Flowering Trees

Add color to your lawn and garden with trees that do more than provide shade.
By: Kristy Bruce


This deciduous tree lights up the early spring landscape with its lavender-pink blooms. Growing rapidly when young, it typically maxes out at 30 feet or less and dies relatively young — usually at about 25 years. The leaves are heart-shaped; 'Forest Pansy' has maroon-purple foliage. Plant in full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained soil. USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9


This beloved springtime-flowering tree is prized for its showy bracts — in pink or white — that appear before the leaves emerge. The foliage turns a reddish purple in fall, and scarlet berries bring color in winter. Plant in partial shade in well-drained soil. Protect the tree from mower and trimmer damage. Mature height reaches 15 to 25 feet; canopy, 10 to 20 feet wide. USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9

Saucer magnolia

The saucer magnolia is an easy-to-grow deciduous tree with large, fragrant, teacup blooms and attractive gray bark. The white, pink or purple flowers appear early to late spring, depending on cultivar. Plant in full sun to partial shade in well-drained, fertile soil. Growth rate is medium; mature height, 20 to 30 feet. USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9

Flowering cherry

Related to the types grown for fruit, ornamental cherry trees are bred for their flowers and form; their fruit is often inedible. They bloom early- to mid-spring, depending on the species and cultivar. Japanese flowering cherries, 15 to 25 feet tall and wide, include the popular double form, 'Kwanzan'. The Yoshino, some 25 to 40 feet tall and wide, populates the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. Weeping forms are also available. Plant in well-drained, moist soil in full sun. USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9

Flowering almond

It's easy to fall in love with the flowers on this tree-like large shrub. After its double pink blossoms have faded, though, the plant's often straggly habit becomes more evident. The flowering almond (also known as flowering plum) rarely produces fruit, and fall foliage color is nondescript. Plant in full sun in deep, well-drained soil. Typically grows to 15 feet tall. USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9


There are hundreds of cultivars for this vase-shaped species, but many are prone to rust, fire blight, scab, powdery mildew and leaf spot; consult a trusted nurseryman or local extension agent in your area to choose a disease-resistant variety for your region. Plant in full sun for best flowering and fruiting. Average maturity size is 15-25 feet. USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 7


The fragrant mid- to late-spring blooms — in white, pink or red, single or double — are only part of the charm of this thorny tree. In fall its berries start to color a bright red, persisting all winter. 'Paul's Scarlet' English hawthorne has beautiful, red double flowers. Washington hawthorne has some of the best cultivars for berries. Plant in full sun or partial shade in well-drained soil. Hawthornes range from 10 to 25 feet at maturity. A few selections are thornless. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 7, depending on species

White fringe tree

This small deciduous tree bears frothy flowers with long petals in late spring to early summer just as the leaves appear. This slow-growing tree reaches a mature height and width of 12 to 20 feet. Plant in full sun to partial shade in moist, acidic soil. USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9

Kousa dogwood

Resistant to many of the problems that plague flowering dogwood, this deciduous tree offers year-round appeal: The showy bracts appear in late spring to early summer for up to six weeks, the leaves turn reddish-purple in fall and in winter red berries and ornamental bark are on display. Kousa dogwood prefers moist, well-drained, acidic soil in partial shade. This tree reaches 15 to 30 feet high at maturity. USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8

Red horsechestnut

This mid-sized, deciduous tree produces large, upright clusters of flowers in mid-spring. The blooms come in pink or red and attract hummingbirds and bees. Plant in full sun to light shade in moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Mature height: 30 to 40 feet. USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 7


This shrubby deciduous tree is known for its multitude of ornamental features. White flowers appear in early spring; round green berries turn red, then ripen to purplish black in early summer. The fruits are edible, but you'll have to beat the birds to them. Fall foliage color varies from yellow or orange to russet red, and the ornamental, gray-streaked bark stands out in winter. Plant in full sun with moist, well-drained soil. Excellent small-yard tree. USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9

Goldenrain tree

Named for its drooping clusters of yellow flowers in early- to midsummer, this deciduous tree makes an attractive shade tree of about 30 feet high with equal spread. Papery pods gradually turn from light green to brown. Fall color is usually yellow. Goldenrain tree adapts to a wide range of soils. USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8

Crape myrtle

Its showy flowers make crape myrtle one of the most spectacular plants for the mid- to late-summer garden. Flowers can be white, pink, red or purple. The attractive bark varies from cinnamon red to white, depending on variety. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. This fast grower typically averages 15 to 25 feet at maturity; shrub forms are also available. USDA Hardiness Zones: (6)7 to 9

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