Your landscape clients want to herald the arrival of spring, and nothing does the job better than flowering trees. Tried-and-true favorites offer a reliable burst of color. But you should also consider branching out by adding unusual specimens to your repertoire. Here’s a recap of some industry favorites, and a few trees that might not be familiar to you.
Snowdance Japanese tree lilac
(Syringa reticulata ‘Bailnce’)
Although the species tend to flower biannually, Snowdance flowers well annually and begins flowering at an earlier age than the species. Its large, fragrant panicles of creamy white blooms appear in June. This sterile variety produces no untidy, brown seedheads. Lustrous, dark-green foliage is slightly larger and darker than the species. A pest- and disease- free lilac tree for residential and park use.
Bailey Nurseries: www.baileynurseries.com
Arapaho crape myrtle
(Lagerstroemia indica x faueri ‘Arapaho’)
Upright or spreading tree or shrub with beautiful bark, true-red summer blooms and maroon-tinged foliage with brilliant fall color. This National Arboretum introduction is mildew resistant. Plant in groups as a hedge or use as a small street tree. This single or multi-stemmed small upright tree grows to 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide in 10 years.
Lavender Twist redbud
(Cercis canadensis ‘Covey’)
Rosy-pink flowers completely cover the bare, slightly twisted branches in early spring followed by rich-green heart-shaped leaves. A slow-growing manageable specimen. Reaches 5 to 6 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide.
Royal Raindrops crabapple
Eye-popping magenta pink blooms, deep purple cutleaf foliage, sparkling red fruits and bright fall color give all-season appeal. This crabapple reaches a height of 20 feet with a spread of 15 feet.
J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.: www.jfschmidt.com
Crimson Pointe flowering plum
(Prunus x cerasifera ‘Cripoizam’)
This unique, columnar plum is covered in beautiful white flowers each spring. Foliage is a merlot-burgundy with orange-bronze new growth. It reaches 20 feet high with a spread of 5 to 6 feet.
LCN Selections: www.lakecountynursery.com
This small tree is prized for its spring display of flowers. The half-inch flowers emerge before the leaves and range from pale pastel-pink to deep rose-red. The blossoms are closely held on the stem. Mexican buckeye reaches 8 to 12 feet tall, with a spread of 4 to 8 feet.
Check local nurseries.
Black Tulip magnolia
Black Tulip magnolia is a stunning new addition from Anthony Tesselaar Plants. It produces 6-inch black-purple, goblet-shaped flowers that are almost tulip like in early spring. Black Tulip magnolia is an upright, smaller tree growing to a height of 25 feet, suitable for smaller gardens or featured in larger landscape plantings.
Anthony Tesselaar Plants: www.tesselaar.com
Pink Heartbreaker Weeping redbud
Pink Heartbreaker has a unique umbrella-shaped habit and blooms in spring with pink flowers typical of the species. It’s estimated to reach about 10 feet in height and width.
Eaton Farms: www.eatonfarms.com