9 Amazing Spring Blossom Trees and 8 Spring Flowering Shrubs

Updated on June 23, 2020
Apple Orchard in Michigan
Apple Orchard in Michigan

April and May are a time of spring renewal presenting us with a beautiful assortment of colorful blossoming trees and showy shrubs across the landscapes of homes, libraries, banks, stores, schoolyards, doctor's offices, and too many more businesses to mention.

Enjoy this inspiring presentation of photography capturing all the spring glory, including my favorites and most beautifully flourishing varieties along with interesting information and growing tips.

Ornamental Pear Tree
Ornamental Pear Tree
Ornamental Pear Tree Blossoms
Ornamental Pear Tree Blossoms

1. Ornamental Pear Tree

One of the earlier tree bloomers, the ornamental pear tree (Pyrus calleryana) is one of first signs of spring renewal. Like most ornamental trees, the fruit is very tiny and non-edible; although the birds may nibble on it. Their spring appearance livens the end of winter's doldrums with snowy whites cluster of flowers. Another bonus is their striking leaf color in the fall turning into a kaleidoscope of red, bronze, and purple hues.

Pyrus calleryana, or the Callery pear, is a species of pear tree native to China and Vietnam, in the family Rosaceae. It is most commonly known for its cultivar 'Bradford', widely planted throughout the United States and increasingly regarded as an invasive species.

Depending on the cultivar, ornamental pear trees can have a round canopy, V-shaped or columnar.

  • Bloom: Early to Mid Spring
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Growth: 20-50 Feet (6-15 Meters) Tall
  • Zone: 5-8

Weeping Cherry Tree
Weeping Cherry Tree
Weeping Cherry Tree Flower
Weeping Cherry Tree Flower

2. Weeping Cherry Tree

A waterfall of delicate pink flowers form an umbrella over the trunk and branches of the Weeping Cherry Tree (Prunus pendula) making it a desirable choice to beautify any landscape! For many years, the Japanese have cultivated this lovely cherry tree. The blossoms are held in clusters of 4 to 5 single or double flowers drooping off the branches almost kissing the ground.

Although short-lived, the weeping cherry tree grows to an impressive size. Like the other Prunus trees, they are ornamental, meaning you would not plant them if your goal were to grow sweet cherries for eating.

  • Bloom: Early to Mid Spring
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Growth: 20-30 Feet (6 to 9 Meters) Tall; Spread 15-25 Feet (4.5- .5 Meters)
  • Zone: 5-8

Purple Leaf Sand Cherry Tree
Purple Leaf Sand Cherry Tree
Purple Leaf Sand Cherry Tree Flowers
Purple Leaf Sand Cherry Tree Flowers

3. Purple Leaf Sand Cherry Tree

Petite white flowers with maroon centers make this cherry/plum blossom tree a unique addition to the landscape.

Purple leaf sand cherry (Prunus x cistena) is a member of the rose family. Prunus is Latin for ‘plum’ while cistena is the Sioux Native American word for ‘baby’ in reference to its smallish size. The “x” is indicative of the shrub’s hybridism.

The purple leaf sand cherry is a relatively small tree growing approximately 10 feet tall and wide which makes it a great choice for those tucked away corners of the landscape.

It amazes me how extremely sweetly fragrant they are. A real plus is how they complement the green landscape with their deep maroon leaves throughout the seasons!

  • Bloom: Early to Mid Spring
  • Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Growth: 6-10 Feet (1.8-3 Meters) Tall and Wide
  • Zone: 2-8

Redbud Tree Flower Buds
Redbud Tree Flower Buds
Redbud Tree Flower Buds
Redbud Tree Flower Buds
Redbud Tree in Full Bloom
Redbud Tree in Full Bloom
Redbud Tree Flowers in Bloom
Redbud Tree Flowers in Bloom

4. Redbud Tree

Spiky branches stretch upwards and outwards of the Eastern Redbud Tree (Cercis canadensis), also named the American Redbud. Clusters of pea-size magenta buds swell into showy rose-pink flowers in early spring before the leaves appear! The long-lasting blossoms put on a show for two to three weeks.

Heart-shaped leaves of 2 to 6 inches emerge a reddish color, turning dark green in summer and then a bright canary yellow in autumn. The flowers also give rise to clusters of bean-like pods that remain on the tree into winter.

History of the Redbud Tree

Native to North America and Canada with cousins in Europe and Asia, this tree was noted by Spaniards who made distinctions between the New World species and their cousins in the Mediterranean region in 1571. Centuries later, George Washington reported in his diary on many occasions about the beauty of the tree and spent many hours in his garden transplanting seedlings obtained from the nearby forest.

