Winning Trees

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Winning trees, recommendations for the top three flowering trees. Winning trees must be hardy, attractive and of coarse, they must bloom well. There are many flowering trees that could have made the top three trees but they fell short on one issue or another. I looked at other things like growth rate, root systems and form. Here are my top three picks.

1) Eastern Red Bud

This tree has a very unusual and dramatic bloom. They are tiny pink moon shaped flowers that on their own do nothing. They open all along each branch and when the tree starts to age a bit the bloom is full and dense. It's a striking look from a distance, it's a different shade of pink and stands out among other flowering trees. The tree can be purchased in single stem and clump forms. The leaves are attractive as well, big rounded leaves providing a dense dark green canopy. The tree is quite hardy, able to withstand harsh winters. The growth rate is average for a tree that gets rather large. The only negative I found is the bloom can be stunted in spring if frost appears after the bloom begins to open.

2) Crabapple

This hardy tree made the top three due to the huge variety available. Crabapples have been around for years but growers are always producing new varieties creating healthier and more colorful choices. They come in just about any shape, size and color. Some also have an attractive red leaf, mostly the pink and red bloomers. Unfortunately these same varieties can also get fungus disease while the green leaved varieties do not. When they bloom it is spectacular. Typically every other year they have a huge major bloom engulfing the entire tree with color. The bloom can last for a while depending on the heat during the day. The only negatives, some can get fungus disease and some have rather large crabapples that fall on the ground and make a mess.

3) Amelachier a Service Berry

These clump form trees are one of the most attractive bloomers in early spring. They have a delicate appearance both in bloom and leaf. They bloom white but it is a very true white making them stand out. They eventually get berries that birds love. It's a medium to slow grower that grows in a nice controlled shape. The reason it made the list is for its fantastic fall color. This tree is one of the most attractive of all fall displays. The leaves turn a florescent orange first, then turn to deep orange and red. The only negative to this performer is possible fungus disease. I also want to mention the Mimosa tree for zones south of 5, this tree would be a top three if it were cold weather hardy. The tree has very unusual bloom and the leaves are attractive.

Having flowering trees is a great way to brighten any landscape. I also think that gardens can be enhanced by a flowering tree in the backdrop. These winning trees have proven to be hardy, beuatiful and low maintenance.

Winning trees are those that are hardy, have great bloom, good tree form and something extra like fall color. No single plant can better enhance a landscape than a flowering tree.