Flowering Trees For Landscaping Inspiration

Golden chain trees in bloom with alliums.
annhfhung/Moment/Getty Images
  • 01 of 15

    Apple Trees in Spring

    Picture of apple trees in bloom.
    They Have Ornamental Value, Too Picture of apple trees in bloom. David Beaulieu

    What's a spring yard without flowering trees?

    If you're not already convinced of the beauty that flowering trees lend to a landscape in spring, then I hope my pictures of flowering trees serve that purpose. Indeed, if you're any sort of landscaping enthusiast at all, you'd have to ask the question, "What's a spring yard without flowering trees?" You wouldn't leave your fall yard without fall foliage specimens, would you? But even in cases where I'm preaching to the choir concerning the value of these spring beauties, you'll want to view my pictures of flowering trees for further information about them. For I supplement most of my photos with links to resources that discuss the flowering trees in greater detail.

    Here's a link to return to my other gallery with pictures of flowering trees if you've come from there and wish to go back.

    When you hear "apple trees," you naturally enough think "apples".

    But don't be fooled by their fruit into thinking that apple trees can't be highly ornamental, too, as this picture shows. Sometimes, we're just fortunate enough to enjoy a 2-for-1 deal!

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  • 02 of 15

    Weeping Higan Cherry Trees

    Picture of weeping Higan tree.
    Weeping Higan: Popular Ornamentals Picture of weeping Higan tree. David Beaulieu

    Unlike apple trees the popular ornamental cherry trees are grown primarily for their flowers.

    Among the most popular ornamental cherry trees are the weeping Higan cherry trees.

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  • 03 of 15

    Weeping Crab Apple Image

    Picture of weeping crab apple tree.
    There's Nothing "Crabby" About These Beautiful Trees Picture of weeping crab apple tree. David Beaulieu

    Weeping cherries aren't the only ornamentals with a weeping form.

    A weeping crab apple tree is shown in this picture.

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  • 04 of 15

    Sargent Crab Apple Trees

    Sargent crab apple tree picture.
    Popular Ornamental With Pink Blossoms Sargent crab apple tree picture. David Beaulieu

    If you're not interested in a crab apple tree with a weeping plant form, there are more traditional alternatives.

    Among such alternatives are the popular Sargent crab apple trees, some blossoms from which I show in this picture.

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  • 05 of 15

    Kwanzan Cherry Tree Picture

    Picture of Kwanzan cherry tree.
    Kwanzan: It's Not a Winter Holiday Picture of Kwanzan cherry tree. David Beaulieu

    As with crab apples, some folks prefer their ornamental cherry trees with an upright form....

    While weeping cherry trees are very popular, one disadvantage I've found in growing them is that being grafted, they are highly susceptible to pest and disease problems. Kwanzan cherry trees are more reliable. In this photo, you can see the leaves of the Kwanzan cherry tree starting to fill in.

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  • 06 of 15

    Dawn Japanese Apricot Trees

    Dawn Japanese apricot picture.
    Consider Background Color When Choosing Flowering Trees Dawn Japanese apricot picture. David Beaulieu

    Related to the ornamental cherries are the ornamental apricots, such as the Dawn Japanese apricot trees.

    This picture of a Dawn Japanese apricot tree wouldn't show the specimen off nearly as well if the background weren't a darker color. For more tips on the use of color in your yard, see my Landscape Color Schemes photo gallery.

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  • 07 of 15

    Bradford Pear Tree Picture

    Picture of a Bradford pear trees.
    The Much-Maligned Flowering Tree (and With Some Justification) Picture of a Bradford pear tree. David Beaulieu

    With their weak limbs, Bradford pear trees are short-lived.

    And because they're short-lived, Bradford pear trees don't come highly recommended by the pros (despite their popularity with the public). I wouldn't plant one, myself; but that doesn't mean Bradford pear trees don't have their good points.

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  • 08 of 15

    Hawthorn Tree Flowers

    Picture of hawthorn flowers.
    Storied Plant Bears Beautiful Spring Flowers Picture of hawthorn flowers. David Beaulieu

    Hawthorn trees, members of the rose family, are related to the other flowering trees we've been discussing so far.

    One well-known traditional use of hawthorn is as a hedge. But this picture of the plant's lovely spring flowers comes from a hawthorn tree used as a specimen.

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  • 09 of 15

    Picture of Catalpa Tree Flower

    Picture of catalpa tree flower.
    Pretty Blooms, Pretty Awful Mess Picture of catalpa tree flower. David Beaulieu

    As you can see from this picture, catalpa trees exhibit surprisingly gorgeous flowers, when viewed close up.

