27 Flowering Trees for Year-Round Color

Stage year-long color with flowering trees that bloom in different seasons. See some of our favorite examples plus learn how to use them in your yard.

Related To:

Photo By: Image courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.


Photo By: DoreenWynja.com photographer for Monrovia

Photo By: DoreenWynja.com photographer for Monrovia

Photo By: © iStockphoto/AlpamayoPhoto

Photo By: DoreenWynja.com photographer for Monrovia

Photo By: Image courtesy of Felder Rushing

Photo By: © iStockphoto/Mantonature

Photo By: BaileyNurseries.com

Photo By: © iStockphoto/Kenneth_Keifer

Photo By: Image courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.

Photo By: DoreenWynja.com photographer for Monrovia

Photo By: photo by felder rushing

Photo By: SouthernLivingPlants.com

Photo By: Shutterstock/Supitcha McAdam

Photo By: Image courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.

Photo By: jennyt / Shutterstock.com

Photo By: Julie Martens Forney

Photo By: DoreenWynja.com photographer for Monrovia

Photo By: DoreenWynja.com photographer for Monrovia

‘Leonard Messel’ Kobushi Magnolia

There are thousands of varieties of flowering trees available, including Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’ pictured above, which blushes a rosy pink and grows into a small tree up to 30 feet tall. Place this early spring beauty where you’ll easily see the color from indoors. In northern zones, avoid planting it against a southern wall, where heat might promote too-early flowering that late spring frosts can destroy. It's hardy to Zones 5 to 9.

Here are some things to consider when choosing a flowering tree for your yard: size, form and overall appearance of the tree when in full bloom, whether such obstructions as power lines could be in the way and how it would shade other plants. Also, consider how fall foliage, fruit or bark color would complement the other plantings in your yard, and whether any of your trees provide texture for winter interest. And look for ones that avoid weak branching, particularly if you live in areas where icing could be an issue.

Check out some of our favorite flowering trees along with advice on how to use them in your outdoor space.

Growing Flowering Trees

‘Venus’ Dogwood (Cornus x ‘Venus’)

Large flowers at least 6 inches across make this traditional spring favorite awe-inspiring. This photo compares Venus blooms (top) to a typical white flowering dogwood (bottom). Give Venus part shade in the South; full sun up North. Landscape use: Small tree grows 15 to 18 feet tall. Site it where you’ll be able to see the flower show from indoors. Strawberry-like fruits linger well into fall. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.

See More Photos: Flowering Dogwood Tree Varieties

Hyperion Dogwood

Large white flowers cover Hyperion dogwood in early spring. Hyperion hails from the dogwood breeding team at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The over-size blooms nearly overlap to blanket the tree in white. Flowers fade to form red, strawberry-like fruits that birds love. Fall color offers a medley of hues: purple, gold and orange. Expect this dogwood to reach its mature size of 20 feet tall and wide in roughly 20 years. Hardy in Zones 6-9.

See More Photos: Flowering Dogwood Tree Varieties

‘Oklahoma’ Redbud (Cercis reniformis ‘Oklahoma’)

Beautiful pink-red blooms transform bare branches into magic wands in early spring. The green heart-shape leaves of Cercis reniformis ‘Oklahoma’ turn gold in fall. Landscape use: A good tree for a small yard or sidewalk planting. Use beneath tall trees or position it solo in a yard. Hardy in Zones 6 to 9.

‘Ace Of Hearts’ Redbud

Welcome spring with the pretty pink blossoms of ‘Ace of Hearts’ redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Ace Of Hearts’). This dwarf variety grows to 12 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Flowers appear before leaves unfurl, transforming twigs into blooming branches. Heart shape leaves turn gold in fall. Hardy in Zones 5-9.

Eastern Redbud Growing Tips

Higan Cherry (Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis Rosea’)

Beautiful blush pink blossoms appear in spring and again in autumn. The spring show is the strongest, with more dispersed flowers in fall. Frost ends the flower show. Landscape use: Small tree suitable for small gardens, such as entry, sidewalk or patio areas. Hardy in Zones 5 to 8.

