Trees that put on an annual display of flowers are a great way to have a nice splash of color in your garden without having to worry too much about maintenance, and upkeep. Trees outlast all the other garden plants you can think of, and become the living pillars in your garden. So, as shade providing structures which also flower at the same time; these are the ideal trees you want to plant in your garden. Many of the flowering trees remain in flower for several weeks at a time, and they can set the tone, or help create the atmosphere for your garden.
A few criteria to look out for in a tree are:
- Maintains foliage late into the year
- As pest resistant as possible
- Adaptable to different soil types and climate
- Drought resistant
- Winter and frost hardy
Some trees are classified as tall shrubs, but these shrub-trees can be ideal for planting anywhere, and thrive easily in a tangle or in a planned group. The advantage of small trees that never attain large size is that their blooms are more conspicuous and readily observed.
Crab apple trees are highly suited for the purpose of providing a brilliant bouquet for weeks in spring. Crab apples refer to most of the wild and hardy apple species’; with their small colorful fruit and flowers, they make excellent decoration for the garden. A hardy species is the Bechtel’s Crab (Malus ioensis). A beautiful crab apple would be the Japanese Crab, with beautiful white blossoms.
Dogwoods (Cornaceae) have beautiful pink or white blossoms and in autumn, they produce striking reddish or colored berries. Dogwoods grow rapidly, and they are able to bloom when they are just around 6 feet in height.
Some trees become favorites due to one reason or another. Weeping willow are popular but relatively short lived trees that announce the arrival of spring by turning their boughs gold; sassafras because they have scented wood and a golden autumn hue; and plum blossom (ume) because of their beautiful flowers in winter and spring which symbolize renewal.
In fact, the Japanese have a much beloved tree called the cherry blossom or Sakura, that provides a brilliant showcase in early spring. Sakura trees are best planted in groves to attain their spectacular visual effect, and need well drained soils, with moderate climate.
The shadbush (amelanchier) announces spring with its delicate blossoms amidst its gray and hardy twigs, and lends a hand in balancing your garden composition with an austere touch. They have irregular crowns, and thrive in the company of other more verdant and showy species, along a wall, or where you will.
A good addition to the garden is the Redbud (cercis) group of species, which can readily thrive in the Midwest regions. They are quite unique for bearing their pinkish-red flowers on their trunk or on leafless shoots. Redbud trees are able to thrive as far north as Connecticut, but most of them prefer warm-temperate climates. The North Carolina mountains are home to the Eastern Redbud, which has prominent lavender colored flowers borne on the branches and trunk in spring.
A common favorite in many gardens is the sturdy Silverbell or Snowdrop Tree. This tree is often found in the wild alongside the sugar maple trees in dense forests. It produces snowy bell shaped flowers in late spring, around May, and the flowering display is a luxuriant one. They have unusually shaped fruits, akin to two ovals of brown paper intersecting at right angles.
This is but a short list of trees with showy flowers, that are suitable for the average garden. Try to experiment with different combinations of species if you have a larger backyard to spare. A singular tree is also a draw for any garden, providing a backdrop and foundation from which you can add to over the years. Trees in blossom will often attract wildlife to the garden as well, and this is one of the side benefits of having a few blooming trees in your garden.
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