In Japanese culture, cherry blossoms—sakura—symbolize spring and the fleeting cycle of life. This winter had some wondering if that cycle would be cut short. Much of that anxiety centered around the 30 Yoshino cherry trees, originally from Japan, which dot the campus of the University of Washington. Colder temperatures and sunlight-starved days delayed the trees’ internal clock, typically set to open the blossoms by the third week of March. Calls pour in for UW urban forest specialist Sara Shores, who’s been managing the trees since 2008. Locals and visitors want to know when flowers will appear. That’s hard to predict, especially this year. But Shores knew the blossoms lived through the storms when flower buds began to swell with tints of green, just two weeks late. Full bloom happened on April 1. Good news for those visitors who dial Shores, including one man asking if it was time to fly his mother out, ironically, from Japan.