‘Dream Catcher’ Flowering Cherry

This small flowering cherry hails from the U.S. National Arboretum’s plant breeding efforts. It’s well suited to small yards, growing to 25 feet tall with a spread of 15 feet. Pale pink flowers open in early spring. Leaves appear after flowering, unfurling to dark green. Fall color is gold. This tree boasts a hearty disposition, tolerating insects and disease. Hardy in Zones 6-8.

American Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus)

Often called a “dogwood alternative” in landscape circles, the native American fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) flowers in late spring. White blooms form a fringe on the tree. Red fruits beckon birds. Need both male and female trees for fruiting. Landscape use: Include in wildlife gardens or native plant designs. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

‘Evereste’ Crabapple (Malus ‘Evereste’)

Pink flower buds open to white blooms that linger through spring. Flowering is well-timed for pollinating apple trees. Landscape use: Small tree ideal for small yards, entry gardens or sidewalk plantings. Look for ones sold on M-27 rootstock that grow 4 feet tall — perfect for pots. Hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

‘Thunderchild’ Flowering Crabapple

Flowering crabapple trees paint spring with floral finery that’s tough to beat. ‘Thunderchild’ is no exception. Blush pink blossoms open before deep purple leaves appear, releasing a delicate fragrance. All this beauty belies a tough-as-nails constitution, marked by strong disease resistance (no fireblight here!) and strong winter hardiness. Mature size is 15 to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Hardy in zones 3-7.

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

Glossy dark green leaves of Magnolia grandiflora host large white blossoms in spring, followed by a smattering of flowers all summer long. Height varies from 20 to 80 feet, depending on variety. Landscape use: Falling leaves and fruit can be messy on a lawn. Plant as part of an ornamental bed where these droppings blend in as leaf litter. Hardy in Zones 6 to 9.

Magnolia Tree Care Tips

Saucer Magnolia

The saucer magnolia is an easy-to-grow deciduous tree with large, fragrant, teacup blooms and attractive gray bark. The white, pink or purple flowers appear early to late spring, depending on cultivar. Plant in full sun to partial shade in well-drained, fertile soil. Growth rate is medium; mature height, 20 to 30 feet. USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9

Magnolia Tree Care Tips

‘Golden Eclipse’ Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata ‘Golden Eclipse’)

Japanese tree lilac packages the beauty of lilac shrubs in a tree form, growing 18 to 24 feet tall. Cream-colored flowers start opening in late spring and extend the show into early summer. Landscape use: A favorite street tree. Makes a good choice for smaller yards. Hardy in Zones 4 to 7.

See More Photos: 18 Lilac Varieties

Japanese Horse Chestnut (Aesculus turbinata)

Flowers appear in tall spikes in early summer and beckon pollinators and hummingbirds. Aesculus turbinata is a tough urban tree that withstands streetside conditions. Landscape use: Place as a shade or specimen tree in a front or backyard. Include in a wildlife garden. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.

Red Horse Chestnut

A hummingbird favorite, red horse chestnut (Aesculus x carnea) forms a round-headed tree that’s strikingly beautiful. It grows 35 feet tall by 25 feet wide. Look for the variety ‘Briotii’ or ‘O’Neill Red.’ Both offer good disease resistance and long flower clusters. Leaves turn gold in fall. Hardy in Zones 4-9.

Smoke Tree (Cotinus coggygria)

Sometimes called smoke bush, smoke tree adds color and texture to summer scenery. The flowers are tiny and appear in early summer, but each bloom has a long pink filament attached to it, which creates a smoky look all summer long. Purple-leaf varieties are striking. Landscape use: Showcase as a specimen tree or include in a planting bed. Fits into small yards easily. Hardy in Zones 5 to 8.

Growing Smoke Tree

Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)

Flowers open in clusters at the ends of branches. Crape myrtle flower color runs a wide range, depending on variety. Most blooms appear in summer and linger into fall. Bark is beautiful, too. Landscape use: Plant as a street tree, along driveways or in entry gardens. Fits neatly into small spaces. Hardy in Zones 7 to 9.