It was chosen as the state tree of Oklahoma in 1937.

The redbud tree adapts to a wide range of site conditions and thrives in most types of soil and levels of sun exposure.

  • Bloom: Mid Spring
  • Exposure: Best in Full Sun to Light Shade
  • Growth: 20-30 Feet (6-9 Meters) Tall; Spread: 25-35 Feet (7.5-10.5 Meters)
  • Zone: 4-9

Japanese Kwanzan Cherry Tree
Japanese Kwanzan Cherry Tree
Japanese Kwanzan Cherry Tree
Japanese Kwanzan Cherry Tree
Japanese Kwanzan Cherry Tree Flowers
Japanese Kwanzan Cherry Tree Flowers

5. Japanese Kwanzan Cherry Tree

The Japanese Flowering Cherry Tree (Prunus serrulata) is known by the names Kwanzan, and/or Kanzan, named after a mountain in Japan, but the original name is Sekiyama, which is rarely used.

Native to Japan, China, and Korea and introduced to America in 1903, it was made famous by the outlandish floral displays at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.

The Kwanzan cherry is the most popular cultivar of all the double-flowering cherries, thanks to its stunning pink blossoms, copper yellow fall color, lack of fruit, and vase-shaped growth habitat.

  • Bloom: Mid Spring
  • Exposure: Full Sun (At least 6 hours unfiltered sun)
  • Growth: 15-25 Feet (4.5 - 7.5 Meters), Equal Spread
  • Zone: 5-9

Excellent Advice for Growing Kwanzan Cherry Tree

Magnolia Tree
Magnolia Tree
Magnolia Tree Flower
Magnolia Tree Flower

6. Magnolia Tree

Created by crossing the Lily magnolia and the Yulan magnolia, the Saucer Magnolia (above photographs) have robust whitish-pink blooms with pink interiors. This is the most commonly grown magnolia in the U.S. The flowers are produced before the leaves, as with most members of magnolias. Young trees do not flower.

Magnolias are a diverse family of medium to small trees having a slow growth rate. Magnolias, particularly the deciduous, cold hardy, heat tolerant varieties, as with the Saucer Magnolia and Star Magnolia, not the iconic Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), can be grown in almost any region of the U.S. From the tip of Florida as far north as Maine and Washington State, there's a magnolia that can be grown in your landscape.

Different varieties are native to the U.S.(8 species) as well as Japan and Himalayas. Throughout American history, the floral beauty of the magnolia has made it one of the country’s most sought-after botanical treasures.

  • Bloom: Mid Spring (Depending on Region)
  • Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Growth: Depending on Variety 25-50 Feet (8-15 Meters) Tall; Spread up to 35 Feet (10 Meters)
  • Zone: Southern Varieties 7-10, Northern Varieties 4-9

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Apple Blossom Tree in Neighborhood LandscapeApple Tree Flowering BranchApple Tree BlossomsApple Tree BlossomsApple Tree Blossoms
Apple Blossom Tree in Neighborhood Landscape
Apple Blossom Tree in Neighborhood Landscape
Apple Tree Flowering Branch
Apple Tree Flowering Branch
Apple Tree Blossoms
Apple Tree Blossoms
Apple Tree Blossoms
Apple Tree Blossoms
Apple Tree Blossoms
Apple Tree Blossoms

7. Apple Tree

Sweeping branches of delicately colored pink blossoms capture our sense of wonder and delight. Apple trees (Malus domestica) left un-manured can grow fairly large.

There are more than 100 varieties of apple trees grown commercially in the United States and more than 7,500 varieties are grown worldwide. Michigan, Washington and New York State are the top apple-producing states in America.

Tip: If you intend to bear excellent fruit, it's recommend to plant two different cultivars with the same blooming period in order to accomodate cross pollination between landscape trees.

History: The apple blossom is the state flower of both Michigan and Arkansas. The flower was chosen as the state flower by the Michigan legislature in 1897, and the specific variety chosen is Pyrus coronaria, the crabapple, because it's native to Michigan. The crabapple blossom was chosen as Arkansas's state flower in 1901 because of the apple's importance as a cash crop in the state at the time, and it remains the state flower even though Arkansas is no longer a major apple producer.

