Flowering trees to add color to your garden.

July 22, 2022

Flowering Trees Fill Our Life With Color

Trees create the background of our home and garden. We know their value; they clean the air, add oxygen, store carbon, purify our water, provide shade and cooling, shelter wildlife, other plants, and mitigate the effect of wind. We need them around us. It is wise people who plant them.

“A society grows great when old men plant trees

whose shade they know they will never sit under”

-Socrates

But it is our flowering trees that make the landscape glow! They add a special enhancement of color and form. Fragrant, fruiting, and scented, if you appreciate local food there is nothing closer than fruit from your own garden.

We Love To Choose Flowering Trees

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We love to choose flowering trees for our gardens and we enjoy their shade and beauty. Who will sit under them in the years to come? Will the trees we planted fill their lives with color? Scientists seem to have discovered that getting your hands dirty in the garden soil can help to increase the serotonin in your brain.

Carpe Diem!

Plant trees in your garden and enjoy them every day you can.

Choosing Flowering Trees

Choosing the right tree for your favorite spot takes thought. It is going to be with you for a long time to come. Here is the information you require to do this well.

The table below itemizes the features you will need to include in your evaluation.

Use the links inside each tree name to find more detailed information on the trees that interest you.

Why We Love Flowering Trees -Where We Love Them

Isn’t that the whole point! Flowering trees fill our lives with color, they tell us when the seasons change. They envelop our lives. We look forward to them in winter and enjoy their fruits in fall. They are able to symbolize life.

This is my attempt to quantify something as simple as flowering trees. I have divided them into temperate climate trees and warm climate trees with the important features highlighted.

Flowering Tree Ideas For Our Gardens

This List includes flowering trees, in different seasons for gardens in climates warm and cold.

Trees For Climates

Tropical Trees and Temperate Climate Trees

How are we going to divide these? Well, if freezing for our plants is below 32 degrees, the line should be below zone 9a. A tropical tree should be healthy somewhere in zone 9b. I spent a lot of my life in that zone and it seems like a reasonable line of demarcation. (And I am not a Pope; if your school did not teach history, look it up.)

The charts provide basic data, the links provide more information. After the name of the plant, the key information is the zone. There is such a thing as zone extension. In that case, with the right microclimate, you can extend your zone. For example in my area, a few experts are experimenting with camellias, where it should be much too hot. I would love it to work. With trees, it might be expensive. Within the listed zones I have included the trees that should succeed.

Local advice and science-based advice is always the best. Call your County Extension Service. They have access to your state university research and there should be a very local experience for you. Do you have a local botanical garden or a good local garden center? Talk to them. You should get good advice from them.

Consider These Features As You Decide

I have ranked the features in order of importance. I might change my mind about the color but if the tree grows in zones 4-7 I can’t use it in my zone 10 gardens.

  1. Plant Hardiness Zones-This is a geographic area that includes the range of climate conditions necessary for any plant to survive. Here is how to find your zone. USDA plant hardiness zone. Just enter your zip code. Then, wherever you live, look for your zone listing.
  2. Sun, Shade, and Soil requirements of the tree. These are features you need to have either naturally or create by management for each tree to live.
  3. Tree size- how tall the tree will become and how extensive its root system. Will the tree you love fit in your space?
  4. Bloom time, scent, fruit, and other attractions. These are features that may vastly improve the pleasure the tree gives you.
  5. Color of flowers, foliage, and fruit. Some species will provide you with options. Don’t overlook these important features.
  6. Fruit or edible parts.
  7. Wildlife interest. Do you want a blossom and spring plus nectar for pollinators and fruit for the birds?
  8. Wildlife pests and problems. DDS is one of your most important features. It means ” Deer Don’t Love” this plant.

Choose From Top Story Trees And Understory Trees

The top story trees are those in the overstory, the top of the canopy. Those taller trees existing without shade and above the rest of the canopy. Some flowering trees are large. If you have space, they are magnificent. Many of the trees below have varieties that are large in size.

Check the sizes of the variety you would like to buy before you buy and avoid an unpleasant surprise in 5-10 years!

Understory Trees

These trees make up the vegetative layer between the forest canopy and the ground cover. If your garden space is smaller or if you need a tree near a building or a patio this is the category you require.

Temperate Climate Flowering Trees

These trees should give you pleasure in a climate with winter and summer. You should enjoy brilliant spring color, just when you need it, healthy green summers, some color, and fruit in the fall, and if you are thoughtful, some shape and promise in winter.

Tree NameHardiness zonecolorBloom timeLight ConditionsFeatures
Magnolia4-9,10White, cream, pink shadeswhatever you call springsunLarge blooms, leathery leaves. A plant that is able to cross zones. https://rootsandmaps.com/flowering-trees-the-magnolia/
Flowering Crabapple3-8, some cultivars beyonddon’t stop at whitespring, plenty of fall color opportunitiessunMulti-season tree, more edible fruit than we realize.https://rootsandmaps.com/flowering-trees-flowering-crabapple/
Flowering Cherry5-8lots, you will be surprisedspring, fall fruit for birdsvarhttps://rootsandmaps.com/flowering-trees-flowering-cherry-trees/
Dogwood3-8, Cornus florida var rubia z 9whites and pinksspringhttps://rootsandmaps.com/flowering-trees-dogwood/
Redbud4-9varied, also foliage colorearly springNorth American native, many varieties over a wide territory
The Redbud Tree
Rose of Sharon5-8Variouslate summer and fall Origins in China
https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

Tropical Climate Flowering Trees

These are all about vibrant color and vigor whatever the season.

Tree NameHardiness zoneColorBloom TimeLight Conditions Features
Pink Shower Tree10b-11pink/purple pink/yellowspring 5-8 weeksundisease resistant, medium size, long bloom period
The Pink Shower Tree
Tropical Hibiscus9-11, a summer flower in temperate climatesmore than you can useall yearsunmany sizes of plant, popularity creates many new cultivarshttps://rootsandmaps.com/tropical-hibiscus-in-containers-and-in-the-garden/
Jacaranda9-11Blue/Purplespringsunhttps://rootsandmaps.com/flowering-trees-the-jacaranda/
Purple Trumpet Tree9b-11Pink/PurplespringsunEarly bloomer, adaptable
Purple Trumpet Tree
Royal Ponciana 9b-11Red, red, orange. yellowlate spring-summersunhttps://rootsandmaps.com/flowering-trees-royal-ponciana/

Summary,

There is an occasional crossover between zones and tree varieties. For example, the Magnolia, an ancient plant, existing around the globe including some very cold climate has varieties very successful for us in tropical zone 10a. Do good local research include your county extension office for free advice, your best garden centers, and do not overlook your nearby arboretum and botanical gardens. You can visit these places and see plants in situ.