Long winter delays popular cherry blossoms at Utah Capitol

Apr 18, 2023, 7:20 AM | Updated: 7:26 am

Several families meander about the Utah Capitol complex on a warm, breezy Sunday afternoon. Some ar...

A few cherry blossoms bloom off a Yoshino cherry tree located at the Utah State Capitol on Sunday. The blossoms are blooming about two to three weeks behind schedule because of the cold start to the year (Carter Williams)

(Carter Williams)

SALT LAKE CITY — Several families meander about the Utah Capitol complex on a warm, breezy Sunday afternoon.

Some are taking photos with their graduation caps and gowns by the hundreds of Yoshino cherry trees that align the 0.7-mile pathway around the buildings, while some are simply sprawled out on the Capitol lawn, soaking in the sun for the first time in a while.

There would typically be more people here but the traffic is subdued a bit because the Utah Capitol’s beloved cherry blossoms are only now starting to bloom. This year’s display has been delayed by colder-than-normal temperatures impacting the region, said Alexis Koontz, visitor services manager for the Utah Capitol Preservation Board.

“We’ve had people who are interested in taking photographers, doing their picnics and taking walks around the Capitol and haven’t been able to do it outside, and have chosen to come inside,” she told Monday.

When do Utah cherry blossoms usually appear?

The Utah Capitol cherry blossoms typically reach peak bloom by the second week of April, which was the case last year. However, only a few had bloomed by the start of this week.

“With the longer period of cold temperatures, they don’t really have a chance to start opening,” Koontz adds. “It’s the latest time that I believe anyone who has ever been here for a long period of time has ever seen.”

The delay is a great example of how abnormally cold the start of the year has been in Salt Lake City. National Weather Service lead meteorologist Monica Traphagan explained earlier this month that the same stormy pattern that produced the state’s record snowpack also made it difficult for temperatures to warm up. This is also why Salt Lake City had its snowiest winter in over two decades.

Please read Carter Williams’ entire story at


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