Nothing ushers in spring quite like the cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. The iconic trees draw so many admirers that they’ve become a symbol and a selling point of the school itself.
So you can imagine the reaction when construction crews cut down 24 of them on the campus promenade known as Rainier Vista. They were removed as part of the Montlake Triangle project, where crews are building a pedestrian land bridge from the campus to the future light rail station at Husky Stadium.
“The reaction was stronger than for any construction project,” said arborist Sara Shores. She explained the trees were too old and fragile to transplant.
“First the trees had brown rot, which is very hard to control in this climate,” she said. “They were getting close to the end of their lifespan. These were Kwanzan cherry trees, so their life span is close to 35 years.”