The Best Ornamental Trees

Create a garden focal point with one show-stopping tree.
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Photo By: Image courtesy of Ben Ford

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Beautiful Blooming Redbud

This unique, elegant tree can offer a distinctive focal point for your garden.

Japanese Maple Leaves are Distinctively Yellow

Acer palmatum, Sango kaku, are generally grown for attractive foliage and shape. It also has excellent winter bark. Plant around the home or yard or periphery of the border or rock garden. Plant multi stemmed shrub forms in small gardens.

Create Focal Point with Dramatic Tree Species

Ornamental trees can become focal points when planted in large containers and used alongside other plantings in a backyard garden or on a patio.

Weeping Trees Create Graceful Garden Focal Point

Weeping trees have a graceful look and can be used as a focal point in the garden for maximum impact. This flowering cherry blooms profusely in spring.

Powderpuff Tree

Pruned as a shrub or left unpruned as a small tree the charming powderpuff tree or Calliandra haematocephala has fluffy red, white or pink flowers and a distinctive, whimsical look.

'China Girl'

Cornus kousa 'China Girl', Chinese dogwood, is a deciduous, small tree with compact, shrubby habit. Small, button like flowers are surrounded by four showy bracts. Small red fruits are showy and hang gracefully on long stalks.

Malus 'Evereste' Crabapple has Magnificent Blossoms

This Crabapple tree puts on a magnificent display of blossoms in spring, with white flowers opening from pink buds. Small apples follow and can last into winter.

Tulip Tree Makes a Great Garden Focal Point

Tulip trees – also known as tulip magnolias and saucer magnolias – are among the most beautiful specimen trees, perfect as a focal point in the garden or a patio planting for enjoying up close.

Laburnum 'Vossii'

Long clusters of yellow pea flowers of the Golden Chain Tree hang from the branches of this tree in spring and early summer. Thees golden flowers look particularly striking when trained over an arch.

Japanese Snowbell Grows Well in Acidic Soil

The Japanese Snowbell is a good ornamental tree for small spaces or as a focal point in a large garden with acidic soil.

Pagoda Dogwood

Named for its horizontal tiers of green leaves, the pagoda dogwood makes a gorgeous focal point in your landscaping.

Chaste Tree

Vitex agnus castus var. latifolia, or Chaste tree, is a large, multi-stemmed shrub with fine, lacy leaves that are glossy and green. Bright blue flower panicles begin to form in early summer and continue through fall.

Next Up

Learn About Ornamental Cherry Trees

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Make ornamental grasses a part of your garden with this planting guide.

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Use these planting tips to ensure your trees get the best start possible.

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Compact, colorful trees in pots make a lovely addition to a yard or patio.

How to Pot an Ornamental Cherry Tree

Even if you’re short of space, you can still enjoy an ornamental cherry’s gorgeous spring blooms by planting a tree in a container. 

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Find out all you need to know about underplanting from a garden expert.

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Advice for keeping messy tree varieties out of your yard.