SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Cherry blossoms are finally in bloom at the Utah State Capitol following a harsh winter season. The baby pink buds form a stark contrast against the steely white Capitol building, symbolizing that spring has begun in Utah.
Cherry blossoms usually reach full bloom between late March to early April. However, due to wintry conditions that lingered in Utah longer than normal this year, the start of cherry blossoms season at the Capitol was delayed by a few weeks.
On Monday, April 24, representatives of the Utah State Capitol announced the cherry blossoms finally reached peak bloom over the weekend. The beautiful cherry trees were reportedly planted around the Memorial Walkway in 2007 during the Utah Capitol Restoration.
According to the Utah State Capitol, the cherry blossoms will stay in bloom for a couple of weeks as long as Salt Lake City doesn’t experience another sudden drop in temperatures. National Park Service officials say cherry blossoms start sustaining damage at the 27-degree mark.
The 433 Yoshino trees currently planted at the Capitol were grown in Portland, Oregon, and they are specifically grafted to have a straight trunk so that the branches would grow out of the top and cover the walking path when blooming.
“These trees are a beautiful symbol of peace and draw many visitors to the Capitol each spring,” Capitol officials said.
The first cherry trees to be planted around the Utah State Capitol building were purchased from a Seattle nursery and planted on Arbor Day in 1931. After World War II, Japan presented Kwanzan cherry trees to the Capitol as a gift and a symbol of reconciliation and friendship.
In 1999, a tornado caused significant damage to many of the Kwanzan cherry trees. Unfortunately, the trees reportedly struggled to grow after that. During the Utah Capitol Restoration that happened from 2004 to 2008, the trees were removed and transplanted with the 433 Yoshino trees.