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Spice Up the Garden With These Popular Ornamental Flowering Trees

Ornamental Flowering Trees
Planting ornamental flowering trees is an excellent way of spicing up your garden. This Gardenerdy post talks about the most popular ornamental trees and tips on choosing the one that's best suited for your garden.
Madhurjya Bhattacharyya
Last Updated: Jul 28, 2017
Saying it with Flowers
The US had very few specimens of flowering cherry trees in the early 1900s. However, the scenario changed soon. Through a series of talks in 1909 between first lady Helen Taft and a Japanese consulate, the US was offered a gift of 2,000 flowering cherry trees from Japan to be planted along the Potomac River.
Ornamental flowering trees are one of the most common sight in most people's backyards. The main purpose of these plants is to add accent and color to the garden. Usually, these plants do not grow very tall, and can grow only up to 25 feet. There are numerous trees like Akebono Cherry, Cistena Plum Tree, Crape Myrtle Catawba, Crape Myrtle Dynamite, Golden Forsythia, and Hibiscus Diana Tree that are planted for their beautiful foliage.

These trees are easily available in nurseries. However, one must make sure that they do not buy the plants that haven't already bloomed. There is a chance that the plants might get damaged during plantation. They should be planted in an area where they do not outgrow. It is necessary to water the plants twice a week so that they can set up a good root system. You can plant these trees if the ground is not frozen, but make sure that you plant them in such an area where they can't outgrow.
Popular Ornamental Flowering Trees
Flowering Prunus (Cherry Tree)
Cherry tree
✱ Prunus is a genus of trees that includes cherries, apricots, almonds, peaches, and plums.
✱ Blooming in early spring, the cherry tree grows quite fast and produces fragrant flowers that are usually white, pink, or red in color.
✱ The tree matures when it reaches about 25 feet in height.
✱ The leaves are medium green in color and turn crisp yellow during fall.
✱ The plant grows best in ample sunshine, and the soil should be drained properly. These trees require acidic soil.
✱ Most of these trees are cultivated as ornamental plants, which are more specifically called "Flowering Cherries." These include the Accolade, Akebono, Amanogawa, Ichiyo, Kanzan, Okame, Pink Perfection, Shirofugen, Shirotae, Shogetsu, Spire, Weeping, and Ukon varieties.

Akebono Cherry: Blooming in early spring, the Akebono Cherry tree grows quite fast and produces fragrant, semi-double bloom, soft pink flowers and the tree matures when it reaches about 25 feet in height. These plants look great especially when kept near a patio or deck. The leaves are medium green in color and turn crisp yellow during fall. As with all other cherry varieties, this plant too requires acidic soil. It is sensitive to drought, and if such conditions persist for extended periods, the plant needs to be watered regularly.

Cistena Plum Tree: The bright flower of this plant gives you the kind of look to your garden you must have always desired. In the middle of spring, the tree produces pink flowers, and during such periods, the leaves become purplish in color. Even though this plant is small and can be used as a foundation plant, it is still large enough to give out a dazzling color. Ideally, the soil should be moist and slightly acidic, but if the soil is slightly alkaline, it won't harm the plant. While planting, one should make sure that it is planted in complete sunshine, else the leaves may not develop its characteristic purple color. The plant can be poisonous if the flowers and leaves are consumed by farm animals or pets. So, it's better not to plant it in places where there is high probability of animals and pets roaming around.
Crape Myrtle
Crape myrtle flowering tree
✱ Crape myrtle or Lagerstroemia is commonly grown in regions that have a warmer climate.
✱ It is mostly found in the Indian Subcontinent, northern Australia, and Southeast Asia.
✱ The varieties of this tree include Catawba Crape Myrtle, Dynamite Crape Myrtle, Pink Velour Crape, and Twilight Crape Myrtle.
✱ It is very popular for its colorful flowers, which usually bloom in summer and autumn. The flowers are white, red, or deep purple in color.
✱ Leaves of this tree are between 5 cm to 20 cm. The trees can be 10 - 20 feet tall.

Crape Myrtle Catawba: The Catawba variety produces large, clustered, dark purple flowers, especially in summers. Depending on the seasons, the color of the leaves change, producing bronze-colored leaves during the spring, orange-red in fall, and bright green in summer. The plant grows best in full sun exposure, in heavy loam soil of a pH value in the range of 5 to 6.5. It makes a great option for the backyard due to its capacity to resist mildew.