Choosing the Right Crape Myrtle for Your Landscape

Early Bird Purple Crape Myrtle

Flowers appear as early as May and continue through fall on Early Bird Purple crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia hybrid). Plants grow a tidy 6 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide, making them suitable for even the smallest yards. This small tree grows best in lean soil; too much fertilizer leads to lush leafy growth at the expense of flowers. Hardy in Zones 7-10.

Choosing the Right Crape Myrtle for Your Landscape

Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus var. latifolia)

Also called sage tree for its aromatic leaves, chaste tree is a native small tree growing to 10 to 20 feet tall. Bright blue flowers start opening in early summer and continue until frost. Strongest flower show occurs in June in the South and August in the Northwest. Landscape use: Well-suited for a small yard, deer-resistant plantings or gardens designed for seasonal color. Hardy in Zones 6 to 9.

Seven-Son Flower (Heptacodium miconioides)

White flowers blanket seven-son flower (to 20 feet tall) in late summer and early fall. Pink flower bases linger for weeks after. Landscape use: Good choice for drought-tolerant landscape or seaside plantings. Use in wildlife gardens. Hardy in Zones 5 to 8.

See More Photos: 13 Trees You Can’t Kill

Flowering Almond

It's easy to fall in love with the flowers on this tree-like large shrub. After its double pink blossoms have faded, though, the plant's often straggly habit becomes more evident. The flowering almond (also known as flowering plum) rarely produces fruit, and fall foliage color is nondescript. Plant in full sun in deep, well-drained soil. Typically grows to 15 feet tall. USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9

Hawthorne

The fragrant mid- to late-spring blooms — in white, pink or red, single or double — are only part of the charm of this thorny tree. In fall its berries start to color a bright red, persisting all winter. 'Paul's Scarlet' English hawthorne has beautiful, red double flowers. Washington hawthorne has some of the best cultivars for berries. Plant in full sun or partial shade in well-drained soil. Hawthornes range from 10 to 25 feet at maturity. A few selections are thornless. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 7, depending on species

See More Photos: 13 Trees You Can’t Kill

Serviceberry

This shrubby deciduous tree is known for its multitude of ornamental features. White flowers appear in early spring; round green berries turn red, then ripen to purplish black in early summer. The fruits are edible, but you'll have to beat the birds to them. Fall foliage color varies from yellow or orange to russet red, and the ornamental, gray-streaked bark stands out in winter. Plant in full sun with moist, well-drained soil. Excellent small-yard tree. USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9

Serviceberry Tree: A Small Tree You Should Know and Love

Goldenrain Tree

Named for its drooping clusters of yellow flowers in early- to midsummer, this deciduous tree makes an attractive shade tree of about 30 feet high with equal spread. Papery pods gradually turn from light green to brown. Fall color is usually yellow. Goldenrain tree adapts to a wide range of soils. USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8

Goldenrain Tree

Pear Tree

The common pear (Pyrus communis) flowers at the height of spring, opening bright white blooms that pollinators can’t resist. A tree in full bloom literally buzzes with busy insects. Pear trees are tall, growing 25 to 30 feet and up to 20 feet wide. Pears do best in full sun and tolerate heavy clay, one of the few fruit trees that do. Hardy in Zones 4-8.

See More Photos: Flowering Trees for Spring

‘Newport’ Cherry Plum

Bronze-purple leaves complement pale pink blooms on ‘Newport’ cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera ‘Newport’). Blossoms appear at the height of spring and fade to form dull purple fruit that birds enjoy. You can also harvest the fruit for eating or making pie or jam. Leaves turn deep purple by summer and shift to red hues in fall. Prune as needed after flowering. This is a small tree, growing 15 to 20 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9.

‘Beauty’ Japanese Plum

From late winter through early spring, ‘Beauty’ Japanese plum brightens the landscape with delicate white flowers. The white blossoms fade to form tasty red plums in midsummer, earlier than other plums. This small edible fruit tree grows 12 to 15 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. Plums make a nice addition to the home garden. 'Beauty' plum needs another plum for cross-pollination; ‘Shiro’ makes a good choice. Hardy in Zones 4-10.

Shop This Look