    However, I don't recommend planting the northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa, which is shown in my photo; growing zones 4-8) in the landscape. The trees are regarded as rather messy specimens. In autumn, they drop not only large leaves (which are surprisingly unattractive at this time, since they turn black after a frost) but also large "beans" (seed pods).

    The trees are massive (as much as 70 feet tall with a spread of up to 50 feet, although they more commonly reach a height of 40 feet with a width of 20 feet), so they have the potential to drop this refuse in great quantities. Having one in your landscaping could thus entail significant raking in fall. Potentially adding to their messiness is the fact that the branches are weak, making them prone to damage from winds, heavy snowfalls, ice storms, etc.

    If you like the look of the tree but want to avoid the mess, try one of the smaller types:

    • C. bignonioides 'Nana'
    • C. bignonioides 'Aurea Nana'
    • C. bungei

    "Catalpa," incidentally, is both the botanical name and the common name. It is a corruption of "Catawba," which you may recognize as the name of a popular type of rhododendron.

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  • 10 of 15

    "Silk" Trees So-Called From the Look of Their Flowers

    Picture of silk tree blossom.
    Exquisite Blossoms on Invasive Plants Picture of silk tree blossom. David Beaulieu

    Silk trees are fast growers, with leaves resembling ferns and blossoms that live up to the tree's nickname, "silk trees".

    Silk trees bear exquisite, fragrant flowers that bloom all summer. Considering all the fine qualities of silk trees I've mentioned, you may well wonder, "Are silk trees too good to be true?" The answer, unfortunately, may well be yes -- depending on where you live.

    Silk trees (Albizia julibrissin), also commonly called "mimosa" or "silky acacia," are native to Asia. In some portions of the U.S., they are considered invasive plants. Silk trees have escaped into the wild in parts of the southern U.S. and made pests of themselves.

    Consequently, like Bradford pear trees and catalpa trees (albeit for different reasons), silk trees are not necessarily desirable specimens for the landscape.

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  • 11 of 15

    Golden Chain: What a Treasure!

    Golden chain tree photo.
    Photo of Lovely Laburnum Golden chain tree photo. David Beaulieu

    Golden chain trees aren't as widely planted in my region (New England) as most of the flowering trees discussed so far.

    This observation seems at odds with the beauty of golden chain trees, which is readily apparent from the photo here. I fell in love with this specimen on my trips to Bar Harbor, Maine, where golden chain trees are omnipresent. I've since planted a golden chain tree in my own yard. Hopefully, it will perform as well in my climate, which is warmer and drier than that of Bar Harbor.

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  • 12 of 15

    Saucer Magnolia Picture

    Picture of saucer magnolia tree flowers.
    Example of a Tree With Large Flowers Picture of saucer magnolia tree flowers. David Beaulieu

    Saucer magnolia trees put out fragrant, pinkish-white blooms, which arrive in spring and precede foliage.

    The flowers of saucer magnolia trees are large (up to 10") -- thus the plant's name.

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  • 13 of 15

    Pictures of Flowering Trees

    Picture of serviceberry tree in bloom.
    Serviceberry Trees Picture of serviceberry tree in bloom. David Beaulieu

    If you live in eastern North America and wish to "go native," serviceberry trees are among your options for flowering trees.

    Serviceberry trees are early bloomers (late March / early April). From my walks in the woods of New England, I'm most familiar with downy serviceberry trees (Amelanchier arborea). But the picture here shows the Snowcloud Allegheny cultivar (Amelanchier laevis 'Snowcloud'). Serviceberry trees also go by the common names "shadbush," "shadblow" and "shadberry"; these names derive from the fact that serviceberry trees bloom at the same time as the shad (a fish) spawn.

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  • 14 of 15

    Eastern Redbud Trees

    Photo of Eastern redbud trees.
    Deep Magenta Blooms Displayed With Grace Photo of Eastern redbud trees. David Beaulieu

    Despite the "red" in the name of these flowering specimens, Eastern redbud trees exhibit a pinkish-purple bloom, as the photo shows.

    As Eastern redbud trees come into bloom in the spring, their bare limbs appear to "fuzz up." It is at this time of year that Eastern redbud trees earn their billing as one of the landscape's most graceful flowering trees.

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  • 15 of 15

    Pictures of Flowering Trees

    Photo of Cornus florida tree.
    Photo of Cornus Florida Photo of Cornus florida tree flower. David Beaulieu

    Kousa dogwoods and their Cornus florida relatives are both attractive flowering trees for spring, with knockout fall foliage, to boot.

    One difference between the American native, Cornus florida and the Japanese Kousa dogwoods is in their berries. Kousa dogwoods bear a larger, rather intriguing berry. But both bear a bloom cluster ringed by four bracts, as in the picture above.