9 Amazing Spring-Flavoured Shrubs and Trees

Spring bulbs are often used to announce the end of winter’s long, grey months. Instead, flowering trees and shrubs like dogwoods can be used to do this. These trees have many benefits beyond spring. Many varieties of flowers give way to berries that attract wild birds, and others offer beautiful autumn foliage. Multitaskers can be ornamental or edible and even bear edible fruit.

Criteria to be a Great Spring Tree/Shrub

A variety of virtues make a spring-blooming shrub or tree a good choice for your landscaping.

  • Showy blooms
  • Foliage interest, which includes multi-season colour
  • Beautiful branching patterns
  • Cold hardiness
  • Beauty and berry production
  • Maintenance is easy, with disease resistance

Some very popular spring-flowering shrubs (azaleas or rhododendrons (for example) aren’t included on the list as they aren’t particularly attractive once the spring bloom season has ended.

The shrubs and trees listed below can be divided into early and late bloomers. The early bloomers flower in April and the late bloomers bloom after spring has fully arrived (late April or early May). The best landscape design includes both early and late bloomers.

Although all listed plants should be grown in full sunlight, flowering dogwood can thrive in partial shade. Although most plants on this list can be considered low-maintenance, they should not be confused for no care. To protect your shrubs from the harsh winter, it is a good idea to winterize them.

Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida, Cornus kousa)

Dogwoods are the best spring bloomers. They offer a multitude of landscaping benefits. The horizontal branching of flowering dogwood trees adds visual interest throughout the year. The Cornus florida flowering dogwood trees and the Cornus Kousa Japanese dogwood trees are these standouts.

Two types of Cornus florida are very popular: ”Cherokee Chief” and ”Rubra. The ”Cherokee Chief” can reach a maximum height and spread of approximately 15 feet. Its springtime flower bracts are bright red and produce berries birds love to eat. The leaves turn bronze-red in autumn. The common name for ”Rubra is the pink flowering dogwood. It can grow to 15-30 cm tall and blooms from April through May.

Japanese dogwood trees are more resistant to disease than American dogwoods and bloom slightly later in spring.

USDA Growing Zones – 5-9

Colour Varieties: White to pink

Sun Exposure Full sun to partial shade

Soil Requirements: Medium-moisture, well-drained soil

”Donald Wyman’Wyman’ Crabapple (Malus ”Donald Wyman”)

Malus’ Malus’ Donald Wyman” is a disease-resistant crabapple. These flowering plants can grow up to 15 to 20 feet high with a 20-25 feet spread. In April, the pink buds turn into single white flowers. Although the flowers are fragrant, they don’t smell as nice as lilac bushes. The tree is a good choice for fall colour. Ornamental fruits can be harvested throughout the winter by wild birds.

This tree should not be pruned in spring. Open wounds are susceptible to fireblight. Prune in the winter.

  • USDA Growing Zones – 4-8
  • Colour Varieties: Pink, transitioning into white
  • Sun Exposure Full Sun
  • Soil Requirements: Acidic loam, well-drained

Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa)

The Chaenomeles speciosa “Cameo” is a particularly fine form of quince. This compact, spreading, apricot-coloured flowering bush is ideal for low borders or hedges. It is a thorny species. The mature height is 4-5 feet with a 3-4 feet spread. This shrub is loved for its double peach spring flowers, which arrive in March and April. Reddish-yellow quince berries are edible and ripen in autumn. They are often used to make preserves and jelly.

To prevent root suckers from spreading, it is important to trim them regularly.

  • USDA Growing Zones – 4-8
  • Colour Varieties – Pale red to scarlet
  • Sun Exposure Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Requirements: Medium-moisture, well-drained soil

Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana)

Star magnolia ( Magnolia Stellata) blooms before Saucer magnolia ( MagnoliaX soulangiana), but the saucer’s large cup-shaped, prized flowers appear in March make it a valuable tree. The flowers are soft and white inside, with rose-to-purple exteriors. The tree is 20-30 feet tall with a similar spread. Star magnolia grows to about 15 to 20 feet tall and has a slightly smaller spread.

