There is nothing more awe inspiring than the sight of gorgeous spring blooming trees after a long winter. It’s like going to sleep for days, then waking up to see your favorite person there next to you, smiling… You can’t help but feel happy, uplifted, hopeful and joyful. If that sounds like I’m dramatizing a simple tree, then you are not a gardener. At least, not yet. ;) Because us gardeners understand that these kinds of gifts are indeed that, a gift. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the coming of spring than planting a blooming tree in your yard. Well, maybe some blooming bulbs and flowers and greenery too, but that’s another post. These beautiful blooming trees for spring can be seen from coast to coast, and can be found at almost any nursery. Plant them bare root in early spring or from pots later on, and make sure you choose a place in your yard to show it off. Because trees aren’t just for the homeowner, they are for the whole neighborhood and community! Check out our top picks and how to grow them!
Southern Magnolia – Photo by ‘Amazing Nature‘. If you live in the South, there is no other tree for you. But most people don’t realize that this stately, evergreen tree with fragrant blooms can be grown down to zone 6. We see them here in the inland PNW all the time, I grew up with one in the front yard of my childhood home in Northern Cali, and they thrive in Seattle too! It grows in an oval shape to 60 feet tall, so leave it some room. (It is a slow grower). It is covered with fragrant white blooms in spring with periodic blooms the rest of the year. The blooms are followed by seed pods that look kind of like pine cones, but the birds love them. Can be grown in most soils, in full or partial sun, and can withstand some drought once established. Tip: The evergreen branches are amazing holiday decor as well!
Saucer Magnolia – Photos by New York Botanical Gardens. The saucer magnolia is a relative of the Southern magnolia, but is much more suited to smaller gardens. Growing only 20-30 feet high and wide, this tree often has multiple trunks which is really attractive in the landscape. Pink and white cupped fragrant flowers bloom from February through April in most areas. This tree is not evergreen. Saucer magnolia blooms before it leafs out, so the blooms take center stage. Can be planted down to zone 4. Gorgeous tree!
Dogwood – Photo by ‘The Planting Tree‘. The dogwood may just be America’s favorite spring tree, and it is stunning. There are many varieties, but the most popular are the white and the pink dogwood. Smaller at 25 feet high and wide with a rounded shape, these flowers bloom in April – May and are followed by red fruits in the fall. This tree is stunning with it’s fall color as the leaves turn a deep red-purple. Hardy to zone 5.
Flowering Japanese Cherry – Photo by ‘Southern Living‘. There are several cultivars of Japanese cherry, some produce fruit that birds love with white and pink flowers, others have deep pink blooms and are fruitless. Most grow at a medium rate to 40 feet. Blooming from March through early May, these trees grow well down to zone 5 and are the same trees responsible for the cherry blossom festivals around the world.
Golden Chain Tree – Photo by ‘Butchart Gardens‘. The golden chain tree is a gorgeous tree that is a nice change from the usual pink and white spring blooms. Lovely grown together as an allee, this tree has drooping clusters of bright yellow flowers that are sweetly fragrant. Growing to just 20 feet tall, there is space in most gardens for this stunning specimen tree. This tree is hardy down to zone 6, and requires more water and tolerates less hot sun than the cherry trees do. Our fav variety is ‘Vossi’.
Eastern Redbud – Photo by ‘BHG‘. The Eastern redbud is native to America, and was a favorite of George Washington. This tree blooms with abundance in April with deep pink flower clusters, attracting birds and butterflies to the nectar. Growing 20-30 feet, the redbud has a graceful, interesting shape that makes it a great year round tree. Hardy to zone 4, it needs at least four hours of direct sun a day to flourish.
Flowering Crabapple – ‘Brandywine’ Photo by ‘BHG“. This is our favorite variety of crabapple, though there are dozens, maybe more. ‘Brandywine’ has fragrant rosy blooms that look like roses. Varieties bloom in varying shades of pink and white, both single and double blossoms. Growing to 20 feet tall and hardy down to zone 4, these trees also have a wonderful fall foliage display in shades of orangey red to purple. Small round fruits in the fall are loved by birds.Image Credits: Amazing Nature, NYBG, The Planting Tree, Southern Living, Butchart Gardens, BHG, BHG