All Posts   Posted:   April 3, 2015 by Nicole Forbes - Dennis' 7 Dees Education Director

Flowering Trees such as cherries, plums & magnolias truly signal the beginning of spring. We delight in the delicate blossoms as they emerge from bare branches; I often treat myself by bringing cut stems indoors to force early blooms inside. Even as the petals fall they create a delicate carpet of pink or white adding beauty even as they transition out of bloom. Although most of the blossoms have faded from our early spring flowering trees there are many ornamental trees blooming through the late spring and summer. A few of our favorites:

Dogwoods (Cornus):

Our Pacific NW native variety (C. nuttallii) grows to a stately 30-35 feet tall with large greenish-white flower bracts in spring (usually late April-May) followed by large strawberry-like fruits that attract birds and wildlife. ‘Venus’ is a hybrid cross with improved vigor and prolific, large white flowers. Our two other common species are the Flowering Dogwood (C. florida) and Korean Dogwood (C. kousa). Both are small rounded trees (around 20 feet tall) that thrive in part shade and well-drained soil. C. florida usually blooms around Mother’s Day in either showy pink or white while the Korean dogwood flowers about a month later. C. florida can be prone to disease in certain areas however the Korean type is more disease resistant. They all have beautiful fall color and make perfect small garden trees or landscape specimens.

Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonicas):

Snowbells are a lovely tree growing to about 20-30 feet tall and wide with slightly fragrant white or pink pendulous flowers that delicately hang from the undersides of the branches. The flowers turn to hard round seeds and continue to add interest beyond the bloom time. Slow or medium growing, it has an upright habit in youth but branches become more horizontal as it matures. Excellent when planted on a slope or retaining wall where it can be appreciated from below; best in full to part sun.

Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia, S. monadelpha):

Stewartias are magnificent trees that slowly grow to 20-25 feet tall. Flowers appear usually around July; they are pure white with yellow centers and resemble camellia blossoms. Best in partial shade but tolerant of sun, stewartias also have dramatic fall color and as the tree matures the bark peels off in patches leaving interesting colors/patterns behind.

Harliquin Glorybower (Clerodendrum trichotomum):

Is a fast-growing, small rounded tree (15-20 feet tall) with late summer (mid-July/August) sweetly fragrant flowers followed by a small blue fruit with a bright pink backing. The tree prefers moist, well-drained soil in full sun and can tend to sucker or form colonies but can be easily controlled; often available as single-trunk or multi-trunked trees.

Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica):

This tree thrives in full sun and heat so give it all you’ve got. Usually available in multi-trunk or single-trunk forms, cultivars have blooms in various shades of pink, red, lavender or white. Size varies by cultivar but average size is 15-25 feet tall. Flowers are followed by brilliant fall color; trees can develop showy bark as they mature.

Flowering Trees such as cherries, plums & magnolias truly signal the beginning of spring. We delight in the delicate blossoms as they emerge from bare branches; I often treat myself by bringing cut stems indoors to force early blooms inside. Even as the petals fall they create a delicate carpet of pink or white adding beauty even as they transition out of bloom. Although most of the blossoms have faded from our early spring flowering trees there are many ornamental trees blooming through the late spring and summer. A few of our favorites:

Dogwoods (Cornus):

Our Pacific NW native variety (C. nuttallii) grows to a stately 30-35 feet tall with large greenish-white flower bracts in spring (usually late April-May) followed by large strawberry-like fruits that attract birds and wildlife. ‘Venus’ is a hybrid cross with improved vigor and prolific, large white flowers. Our two other common species are the Flowering Dogwood (C. florida) and Korean Dogwood (C. kousa). Both are small rounded trees (around 20 feet tall) that thrive in part shade and well-drained soil. C. florida usually blooms around Mother’s Day in either showy pink or white while the Korean dogwood flowers about a month later. C. florida can be prone to disease in certain areas however the Korean type is more disease resistant. They all have beautiful fall color and make perfect small garden trees or landscape specimens.

Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonicas):

Snowbells are a lovely tree growing to about 20-30 feet tall and wide with slightly fragrant white or pink pendulous flowers that delicately hang from the undersides of the branches. The flowers turn to hard round seeds and continue to add interest beyond the bloom time. Slow or medium growing, it has an upright habit in youth but branches become more horizontal as it matures. Excellent when planted on a slope or retaining wall where it can be appreciated from below; best in full to part sun.

Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia, S. monadelpha):

Stewartias are magnificent trees that slowly grow to 20-25 feet tall. Flowers appear usually around July; they are pure white with yellow centers and resemble camellia blossoms. Best in partial shade but tolerant of sun, stewartias also have dramatic fall color and as the tree matures the bark peels off in patches leaving interesting colors/patterns behind.

Harliquin Glorybower (Clerodendrum trichotomum):

Is a fast-growing, small rounded tree (15-20 feet tall) with late summer (mid-July/August) sweetly fragrant flowers followed by a small blue fruit with a bright pink backing. The tree prefers moist, well-drained soil in full sun and can tend to sucker or form colonies but can be easily controlled; often available as single-trunk or multi-trunked trees.

Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica):

This tree thrives in full sun and heat so give it all you’ve got. Usually available in multi-trunk or single-trunk forms, cultivars have blooms in various shades of pink, red, lavender or white. Size varies by cultivar but average size is 15-25 feet tall. Flowers are followed by brilliant fall color; trees can develop showy bark as they mature.