Late spring frosts can damage the flowers, but they generally recover. Be aware of scale, cankers and fungal leaf spots.

  • USDA Growing Zones – 4-9
  • Colour Varieties – White and Purple
  • Sun Exposure Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil needs: Loam rich in acidic and well-drained soil

”Sunrise” Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia ”Sunrise”)

Sunrise reaches a mature height of only about 4-6 feet. This makes it smaller than other forsythia shrubs. Many gardeners believe spring wouldn’t be spring if it didn’t have the bright yellow flowers of forsythia that arrive in March and April. The shrub makes great hedges and boundary plants and makes good flowering stems.

This shrub should not be pruned until mid-July. Sunrise is an extremely cold-resistant plant and can be grown by zone 4 gardeners.

  • USDA Growing Zones 5-8
  • Color Varieties Bright yellow
  • Sun Exposure Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Needs: Loose, medium-moisture, well-drained soil

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis).

Redbuds bloom when their limbs begin to develop hairs, which are the beginning of the flowers. Eastern redbud trees can reach 20-30 feet with a similar spread. While other trees and shrubs can match the redbud tree streets blooms, few are as graceful. It isn’t highly valued, though the fall foliage is yellow.

Bright pinkish-purple flowers are produced by eastern redbud trees in April, depending on where they live. This is around the time that crabapples begin to bloom. Although they can tolerate shade, they bloom best in full sunlight.

If the tree begins to fall 3, it can become susceptible to many diseases and insect problems. Make sure to take care of your tree and address any problems quickly.

  • USDA Growing Zones – 4-8
  • Colour Varieties: Pinkish purple
  • Sun Exposure Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Requirements: Medium-moisture, well-drained soil

”Tor” Spirea (Spiraea betulifolia ”Tor”)

The best shrubs for autumn colour also include ”Tor” spirea. This spirea grows to about 3 feet in height and 3 feet in width. It is a dark green plant with reddish-brown leaves in the summer and autumn.

Mid- to late spring, ”Tor” spirea produces small white flowers in clusters. Goldflame and Gold Mound spireas also bloom late (they bear rose as well as Neon Flash”). They bear brightly coloured, golden leaves early in the season.

This shrub flowers on new wood, so it is best to prune in the late winter or early spring before new growth starts.

  • USDA Growing Zones – 4-8
  • Color Varieties White
  • Sun Exposure Full sun
  • Soil Requirements: Medium-moisture, well-drained soil

Variegated Weigela (Weigela florida ”Variegata”)

The Weigela is a classic favourite that rewards growers with a beautiful springtime flower show. The ”Variegata cultivar is an improvement. You can still enjoy it long after the flowers are gone. The shrub is compact and round and can reach 3 to 5 feet in height. It has a similar spread and green leaves bordered with creamy white. Its beautiful foliage is enough to make it worthwhile, but the pink blossoms add a special touch. They also attract hummingbirds. The plant is a prolific bloomer and produces flowers from late spring through August.

Weigela looks best when it is natural and un-pruned. However, if you have to trim it, do so in spring after the blooms are finished.

  • USDA Growing Zones – 4-8
  • Colour Varieties: Rose pink
  • Sun Exposure Full Sun
  • Soil Requirements: Medium-moisture, well-drained soil

Pussy Willow (Salix Discolor)

Pussywillows ( Salix discolour) are native American flowers and a popular choice for forcing. Pussy willow can be used in areas with poor drainage because it is a wetland species. Artificial irrigation is sometimes required in dry areas.

The soft-textured pussywillow flowers are catkins with soft textures resembling cats’ paw pads. The flowers are usually found from March through April. Stems can be cut to make dried arrangements. Only male plants have highly decorative catkins. Female catkins, on the other hand, are smaller and more attractive. Pussy willows, if kept well-trimmed, can be used to hedge.

To keep the plants in check, cut the plants down to the ground every three to 5 years.

  • USDA Growing Zones – 4-8
  • Colour Varieties: Grayish white
  • Sun Exposure Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Requirements: Well-drained, but not too damp soil


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