Some of the best blossoms of spring in Dayton come from flowering trees. Their emerging fragrance fills the air and falling petals dance in the wind like spring snow, blanketing the ground in color. These are the landscape trees that you want to brighten the early season, and if they offer further seasonal landscape interest, even better! Our favorite spring flowering trees are low maintenance, long-lived, and offer multiple seasons of interest in the Dayton growing region.
When choosing any landscape tree, first determine what your yard can offer with respect to space, light, and soil. Most spring-flowering trees are small (5-30’), require full to partial sun, and grow best in well-drained soil of average fertility. If you have the right space and conditions, here are some great trees to consider.
The remarkably hardy downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea, 15-25 feet) is a vase-shaped small tree that produces lots of fragrant, delicate white flowers that feed bees in mid-spring. The tough native plant is tolerant of both partial shade and clay soils in addition to being disease resistant. The spring flowers are followed by edible, tart-sweet, purple-red fruits that are favored by songbirds. Exceptional orange-red fall foliage and smooth gray bark extend its interest into fall and winter.
There are several downy serviceberry hybrids that are offer exceptional landscape performance. Two of the best are ‘Autumn Brilliance’ (20-25 feet), which offers brilliant red foliage in fall and ‘Forest Prince’ (20 feet), which has an oval habit and wonderful orange-red fall color.
Of all the dogwoods, few can match the picturesque beauty and multi-seasonal interest of the Korean dogwood (Cornus kousa, 15-30 feet). Large, white or russet pink flowers appear in late spring followed by ornate, round, edible fruits of coral red that appear in fall. Its pointed, dark green leaves turn shades of red, orange and purple in fall, and beautiful mottled bark adds interest to the winter landscape.
Disease-resistant American dogwood (Cornus florida) hybrids have giving new life to this exceptional landscape tree. Most were developed at Rutgers University as crosses between the Korean and American dogwood.
One of the best is the large-flowered Constellation® (Cornus ‘Rutcan’, 22 feet), which bears profuse, large, white flowers in mid-spring, and its dark green foliage turns shades of purple-red in fall. Stellar Pink® dogwood (Cornus x ‘Rutgan’, 30 feet) offers large, pink flowers in mid-spring and purple-red fall foliage.
Weeping flowering cherries lend classic beauty to spring landscapes and some offer added landscape interest after the flowers have faded.
The Weeping Extraordinaire™ Double Flowering Cherry (Prunus ‘Extrazam’, 20 feet) is vigorous and bears spectacular double pink blooms in early spring. In fall, its crisp green foliage turns burgundy.
A stellar, non-weeping flowering cherry is the Kwanzan cherry (Prunus ‘Kwanzan’, 20-30 feet). It has a broad, spreading habit, and offers a wealth of fully double, pink blooms in mid-spring. In fall, its leaves turn coppery shades, and younger trees have attractive, peeling mahogany bark.
Brilliant purple-red flowers line the bare branches of redbud (Cercis canadensis, 20-30 feet) in mid-spring. The native trees have an elegant branching structure and heart-shaped leaves that look attractive through summer.
Two varieties with increased summer interest are the purple-leaved ‘Forest Pansy’ and chartreuse-leaved ‘Hearts of Gold’.
Get Ready To Plant!
When it comes to curb appeal, nothing beats the landscape statement of a spring-flowering tree. Choose one of more of these superb spring-flowering trees and not only will your early landscape look spectacular, but their extended seasons of interest will keep your yard looking good for longer.
And don’t forget to plant your new trees properly (see our tips here) and to water them for the first two years to ensure that they’ll be beautiful and healthy for a long time to come! If you aren’t sure how, or if you’d like help selecting and planting spring flowering trees in your landscape, give us a call. We offer a full range of tree planting services.