Crape Myrtle Dynamite: Producing red blooms of flowers in large clusters, the Crape Myrtle Dynamite produces dark green leaves and has a smooth tan-colored bark. The plant is resistant to mildew, and can grow in a compact habitat. It is easy to plant and grow, but one should make sure that it is planted at least 10 feet apart from one another.
Redbud tree blossom
✱ This tree belongs to the genus Cercis, and is native to regions with warm temperature.
✱ It has round or heart-shaped leaves.
✱ The flowers usually bloom early in the spring, and are pinkish-red in color.
✱ The varieties of this tree include Eastern Redbud, Western Redbud, Mexican Redbud, Oklahoma Redbud, Lavender Twist Weeping Redbud, Forest Pansy Redbud, and Royal White Redbud.
✱ The leaves darken from light green to dark green, and finally turn golden yellow during the fall.
✱ The tree's mature height is 20 - 30 feet (except for the Lavender Twist variety, which does not grow beyond 10 feet).
✱ This tree is usually highly priced.
✱ It does not require much care and is adaptable to any soil condition.
Flowering Pear
Pear flowering tree
✱ The Flowering Pear Tree or the Pyrus calleyryana is a pear species native to China and Vietnam.
✱ The tree grows 25 - 40 feet in height and a 20 - 30 feet spread, in an oval or pyramid shape.
✱ The flowers usually bloom in spring. They are white and have five petals.
✱ The foliage is dark green in the summers, which turns into yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, or bronze in autumn.
✱ The tree makes a great option for smaller areas, since it takes up very less space due to its shape.
✱ Varieties of this tree include the Cleveland, Aristocrat, Pendula, Bradford, Autumn Blaze, Redspire, Capital, Whitehouse, and Chanticleer.
✱ This tree thrives in any soil condition. However, some cultivars are not suited for areas with heavy ice storms or snowfalls.
Dogwood flowering tree
✱ The Dogwood trees belong to the genus Cornus.
✱ They are native to Eurasia, North America, Japan, China, and the southeast of United States.
✱ Species of these trees include Flowering dogwood, Pacific dogwood, Kousa dogwood, Siberian dogwood, Pagoda dogwood, Silky dogwood, etc.
✱ The tree can grow up to 30 feet with a 25-feet spread.
✱ The tree has a unique shape―horizontal growth on the lower half and upward branching on the top.
✱ The tree starts blooming when it is only 4 - 6 feet tall, and can grow up to 30 feet.
✱ Depending on its variety, the flowers can be white, pink, or red in color.
✱ The leaves are red and green in color, which turn into scarlet, burgundy, or amber in color during the fall season.
Goldenrain Tree
Goldenrain tree
✱ The goldenrain tree or Koelreuteria paniculata is native to eastern Asia, China, and Korea.
✱ The tree is also popular as Pride of India, China tree, or Varnish tree.
✱ The tree is highly valued for its beauty. It grows up to 20 feet in height.
✱ The flowers usually bloom in spring, have four petals, and are golden yellow in color with a red center.
✱ The branching of the tree is irregular, which gives it a round shape.
✱ Cultivars of the tree include Fastigiata and September Gold.
✱ The aesthetic beauty of the flowers, leaves, as well as the seed pods of the tree makes it a must-have for any landscape.
Lilac flowering tree
✱ Lilac or Syringa is a genus of flowering plants in the olive family.
✱ The trees grow up to 30 feet in height, and 20 to 30 cm in breadth.
✱ The flowers usually bloom in spring, and are found in light purple, white, pale yellow, and pink colors. The flowers are known for their strong fragrance.
✱ The Charles Joly, Monge, Firmament, Miss Canada, and Donald Wyman are the most recommended varieties of this tree. Other varieties include the Japanese Lilac tree, Bloomerang, Yankee Doodle, Evangeline, Pocahontas, Dwarf Korean Lilac, Miss Kim, etc.
✱ The tree grows best in a well-drained soil and full sun exposure.
Magnolia flowering tree
✱ Magnolia is mostly found in east and southeast Asia, eastern North America, Central America, West Indies, and South America.
◈While some cultivars of the tree flower early in the spring, others flower early in the summer.
✱ Magnolia is a highly preferred ornamental tree for its fragrance, color, and long-lasting blooms.
✱ The tree reaches up to 20 to 30 feet in height and 15 - 20 feet spread.
✱ Its flowers have a very sweet fragrance, and are deep red or deep purple in color. They turn yellowish brown in color during fall.
✱ One can either choose to let the tree grow on its own, or prune it according to one's desire.
✱ The most popular varieties of this tree are the Star Magnolia, Saucer Magnolia, Southern Magnolia, Sweet Bay Magnolia, and Champaca Magnolia.
Bottlebrush flowering tree
✱ Bottlebrush or Callistemon belongs to the Myrtaceae family, and is mainly found in Australia.
✱ It acquires its name for its flowers, which look like brushes.
✱ This tree grows in moist conditions.
✱ The flowers can be red, yellow, green, orange, or white. It mostly blooms in spring or early summers.
✱ The leaves of tree are fragrant.
✱ The most common varieties are Willow Bottlebrush, Lemon Bottlebrush, and Alpine Bottlebrush.
Wisteria flowering tree
✱ Wisteria is mostly found in China, Korea, Japan, and Eastern United States.
✱ Although wisteria is mostly grown as a vine, it can also be planted as a tree.
✱ The flowers are dark blue or violet in color, and generally bloom in spring. The leaves are deep green in color.
✱ The trees grow up to 15 feet in height.
✱ Although it is best suited to bloom in sun exposure, it can grow well in shady areas too.
✱ This tree requires less maintenance, and is also suitable for all soil conditions.
Tips for Choosing Flowering Trees
❑ The climate of the landscape is the most important thing to be considered. One must narrow down to such a plant that can adjust to the soil and climatic condition of the region.

❑ One should decide what the size of the tree should be, depending on the size of the garden and the space available. One should choose a tree that adds to the scenic beauty of the garden.
❑ The timing and color of the flowers during a particular season should also be considered. One can choose between plants that produce single blooming flowers, or those that bloom in bunches.
One should make sure that he/she takes good care of the trees. Fertilization, watering, mulching, pest control, and pruning should be done regularly.