  • Bloom: Early to Late Summer
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Growth: 25-30 Feet (7.5-9 Meters) Tall; Dwarf Varieties 7-10 Feet (2-3 Meters) Tall
  • Zone: Depending on Variety Hardiness 3-8

Ornamental Crabapple Tree
Ornamental Crabapple Tree
Ornamental Crabapple Flowering Branches
Ornamental Crabapple Flowering Branches
Ornamental Crabapple Tree Flower
Ornamental Crabapple Tree Flower

8. Ornamental Crabapple Tree

Native to the temperate regions of North America, Europe, and Asia, flowering crabapple trees (Malus x) paint spring with floral finery of pink, red and/or white hues. Malus is a genus of small deciduous trees or shrubs in the family Rosaceae, including the domesticated orchard apple, also known as the eating apple, cooking apple, or culinary apple. The other species are commonly known as crabapples, crab trees, or wild apples.

Ornamental Crabapple trees grow into a variety of shapes, including weeping, upright, pyramidal and vase. Small and dwarf varieties make suitable container plants for patios. Full-size Ornamental Crabapple Trees reach 10 to 25 feet tall, making them ideal for small lots and large landscapes. Rows of Ornamental Crabapples are superb looking when lined up next to driveways or used as screens (shown in photo above).

Fruit of some crabapple species are small and too sour or bitter to eat but still useful for making jelly and preserves.

  • Bloom: Mid Spring
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Growth: 10-35 Feet (3-10 Meters) Tall (depending on the variety)
  • Zone: 3-8 There are specific varieties that can survive in Zone 2

Crabapple Tips for Your Landscape

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Flowering Dogwood TreeFlowering Dogwood Tree Flowers (Bracts)Flowering Dogwood Tree Flowering BranchesFlowering Dogwood Tree Flowers (Bracts)
Flowering Dogwood Tree
Flowering Dogwood Tree
Flowering Dogwood Tree Flowers (Bracts)
Flowering Dogwood Tree Flowers (Bracts)
Flowering Dogwood Tree Flowering Branches
Flowering Dogwood Tree Flowering Branches
Flowering Dogwood Tree Flowers (Bracts)
Flowering Dogwood Tree Flowers (Bracts)

9. Flowering Dogwood Tree

An old-time favorite, the flowering dogwood tree (Cornus, florida) is an American native. The trees explode in spring with clusters of white flowers. There are also pink and yellow hybrids. In the fall the leaves turn a beautiful deep red. No wonder they are a favorite!

The common name "dogwood" comes from one colonial description of the fruit as being edible but not fit for a dog. The common name dogwood is also thought to be from the use of the wood for skewers or “dogs”.

Young trees tend to be upright to rounded and mature specimens grow up to 50 percent wider than tall. The crown is round to flat-topped. The lateral branches are somewhat horizontal and form a recognizable feature when in bloom and in the winter landscape.

  • Bloom: Mid Spring
  • Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun
  • Growth: 20-30 Feet (6-9 Meters) Tall
  • Zone: 5-9

Flowering Dogwood Information

Forsythia Shrub
Forsythia Shrub
Forsythia Shrub Flowering Branch
Forsythia Shrub Flowering Branch

1. Forstythia Shrub

Native to eastern Asia and easy to grow, when the forsythias bloom in early spring, we all breathe a sigh of relief from winter's chill. I love the splashes of sunny yellow they provide when driving to my destinations, but especially through neighborhoods and downtown districts. So much so that I have included a little poem I posted in a previous "hub" titled "Early Spring Photo Preview and Poems".

Forsythia, forsythia

just when I thought there was no end

to winter's bare branches,

you took my breathe away!

The above photo of the forsythia is in my yard taken several years ago. You can see how happy it is. I have only pruned dead branches and a few long stragglers.

  • Bloom: Early Spring Before Leaves
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Growth: Fast Growing 8 to 10 Feet (2.5 - 3 Meters)
  • Zone: 5 to 8

Forsythia Shrub Growing Tips

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lilac ShrubLilac BranchLilac FlowerLilac Flower
Lilac Shrub
Lilac Shrub
Lilac Branch
Lilac Branch
Lilac Flower
Lilac Flower
Lilac Flower
Lilac Flower

2. Lilac Shrub

Native to Southeastern Europe and Asia, common lilac bushes (Syringa vulgaris) are deciduous shrubs that belong to the olive family as with the forsythia shrubs. The unforgettable aroma of the lilacs are intoxicating and easily detectable yards away from the shrub.

