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When you think of choosing flowers to add colorful touches to your landscape, you may be overlooking one of the most dramatic sources of this color — flowering trees. Not only can trees paint glorious brush strokes of color across your yard, but there is also a way for you to enjoy this color from early spring throughout the summer. All you have to do is choose trees that bloom at different times of the year! 

Depending on where you live, some spring-blooming trees may actually start blooming in late winter, much to the delight of warm-climate gardeners! Choose these trees to herald the beginning of spring for early-season color:

  1. Dogwood Trees (Cornus spp.

Dogwoods are the quintessential spring-flowering trees across USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. Although you are probably familiar with the white-flowering variety, did you know there are also pink- and red-flowering dogwoods?

  • White dogwood (Cornus florida). Even though the true flowers of dogwood trees are the little yellow blossoms framed by a flurry of white, petal-like structures, it’s this flurry of white that you’ll enjoy!
  • Pink dogwood (Cornus florida rubra). These trees are covered with a cotton-candy pink color that may deepen with age.
  • Red dogwood (Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Chief’). Although there are numerous dogwoods sold as “red-flowering” trees, it’s the Cherokee Chief dogwood that has a true ruby-red color.
  1. Redbud Trees (Cercis spp.)

A native tree, redbud species sport heart-shaped leaves and an abundance of flowers in spring.

  • Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis). The branches of this native tree are covered with deep-pink flowers in late winter to early spring before the leaf buds open. 
  • Oklahoma Redbud (Cercis canadensis texensis ‘Oklahoma,’ formerly Cercis reniformis). Another redbud selection, Oklahoma won the coveted 2002 Georgia Gold Medal Plant Award for its outstanding performance and durability. Its flowers are a vibrant shade of fuchsia.
  • The Rising Sun Redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘JN2’). Like the multi-colored display of a brilliant sunrise, The Rising Sun Redbud tree displays shades of apricot, yellow and lime-green after its pinkish-lavender flowers fade in spring. You’ll enjoy a second burst of color when its leaves turn shades of gold in autumn.
  1. Ornamental Cherry Trees (Prunus spp.)
  • Kwanzan Cherry (Prunus serrulata). The double-flowered blossoms of the Kwanzan Cherry tree give a two-for-one impact! A profusion of pink flowers makes this tree a true spring stunner.
  • Yoshino Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis). This graceful, rounded tree is unparalleled for its open, vase-shaped form and white flowers that burst open in spring.
  • Snow Fountains Weeping Cherry (Prunus‘Snofozam’). Imagine a cherry tree covered with white flowers in springtime…and now picture this tree with cascading branches! The weeping shape of this cherry tree mimics a waterfall, making it an anchor plant in an Oriental garden with a dry stream bed of pebbles “flowing” underneath it.