We parked in the Central Plaza parking structure on campus (map of campus – http://www.washington.edu/maps/#) which is located under Red Square then wandered our way through puddles to the Quad where the Yoshino cherry trees were in full bloom. It was actually a great day to see the trees. Colors were more vibrant than if the sun were shining. People were scarce, which made it even better. On a nice, sunny day this place is packed with people seeing the colors, most with camera in hand. We have even been there when four wedding parties were being photographed. On this gray day, though, we wandered freely and enjoyed the emptiness of the Quad.
The trees were planted in 1939 at the Washington Park Arboretum. When construction was started for the original 520 bridge the trees had to be moved and so were transplanted on campus. The remaining trees are around 80 years old with a lifespan of a century. As existing trees die/need to be removed, replacement trees currently being grown in the Skagit Valley will be used to replace them.
Best time to see the trees is last two weeks of March. Arrive early on a sunny day to avoid crowds. Anytime is fine on a rainy day!