Friday, March 1, 2013

Spring Flowering Trees: Pretty in Pink and White

Spring Flowering Trees
As spring approaches it is time to access the garden and plan for the upcoming season. Do you have any spring flowering landscape plants?   Spring blooming trees are a welcome and desired sight in the landscape.  There are many varieties of spring flowering trees that can add lasting beauty and start the season off right in your garden. In this article I will discuss some of the landscape trees that I have found to be most successful and that will add early blooms and in some cases fragrance to your space.

Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula' (Weeping Cherry)
Height 15-25'
Cold Hardy to Zone 4
Full Sun

The first is Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula', otherwise known as Weeping Cherry.  Weeping Cherry is sure to be a favorite in the landscape with its open graceful weeping habit and soft pink flowers to be welcomed in spring.  This tree grows to be moderately wide so be sure to give adequate space so that it can spread.  I would recommend this tree as a stand alone piece with understory plantings.  It looks beautiful as a focal point on a raised berm area and is a show stopper when displayed at the entrance of a property.
Prunus serrulata 'Kwanzan' (Kwanzan Cherry)
Height 20-30 '
Cold Hardy to Zone 5
Full Sun
Next is the well known 'Kwanzan' Cherry.  'Kwanzan' Cherry are magnificent trees producing large double-pink flowers in early spring.  The dense vase shaped branch structure of the tree along with its deep mahogany-colored bark makes it majestic.  Plant this tree as a single specimen or in a grouping for a more dramatic effect.   'Kwanzan' Cherry is adaptable to seashore conditions and is somewhat 'drought tolerant'.  It is definitely a favorite of many a gardener.
Prunus subhirtella 'Snofozam' (Weeping Snow Fountain Cherry)
Height 6-12'
Cold Hardy to Zone 4
Full Sun
'Snofozam' Cherry is a popular spring flowering tree used in residential landscapes.  This smaller variety of Weeping Cherry makes it perfect for smaller apaces.  It displays delicate white flowers on cascading branches in early spring.  Its compact form and height of 6-12 feet makes it excellent addition as an anchor plant in a foundation planting.  I would definitely recommend this tree as a welcomed addition to your landscape.
Prunus cerasifera 'Thundercloud' (Thundercloud Plum)
Height 15-25'
Cold Hardy to Zone 4
Full Sun 
Prunus cerasifera 'Thundercloud' (Thundercloud Plum) Spring Blossom
Height 15-25'
Cold Hardy to Zone 4
Full Sun
An extremely versatile tree, 'Thundercloud' Plum displays mildly fragrant light pink flowers in spring followed by deep burgundy foliage that lasts well into fall.  This tree has attributes that continue throughout the entire season.  Display Thundercloud Plum as a single anchor specimen in a foundation planting or in a group planting such as on a raised island bed.  It will be sure to add years of enjoyment to your landscape.
Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star' (Star Magnolia)
Height 12-20'
Cold Hardy to Zone 4
Full Sun

Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star' (Star Magnolia) Spring Blossom
Height 12-20'
Cold Hardy to Zone 4
Full Sun
 'Star' Magnolia displays fragrant white star-like flowers in early spring followed by green foliage.  Magnolia 'Royal Star' grows as wide as it is tall and can be regularly pruned to keep a compact shape. This tree fits in very nicely as as addition to a poolscape garden as seen here and will welcome spring with its wonderful fragrance.  Magnolia forms catkin-looking buds in late winter which are an additional attribute. 

Magnolia liliflora 'Jane' (Lily Magnolia)
Height 10-12'
Cold Hardy to Zone 5
Full Sun

This beautiful more upright form of Magnolia displays fragrant purple and white tulip-shaped flowers in May followed by deep green foliage and on a rounded branch structure.  It serves nicely as a stand alone piece or in a woodland garden setting.  Its delicate and beautiful blooms make it a conversation piece in the garden.
Pyrus calleryana 'Cleveland Select' (Ornamental Pear)
Height 25-40'
Cold Hardy to Zone 5
Full Sun

