Our Favorite Flowering Trees
Now that spring has officially sprung, it’s time to bring some color back into our world. Flowering shrubs and trees will soon start to make their grand entrance, decorating the garden with their bright blooms and sweet fragrances. In the spirit of the season, we’ve chosen our top five flowering trees to help wake up your garden this spring!
Anyone who’s witnessed a flowering dogwood during late spring knows just how beautiful they are. Their white blooms have a truly radiant, angelic presence, while those touched with shades of pink cast a warm blush upon your garden. Interestingly, dogwood blooms aren’t actually true flowers - they’re a combination of leaf and flower, called a bract. More brightly colored than petals, bracts are what make a flowering dogwood so much more vibrant than other trees! As a natural understory tree, flowering dogwoods are comfortable in both full sun and partial shade. Their tolerance to shade makes them the perfect ornamental tree for brightening up areas that are normally shaded from the afternoon sun. Plant a new tree in moist, well-draining soil with lots of organic matter to feed their growth. Water often and mulch their base to help retain moisture since they don’t take kindly to drought!
While many cherry trees are grown for the sweet, red fruits, ornamental flowering cherry trees are planted for their exceptional blooms. All cherry trees flower, these trees are especially showy! In full bloom, flowering cherry trees are consumed by their blossoms. Their shape varies depending on the cultivar, some consisting of five perfect petals while others are ruffled, double blossoms. They display almost every shade of pink between deep rose and pure white, and often have a dark, indented centre.
For flowers as fancy as these, they’re going to need lots of sunshine to keep them going. Plant cherry trees in a sunny spot with some shelter from the wind. Many ornamental cherry trees go on to display stunning fall colors, adding year-round interest to your landscape. Regardless of your reason for planting, be it fruit or flowers, you’ll get a beautiful display either way!
Known for their pale to bubblegum pink spring flowers, flowering plum trees are a must-have on our list of top five flowering trees. Similar to the flowering cherry, their branches are almost completely hidden by the abundance of plum blossoms during the spring. For added drama, consider a purple-leaf variety with stunning plum-colored foliage. ‘Thundercloud’ is a popular purple-leaf variety with deep purple leaves and sweetly-scented blossoms.
Plant flowering plum trees in full sun or partial shade, but be careful not to leave them exposed to harsh winds. Ideally, they should be planted in well-drained, acidic soil conditions. While they’re mildly drought-tolerant, keep these enchanting trees well-watered for the best blooms!
We try not to pick favorites too much, but you really can’t go wrong with the Sweetbay Magnolia. Everything about them is stunning; from their glossy, dark green leaves to their enchanting white blooms. Better yet, Sweetbays give off a delicious lemony aroma. In summer, they develop interesting-looking red cones that end up bursting with seeds. These magnolias are very much wet-weather lovers. They love moist soils and lots of mulching. Newly transplanted Sweetbay Magnolias will need to be fertilized often in the first few years after transplanting.
Part of the “Little Girls’ series of magnolias bred back in the 1950s, the ‘Jane’ magnolia blooms later in spring than other magnolias. Early-season magnolias are often encouraged to blossom early on a mild day, only to be destroyed by an overnight frost. The ‘Little Girls’ series prevents this problem with fashionably late blooms that are sure to last for weeks instead of days. ‘Jane’ is popular for its large-petaled, purple-pink blooms with white interiors.
Known for their adaptability, magnolias can grow in full sun to part shade and flourish in a variety of soil textures. They aren’t usually bothered by pests and can also withstand pollution. As a small, low-maintenance tree, ‘Jane’ magnolias are an easy addition that can fit any garden scheme.
BONUS: PEAR CLEVELAND SELECT
The majestic Cleveland select pear tree blooms early in the spring, standing out against green landscapes with their bright, showy blooms. Snowy white in color, this tree’s flowers provide a more subtle transition from bleak winter neutrals to bright spring color. Their upright stature and symmetrical shape, paired with dense flowers and foliage, makes them one of the top ornamental trees of the season. Cleveland select leaves turn from glossy green to distinct shades of purple, red, and bronze in the fall, providing interest for much of the year.
An extremely low-maintenance tree, Cleveland select grows in almost any soil type. It’s tolerant to drought, salt spray, and many diseases - so much so, that five states have even listed it as invasive! Take care not to plant them near foundations, sidewalks, or underground pipes, where their strong roots can do damage.
There’s no better way to warm up your garden, and soul, than with the warm blossoms of flowering trees. Drop by our garden center today and take home good-quality flowering trees that will grow and bloom for many years to come.