Signs of the Season

Jordan Pickett

  • startup.uw.edu

Signs of the season

By Alex Visser

The famous cherry blossoms that decorate the Quad have come to symbolize many things for UW students: a promise of summer, new beginnings, and a taste of home. Each spring, the Seattle campus comes alive as daffodils, crocuses, and cherry blossoms are proudly in bloom.

The Quad’s cherry trees represent a point of community and coming together for the thousands of UW students, alumni, and friends who gather around to bask in their natural splendor each year.

The renowned cherry blossoms arrived in 1936 as a gift to the university from Japan. The trees were originally planted at the Washington Park Arboretum before the construction of State Route 520’s Evergreen Point Floating Bridge forced them to the UW in 1962.

The hasty transport brought with it fears that the trees would not bloom, but those worries were extinguished that spring when pink radiance engulfed the UW campus for the first time. A half-century later, the trees continue to bloom without fail, but it will not always be so.

While the cherry blossoms are healthy today, climate change has forced them to bloom earlier than in years past. This is dangerous, for while the weather is warmer, it is not necessarily better for the trees’ livelihoods.

Someday, the blossoms will lose their magnificence and the trees will die. Future generations of UW students will experience the beauty that is known so well today.

For now, though, UW students and members of the community find solace in the warmth of color that has illuminated the Quad each spring for 57 years, comforted by the tease of summer and the promise of renewal.

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