Flowering trees can add curb appeal to your home and block, accent your style, freshen the air, make a home for small wildlife, and add a smile to your everyday. Unless you don’t have a green thumb or the time and patience to provide proper care for a difficult tree! Lucky for you there are options.
Option one: partner with a great arborist like Vernon Tree Service to plant and care for the tree. It’s a cheeky option, but one that serves to take all of the guesswork and any related labor out of the equation.
Option two: trust Vernon Tree Service to guide you to find the best, low maintenance flowering trees so that you can plant it and enjoy the blooms for years to come.
What makes a tree low maintenance? Very few trees can be considered “plant it and forget it”, but you should be able to come close to that with the right tree selection. To get started, you should have a few notes in mind regarding the placement of your tree. Will it get direct sun most of the day or a specific exposure? Are you set on a particular color, or flexible to find a bloom that is going to check each of the other boxes? Will you have a sprinkler system or will you be watering yourself? What kind of soil is already laid in your target tree spot? And, do you have any known allergies?
For your consideration, here are some of the best, low maintenance flowering trees:
Heaven Scent Magnolia
The name is simply inspired by the fragrant flowers that bloom from this tree averaging 20 feet tall. The blossoms are a deep pink at the base lightening to pale pink at the tip. It’s like nature’s ombre. These will thrive best in full sun to partial shade. Hopefully that describes the front of your home as these are too pretty to hide.
Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata)
Expect the Star Magnolia tree to be the star of your yard, as it will likely be one of the first to bloom in the spring. Smaller than some other magnolia varietals, the Star Magnolia reaches a height of 15-20 feet, with a similar spread. These beauties prefer full sun.
Ivory Chalice Magnolia
Yes, the magnolia comes in a number of varietals, many of which qualify as low maintenance. As implied by the name, this flowering tree produces a white bud, making it a great neutral to plant widely where it can reach full or partial sun, or a lovely accent to your brighter selections. These also grow taller, generally from 30-40 feet and a similar spread.
Purple-Leaf Sand Cherry
Add a great pop of color with the purple-leaf sand cherry, a shrub that can be trained to grow as a tree with the proper staking. Planting in full sun the purple-leaf sand cherry will grow slowly towards a full height between seven and 14 feet, reaching from seven to 10 feet spread with a budding light pink fragrant flower.
And the color gets an added boost seasonally as this flowering tree brings full bloom flower and reddish-purple leaves in spring, with purple leaves present all summer. As the season cools down you will have a higher boost of red making this a striking addition to your property.
Flowering tree pruning helps the balance, generate new growth and remove unwanted branches.
Eastern Redbud (Cercis Canadensis)
A small, multi-stemmed understory tree, this flowering tree can reach 20 to 30 feet with a 20- to 30-foot rounded crown. This unique tree offers a rainbow of colored flowers, starting in early spring when they bud as a reddish-purple and turn a rosy pink. The leaves come in after the flowers revealing a delightful heart shape. As the temperatures drop, the colors will shift to reveal a warm yellow. The Eastern Redbud can be a great flowering tree option for someone not wanting to limit their color palette.
Flowering Dogwood (Cornus Florida)
The dogwood can produce flowers of red, white or pink, each referred to as “red dogwood,” “white dogwood,” etc., as it reveals spring flowers. This flowering tree also has leaves that start green and turn a reddish-purple in the fall, and a red fruit that will not only feed small wildlife, but also winter songbirds. The flowering dogwood prefers full sun to partial shade and a moist, well-drained soil. Expect a flowering tree from the dogwood family to grow to about 25 feet tall, depending upon the climate, with a similar spread.
Japanese Flowering Crabapple
Japanese flowering crabapples can come in the form of a shrub as presented in low mounds or burst as small to midsized flowering trees growing high and narrow or weeping (hanging over). Like the dogwood, the Japanese Flowering Crabapple is covered in red, white or pink fragrant flowers in the springtime, and then fruit in the fall. In this case, they are small apples in red, yellow or orange. Wintertime will reveal shapely branches or if choosing a newer varietal, they may even hold their fruit long into the winter season.
Once you have your selected flowering tree, it’s time to plant! Whether you’re starting with a sapling or a full-grown container-grown, the general rule of thumb is to have pre-dug your hole twice as wide as the tree’s base, and slightly more shallow than the root base. Consult your arborist (or simply, the instructions that come with the tree) when planting. Mulch around the base of the tree to help it retain water – just be sure to never have mulch in direct contact with the tree’s trunk. You may also consider staking the tree to help it to grow upright if young or as it sets root in its new home; just be sure to go back and remove the stakes once it is settled.
New flowering trees will need to be watered regularly throughout the growing season. You can do this manually with a hose, through timed sprinklers or even a water bag hanging off the tree’s trunk is an effective time-saver.
Enjoy bringing this new color into your life for years to come!