Spring-Blooming Trees for the Tri-State Area

Spring is finally here!  With the warmer weather, we’re seeing spring-flowering trees burst into bloom all over the tri-state area.  If you’ve wanted to add some spring color to your garden, now is a good time to shop around at nurseries and garden centers, because they’ll stock a lot of spring-flowering trees while they are blooming.

Snap photos of your favorite trees, (the tree, and the label, if you have enough room on your memory card!), and we can help you work those trees into your landscape.

If you’re not sure where to start, and looking at an entire nursery full of blooming landscape trees feels a bit overwhelming, we can help you add new interest to your landscape from the start.

Here are some of our designers’ favorite spring blooming trees for our area:

Star Magnolia

The Star Magnolia, Magnolia stellata, is a pretty little ornamental tree that looks a bit tropical, but is perfectly hardy in our area.
Flower color: White
Flower shape:  Multi-petaled, palm-sized flowers.
Ideal growing conditions: Tolerant of sun to part shade, and a wide variety of soils.
Mature height:  This tree grows more like a shrub, or a multi-stemmed tree.  Its mature height is between 15-20 feet, after many years.  It can have up to a 15 foot width spread.

Eastern Redbud

The Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis, is native to our eastern forests.  It grows naturally on the edges of woodlands, which makes it an excellent ornamental tree for foundation plantings, closer to the house.
Flower color: Light purple/ pink
Flower shape: About the size of a penny, shaped like a pea flower
Ideal growing conditions: Partial shade to full sun, tolerant of wide soil variety
Mature height: 15-20 ft.

Flowering Crabapple

Flowering crabapple (Malus spp.) flowers have one of the most beautiful, clean scents of all of the flowering trees.  It’s delicate, but noticable. Spring has truly arrived when these trees begin to flower.  They are great sources for beekeepers, too.  Apple blossom honey is delicious!

Flower color: Pink or white, depends upon the tree variety
Flower shape: Shaped like miniature, single-petal roses  (apples are in the rose family)
Ideal growing conditions:  Full sun, well-drained soil, tolerant of heavy soils
Mature height:  Also depends upon the cultivar or variety, but can range from 10 feet to 25 feet


In our opinion, Serviceberries (Amelanchier spp.) are one of the most underused shrubs in the landscape.  They grow as shrubs or multi-stemmed trees, and flower in the late spring, to early summer.  They also have nice foliage in the summer, and turn a fiery red or orange in the fall.  In the early winter, their berries are a source of food for native wildlife.  They are great little trees!

Flower color: White
Flower shape: The size of a quarter, fringy petals
Ideal growing conditions: Tolerates acid soils, wet to dry moiisture and partial shade to full sun
Mature height: 15-25 feet

Flowering Plum

The Flowering Plum, Prunus cerasifera, is a gorgeous ornamental tree that grows a bit larger than some of the other flowering trees we’ve mentioned here.  It has a pretty coppery-burgundy foliage during the summer, and pink flowers in the spring.

Flower color: Pink

Flower shape: They look like small, single-petal roses
Ideal growing conditions: Full sun to partial shade
Mature height: Depends upon the cultivar, but can reach up to 30 ft.

Kousa Dogwood

The Kousa dogwood, Cornus kousa, is another under-utilized treein the landscape.  It has pretty bark and a vase-shaped habit that grows into platforms of branches.  It is also resistant to dogwood anthracnose, which has virtually wiped out large native swaths of the flowering dogwood, Cornus florida.

Flower color: White or pink, depending up on the cultivar
Flower shape: Four large white bracts to create a square-shaped flower
Ideal growing conditions: Moist, acidic, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade.
Mature height: 20 feet