  • Bloom: Late Spring
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Growth: Depending on the cultivar 6-16 Feet (1.8 - 4.8 Meters) and nearly as wide.
  • Zone: 3-7

Lilac Shrub Info

Azalea Shrub
Azalea Shrub
Azalea Shrub Flowers
Azalea Shrub Flowers

3. Azalea Shrub

Wow, what a fantastic announcement of spring arrival! Purple, pink, magenta and white varieties are the most favored. Related to the Rhododendrons, azaleas are extremely easy to care for and keep their small leaves through winter.

Azaleas are native to several continents including Asia, Europe, and North America. They are planted abundantly in the southeastern US, southern Asia, and parts of southwest Europe.

  • Bloom: Mid to Late Spring
  • Exposure: Partial Shade to 3-6 Hours of Full Sun
  • Growth: Up to 3.5 Feet ( 1 Meter) Tall and Wide
  • Zone: 4-8

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Rhododendron ShrubRhododendron FlowerRhododendron ShrubRhododendron FlowerRhododendron FlowerRhododendron ShrubRhododendron Flower
Rhododendron Shrub
Rhododendron Shrub
Rhododendron Flower
Rhododendron Flower
Rhododendron Shrub
Rhododendron Shrub
Rhododendron Flower
Rhododendron Flower
Rhododendron Flower
Rhododendron Flower
Rhododendron Shrub
Rhododendron Shrub
Rhododendron Flower
Rhododendron Flower

4. Rhododendron Shrub

Most people are familiar with the blush pink or purplish billowy bloomers of the popular rhododendron shrub, but there are countless hybrids. Regardless, they are all recognizable by their leathery, shiny, dark evergreen leaves that remain through winter. The photos above demonstrate their diversity with three varieties!

For Most Varieties (there are new hybrids that stretch the limits):

  • Bloom: Mid to Late Spring
  • Exposure: Partial Sun to Shade
  • Growth: Up to 4 Feet (1.2 Meters) Tall and Wide
  • Zone: 4 to 8

Click thumbnail to view full-size
'Viburnum' Summer Snowflake Shrub'Viburnum' Summer Snowflake Branch'Viburnum' Summer Snowflake Flower'Viburnum' Summer Snowflake Flower (with centers open)'Viburnum' American Cranberry Branches  'Viburnum' American CranberryFlower'Viburnum' American Cranberry Berries'Viburnum' American Cranberry  Berries
'Viburnum' Summer Snowflake Shrub
'Viburnum' Summer Snowflake Shrub
'Viburnum' Summer Snowflake Branch
'Viburnum' Summer Snowflake Branch
'Viburnum' Summer Snowflake Flower
'Viburnum' Summer Snowflake Flower
'Viburnum' Summer Snowflake Flower (with centers open)
'Viburnum' Summer Snowflake Flower (with centers open)
'Viburnum' American Cranberry Branches
'Viburnum' American Cranberry Branches
 'Viburnum' American CranberryFlower
'Viburnum' American CranberryFlower
'Viburnum' American Cranberry Berries
'Viburnum' American Cranberry Berries
'Viburnum' American Cranberry  Berries
'Viburnum' American Cranberry Berries

5. Viburnum Shrub

There are many varieties of viburnum shrubs that grow in all US zones. Two of my favorites are the Snowball and Summer Snowflake varieties. Another favorite seems to be taking over the edges of woods in my Michigan region, proof that it's native to the northern regions of the U.S, The American Cranberry.

The gorgeous Summer Snowflake Viburnum (Viburnum plicatum) is a well known carefree variety with layers of blooming branches strung with multiple pure-white flowers on each branch; further enhancing the landscape with fall foliage becoming reddish purple.

  • Bloom: Mid to Late Spring
  • Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Growth: 6-10 Feet (1.8 - 3 Meters) Tall and Wide
  • Zone: 5-8

The American Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) is a cousin of the elderberry. Both are in the greater honeysuckle family and have a characteristic musky odor. Berries persist in winter as birds prefer them after they have fermented and softened. They taste sour but make great jams and syrups.

The American Cranberry goes by several names, including High Bush Cranberry, Mooserberry, Squashberry and more.

They grow naturally along forest edges in the Northern US Regions, but can be purchased at landscape nurseries.

