Cherry trees have a rich history in the city of Seattle.  Thousands of these trees have been gifted to Seattle over the decades. Specifically, many can be found at the University of Washington campus in the Quad. In 1912, the mayor of Tokyo donated 3,000 flowering cherry trees of the Yoshino variety to Washington, D.C. Two decades later, the UW bought 34 Yoshino cherry trees that were planted in the Washington Park Arboretum. Thirty-one of these trees were moved from the arboretum to the central campus Quad at the UW in 1960.

The gift of cherry trees also symbolizes the 120-year history of Japanese and Japanese American students at the university, including eras of discrimination and exclusion.

The campus trees are arguably the most beautiful arrangement of cherry trees in Seattle, if not the entire Northwest. The trees’ blooms are spectacular, but short-lived, a visual reminder of how life is both precious and precarious. Thousands of people come to view these trees each year. They are only in full bloom for about one to two weeks, peaking around last weekend of March to the first weekend of April.

Peak bloom period occurs when about 70% of cherry buds of blossomed. So grab your friends and family and come race the bloom! cherryblossomsfullbloom 250x167 SEATTLE CHERRY BLOSSOM RUNEnjoy the short window of time that Seattle’s best cherry blossoms are in full bloom before they are gone until next year.

Thousands of people will head to the Quad on the University of Washington campus this last weekend of March to admire the trees and hopefully the sunshine as well. You can beat the thousands of people coming for this annual spring celebration by coming early and partaking in this fun event. After the finish stick around for some cherry cider! You’ll also get a participant t-shirt and finisher’s medallion.

You can choose the 5K Run/Walk or the 10K Run. The 5K Run/Walk will remain on UW campus. The 10K run will go across campus, then down the pedestrian bridge by the the link train station, and finally across Montlake Bridge to head to the Washington Arboretum Park. From there runners will enjoy a beautiful run around the newly finished Arboretum Loop Trail where you can enjoy their foliage as well.

Proceeds benefit the The Arboretum Foundation.

For more information regarding the history of cherry trees in Seattle visit our blog article:  Seattle Cherry Blossoms.