The Cherry: A Celebration of Spring

Spring is here, and while Washington is certainly abundant in flowers, there is one tree that seems to never fail to astonish: the flowering cherry. Found throughout prominent landmarks in Seattle such as the Quad at UW, cherry trees are just as important culturally as they are agriculturally.

 

With over 1,000 species, hybrids, and cultivars, the Cherry is a genetically diverse tree, and is found throughout the world. In Japan, blossoms from the tree are referred to as  or Sakura, and festivals known as 花見, or Hanami are held throughout the country in the spring when the trees bloom. The direct translation of Hanami means “flower viewing” and while the festivals are centered around this, they also include plenty of eating, drinking, and relaxing with friends, coworkers and family.

Sakura and Hanami are very important to the people of Japan

Here in Seattle, thousands flock to the University of Washington campus to witness the Cherry blossoms bloom in the Quad. Little was known about the history of these trees until a paper was published early this year by Yuki Shiotani, an exchange student from Tokyo. Compiled from interviews, old newspaper clippings, and planting records, it was discovered that the trees date back to at least 1938, where they were planted along the Montlake Canal as part of the Olmstead Plan. They were then transplanted in 1962 due to construction of the Evergreen Floating Bridge where they have grown to be the UW icons they are today.

 

The landscapes at UW continue to be at the forefront of landscape architecture, featuring a rich collection of trees that promote ecological diversity. It is recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus for the institution’s efforts to engage students and faculty in community forestry and for reaching conservation goals. The university’s ethos and commitment for ecologic diversity throughout their landscapes is matched by its commitment to increasing the representation of female professionals in the field of arboriculture.Sara Shores is the head arborist at UW, tasked with managing the 10,000+  trees found on campus, and excels in an industry that has traditionally excluded women and consequently has been dominated by men.

 

Sara also has the important role of forecasting the opening of cherry blossoms, to best help the public anticipate the timing of their display and prepare for the annual pilgrimage. She couldn’t do it all alone though, and Sara has a team of certified arborists and professional landscaping staff that she coordinates to handle the sizable job of managing such a large collection of trees across campus properties. Jacob Reyes, a former lead climber and arborist at Seattle Tree Care happens to be one of them! Seattle Tree Care is thrilled at his opportunity for advancement in the industry and salutes him for years of exceptional tree care he performed for our clients. We couldn’t be more proud of him and feel so fortunate to maintain his friendship. Once a member of the STC Family forever a member – so here’s a thanks for helping take care of the gorgeous collection of flowering cherry trees on the quad – we have been enjoying them immensely over the last few weeks.

 

Whether its from Tokyo to Seattle; UW to STC, trees connect us culturally in more ways than we can imagine. Be sure to celebrate this spring season by enjoying the close company of companions, hanging out under the trees, and taking the time to smell the blossoms.

Interested in reading more about this year’s cherry bloom at the UW? Follow the link here.

Want to follow our adventures in tree care and stay up to date on the procession of tree blossoms this Spring make sure to check us out on Instagram!

 

Celebrate Spring today!

 

 

Credits

Logan Steinharter

Consulting Arborist and Permit Specialist

ISA Certified Arborist #PN-8786A

 

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