  • Bloom: Mid to Late Spring
  • Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Growth: 12 feet (4 meters) with similar spread
  • Zone: 2 to 7

Click thumbnail to view full-size
'Reeves Bridal' Spirea Shrub'Reeves Bridal' Spirea Shrub Flowers'Reeves Bridal' Spirea Shrub Flowers'Reeves Bridal' Spirea Shrub Flowers and Leaves'Little Princess' Spirea Shrub'Little Princess' Spirea Flower
'Reeves Bridal' Spirea Shrub
'Reeves Bridal' Spirea Shrub
'Reeves Bridal' Spirea Shrub Flowers
'Reeves Bridal' Spirea Shrub Flowers
'Reeves Bridal' Spirea Shrub Flowers
'Reeves Bridal' Spirea Shrub Flowers
'Reeves Bridal' Spirea Shrub Flowers and Leaves
'Reeves Bridal' Spirea Shrub Flowers and Leaves
'Little Princess' Spirea Shrub
'Little Princess' Spirea Shrub
'Little Princess' Spirea Flower
'Little Princess' Spirea Flower

6. Spirea Shrub

Easy care and hardy, the Spirea shrub has gained popularity with their long-lasting blooms and various functions as mass plantings, borders to informal hedges. The new varieties have tidier growth habits and more vibrant foliage than the older traditional cultivars. Another bonus is they are deer resistant.

Spirea is a genus of about 80 to 100 species of shrubs in the family Rosaceae. I love the pink "Little Princess Spirea" (Spiraea japonica) and the fragrant "Reeves Bridal Spirea" (Spiraea cantoniensis 'Reeves') with it's dangling tiny white blooms absolutely covering the plant in spring. The leaves are tiny too and in warmer regions they can stay evergreen.

Spireas are native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere, with the greatest diversity in eastern Asia.

  • Bloom: Early to Late Spring (depending on zone)
  • Exposure: At least 6 Hours of Full Sun
  • Growth: 1-8 Feet (.3 - 2.5 Meters) with up to 6 Foot (1.8 Meters) Spread
  • Zone: 3-8

Red Twig Dogwood Shrub
Red Twig Dogwood Shrub
Red Twig Dogwood Winter Branches
Red Twig Dogwood Winter Branches
Red Twig Dogwood Flower
Red Twig Dogwood Flower

7. Red Twig Dogwood

Fiery red stems of the Red Twig Dogwood blaze out from winter's white snow. Not particularly showy in summer with creamy white, highly fragrant flowers which appear after the leaves sprout and later transform into green berries that change to white. Unfortunately, the birds go crazy for the berries, and so do deer.

Red twig dogwood is in the same Cornus genus as the infamous dogwood tree, but never grows to a tree. Red Twig Dogwood, also known as Red Osier Dogwood can become invasive because of the densely growing underground stems and rapid growth rate. They are the most widespread native USA species, occurring over most of the continent except for the southern Great Plains and the southeast.

  • Bloom: Early to Late Spring depending on the region
  • Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun (Make sure well water if full sun)
  • Growth: 5-9 Feet (1.5 - 2.7 Meters) Tall, Fast Growing
  • Zone: 2-8

Peony Flowers
Peony Flowers
Peony Flower Macro
Peony Flower Macro
Peony Flower Macro
Peony Flower Macro

8. Peony Shrub

With their attractive shiny leaves and huge ruffly blooms, peonies are a bride's choice and a photographers favorite subject. If a peony shrub (Paeonia lactiflora) is well situated and happy, it may bloom for 100 years or more with little or no attention. There are herbaceous varieties (award-winning 'Sarah Bernhardt' shown above) as well as the woody shrubs. Peonies are native to Asia, Europe, and Western North America.

Peonies are extremely fragrant and make excellent cut flowers.

Use peony rings or stakes to prevent heavy blooms from bowing to the ground.

  • Bloom: Mid to Late Spring
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Growth: 3 -4 Feet (.9 - 1.2 Meters) Tall
  • Zone: 3-8

Comments

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    • Fossillady profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathi 

      3 weeks ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Hey Linda, thanks for the visit. Glad you recognized some of the blooms growing near where you live!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You have shown and described some lovely plants. Some of them grow near my home. I always love seeing them in bloom. Thank you for sharing so many photos of beautiful plants as well as the useful information, Kathi.

    • Fossillady profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathi 

      3 weeks ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Oh my gosh, Ruby!!! Yes, it's been a long time. I'm not a regular anymore, but I have checked in on your hubs occasionally! That was fun taking you all to Woodstock . . . tee hee! So good to see you. I will head over to your hub for a visit! ♥

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      This is an outstanding hub. The shrubs and trees are very beautiful. I have many of them. I have two Magnolia trees that were beautiful in the Spring. Long time no see. I guess it was 10 years ago when we met on Hubpages. So good to see you again. I still remember when you took us places. ( Make believe ) We always had a ball.

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