Pyrus calleryana 'Cleveland Select' (Ornamental Pear) Spring Blossom
Height 25-40'
Cold Hardy to Zone 5
Full Sun

Ornamental Pear has become a popular landscape plant in both commercial and residential areas over the past several years.  'Traditionally Bradford Pear' was the species widely planted but has been found to notorious for overweight branches that break in high winds.  An improved variety known as 'Cleveland Select' displays a more narrow upright form that is superior for flower production and better structure.  The tree is covered in pure white blossoms in early spring followed by green foliage throughout the rest of the season.  Ornamental Pear display nicely as a single specimen planting or planted in groupings for maximum impact.
Cornus florida 'Rubra' (Pink Flowering Dogwood)
Height 15-20'
Cold Hardy to Zone 5
Full Sun to Partial Shade

Pink Flowering Dogwood is the smaller more upright form of Dogwood displaying large pink flowers before leafing out in early spring followed by small red fruit in early fall. It complements a natural woodland setting beautifully either as a single specimen planting or in a group planting.
Cornus 'Kousa' (Japanese Dogwood)
Height 20-25'
Cold Hardy to Zone 5
Full Sun to Partial Shade

Japanese Dogwood is a beautiful late spring-early summer flowering tree that can be used in a variety of landscape settings. The tree has a characteristic rounded appearance at maturity and displays long lasting flat white flowers that give way to rounded strawberry-like fruit in fall. 'Kousa' Dogwood has proven to be more disease resistant than the pink variety and is the perfect size to be used as an anchor tree in a foundation planting and also serves nicely as part of a natural woodland planting. It is sure to fit into a variety of landscapes and supply years of enjoyment.

To welcome spring with early blooms and fragrance try adding one or more of these beautiful trees to your outdoor space. They will be sure to supply years of enjoyment and be a welcomed sight when the warm weather arrives.

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As Always...Happy Gardening!


Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2013. All rights reserved


12 comments:

  1. Hi Lee....These trees are so pretty. We have the Dogwood, Kwanzan Cherry and a Cleveland Pear. I am not crazy about the fragrance of the pear. In fact, it's down right repulsive! However, the blooms make up for it!

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  2. Hi Christy-so true! The blooms of the pear sure are beautiful though. I think out of the three you mentioned the Kwanzan wins hands down. I can't wait until spring to see them all blooming!

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  3. Hi Lee
    Wow! These are stunning. You certainly have chosen beautiful spring specimens to highlight. I only have the one - the pink magnolia - but would love to have the cherries too. We still have snow here so this was a lovely glimpse into what's ahead :)

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  4. I love them all and look forward to them in spring. They bring back the bees and set the pace for summer. What is so nice about your choices, is that they extend the season of bloom too. Always a pretty tree blooming even as summer sets in.

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  5. I just planted a Thundercloud Plum for myself two seasons ago and am anticipating the blooms for this spring as the tree should now be well established. The purple foliage all summer is an added bonus!

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  6. I have most of these trees, except the weeping cherry, which is on my wish list!

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    Replies
    1. The Weeping Cherry is a magnificent tree. As you are probably already aware it gets wide so give it lots of space. The Snow Fountain Cherry is more narrow and smaller and is great for foundation plantings. Both varieties are on my favorites list!

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  7. Hi Lee,

    Great pictures! Wondering if you can help me with a question - I have 2 Kwanzan Cherry Trees and I believe this is the 3rd year neither has bloomed. We moved into our house 5 years ago and had blooms the first two years but then nothing. Would you know why this is happening? Thanks so much!

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    Replies
    1. There are a few reasons as to why the tree would not be flowering. One is that it is not getting enough sun since cherry trees need a good 6 hours plus of sunlight per day to flower properly. Another reason could be the soil...cherry trees need phosphorus to promote flowering and also like a slightly acidic soil. Another reason could be suffocation of the tree due to too much mulch piled up around the trunk or root girdling. I would have an arborist take a look at it to know for sure.

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  8. Does anyone know the name of the deep purple fowering tree seen along the LIE blooming in late April? It's a small vase shaped tree with black bark.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tom. It sounds like you are describing Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud).

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Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!

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