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8 Gorgeous Flowering Trees to Plant This Spring

COLORS -- Saucer magnolias bloom before the leaves emerge with huge white, pink or bold purple flowers reaching up to 10 inches across. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)

8 Gorgeous Flowering Trees to Plant This Spring

If you’re looking to add some pizzazz to your yard this spring, consider one or more of these flowering beauties.

Saucer Magnolia

The most popular type of magnolia tree, the saucer magnolia features flamboyant pink blooms that are wonderfully fragrant and take center stage starting in early to mid-spring. When fully mature, the tree reaches a height of 20 to 25 feet and produces large blossoms up to 8 inches in diameter. Hardy in zones 4-9, avoid planting near the south side of a structure in regions with late spring frosts. The retained heat could trigger early flowering which frost will kill.

‘Ace of Hearts’ Redbud

‘Ace of Hearts’ redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Ace of Hearts’) is a dwarf variety that only grows to 12 feet tall and 15 feet wide. In spring, darling pink flowers appear before leaves open up so that barren sticks transform into blossoming branches. The heart-shaped foliage turns a brilliant gold in the fall. The ‘Ace of Hearts’ is hardy in zones 5-9.

Hyperion Dogwood

Bred at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Hyperion dogwood is covered in large white blooms in the spring. The oversized flowers appear to overlap, blanketing the tree in a snowy white. The blossoms eventually fade into red, strawberry-like fruits that attract birds. In the fall, the leaves offer a range of beautiful colors: orange, gold and purple. Hardy in zones 6-9, Hyperion dogwoods reach their mature size of 20 feet tall and wide over two decades.

‘Thunderchild’ Flowering Crabapple

When it comes to beauty, flowering crabapple trees are hard to top, and this variety is no exception. The dainty pink flowers open before the striking, deep purple leaves make an appearance, giving off an elegant fragrance. Despite being one of the prettiest flowering trees, ‘Thunderchild’ has a very hardy constitution: It’s disease resistant and has a strong winter hardiness. At maturity, it reaches 15 to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Hardy in zones 3-7.

Pear Tree

A favorite of pollinators, the common pear tree (Pyrus communis) blooms at the peak of spring with gorgeous white flowers. When in full bloom, pear trees literally buzz with insect activity. A larger flowering tree variety, pear trees grow to be 25 to 30 feet tall and can get up to 20 feet wide. Hardy in zones 4-8, they thrive in full sun and are one of the few fruit trees that can tolerate heavy clay soil conditions.

Red Horse Chestnut

Red horse chestnut (Aesculus x carnea) is a round-headed tree that is exceptionally beautiful. A hummingbird favorite, it can get up to 35 feet tall and 25 feet wide. For long flower clusters and disease resistance, consider looking for the varieties ‘O’Neill Red’ or ‘Briottii’. In the fall, leaves turn a rich golden color. Hardy in zones 4-9.

‘Dream Catcher’ Flowering Cherry

Well suited to compact spaces, this small flowering cherry tree grows to approximately 25 feet tall with a spread of just 15 feet. It features light pink blooms that open in early spring. Its dark green leaves show up after flowering and turn gold in the fall. The ‘Dream Catcher’ is a product of the U.S. National Arboretum’s plant breeding work and is characterized by an easy-going disposition, tolerating disease and insects. Hardy in zones 6-8.

Early Bird Purple Crape Myrtle

Suitable for even the tiniest of yards, Early Bird Purple crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia hybrid) grows to a neat 6 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. Its flowers come out as early as May and continue on through fall. The plants can be pruned into a single-stem tree, or left alone to form multiple trunks. Plant them in lean soil, as too much fertilizer encourages abundant leaf growth at the sacrifice of flowers. Hardy in zones 7-10.

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