Scenic USA - Washington

Spring at the Quad

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Yoshino Cherry Trees at the Quad - Washington

Photo by Jim Stiles
Jim Stiles Photography

     Formally opening on November 4, 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast. Built on a gifted 10 acre parcel called Denny's Knoll, the Territorial University of Washington initially struggled due to a shortage of funds and a lack of students. Today the university is ranked among the world's top universities. Known as U Dub to the student population, the Seattle campus is one of three, with the others located in Tacoma and Bothell.
     Although the Seattle campus offers a campus tree tour, this spring it won’t be needed to point out this picturesque row of Yoshino cherry trees. Here in the Quad, spring brings out a vibrant display when 30 Japanese cherry trees burst into bloom. Lasting only a few weeks, this gallery provides students with a beautiful showcase of color. Soon the grounds under the tree canopy will be carpeted with a blanket of pink.
     Once an open field, the Quad was crisscrossed with bare pathways and offered ROTC units a marching ground. Initiated by the Class of 59, Yoshino cherry trees were moved on campus in 1964. Far from an ideal location, the 60 year old trees suffer stress and signs of decline. The cherry doesn't like wet feet, and the Quad area is often soggy. Just in case, replacement trees of the same vintage standby in a Mount Vernon nursery.
     Cherry tree maintenance takes up a small part of the groundskeeper’s gardening chores. There’s plenty of turf to cut, plantings to weed, and gardens to care for.

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