Trees are amazing. Flowers are amazing. Having flowering trees on your property is one of the best things you can do for your family, bringing joy throughout the year and boosting the curb appeal of your home.
Perhaps you’ve been considering planting a few flowering trees on your property for a long time, or perhaps the idea just struck you. Maybe the only thing that has prevented you from going to your local Portland arborist and asking to have a flowering tree planted was the intimidating thought of caring for the tree. The thought certainly can be daunting. Many trees, especially ones that produce flowers, require a good deal of care and can easily be lost if that care is not provided. There are, however, plenty of varieties of low maintenance flowering trees that can be cared for rather easily. Here are a few examples:
Magnolia trees are wonderful; their flowers can blossom in a wide variety of colors including white, pink, red, purple, and yellow. Magnolia is a very broad term, however, and some will fit your purposes better than others. The name “Magnolia” can extend to a very wide variety of tree species and hybrids. What most people think of when they think of magnolia is the Magnolia grandiflora, but a hybrid would be a better option when planting in the Oregon area. The Jane Magnolia is also a great choice; it is a hybrid that was developed to blossom in the late spring. Because of this, they avoid the frost damage that can plague other trees that bloom earlier. It is also an extremely hardy and adaptable tree, which makes it great if you are looking for a low maintenance option. It is also a relatively small tree, growing to only about 15 feet tall.
It will grow best in moist, well drained soils in full to partial sunlight. You can also consider planting a Sweetbay Magnolia, also called a Swamp Magnolia. It gets a bit bigger than the Jane Magnolia, growing to about 20 feet high. It survives best in hardiness zones 5 to 9; Portland generally falls in 8 or 9 so you’ll need a particularly hardy tree if you’re planting in or around the city. Not every variety of Magnolia tree can thrive in the conditions of Portland, as the tree was originally native to the South, but if you find a variety you like, it’s worth doing a bit of research.
Dogwood trees are among the most beautiful flowering trees anywhere, providing huge amounts of fragrant, blooming flowers. Another tree that is native to the southern United States, the Dogwood tree also has a wide variety of hybrids that may suit your purposes quite well.
These particular trees prefer partial shade, so if you have other, larger trees on your property, you can make use of them. They are very adaptable trees and can thrive in a variety of soil conditions. The soil should be a bit acidic for best results, but they can survive just fine in sandy or clay-heavy soils. Dogwood trees also provide berries that attract local birds and other wildlife, bringing another wonderful benefit to your property.
The most common flowering dogwood tree, one simply called the “flowering dogwood,” is cornus florida. It is also known as the pink dogwood, white dogwood, or red dogwood depending, on the flower that it produces. These trees can grow to about 25 feet tall. The kousa dogwood, also called the Japanese flowering dogwood, is another species that is adaptable and has low water requirements. The blooms on the kousa dogwood are white or pink and star-shaped.
The catalpa tree is most common in the midwest. Much bigger than the other trees on our list, the catalpa can grow to 70 feet tall and survives best in dry soils, but is another tree that is extremely adaptable. During the springtime, it blooms with beautiful creamy white flowers. They are very easy to grow although they do have a tendency to become invasive in certain areas. Another low maintenance tree, you should plant these in bright sunlight if you can. Although they will do well in many different conditions. They’re also very tough and can do well in a variety of temperatures.
Growing trees native to your area means a lot less work for you and your arborist. Since the trees are already adapted to your local conditions, they will not require a lot of work to maintain.
In the Portland area, there are a number of beautiful flowering trees that you can plant on your property for an appealing, but low-maintenance look. The Bitter Cherry is native to the Pacific Northwest and grows to a maximum of 50 feet in height. The higher the elevation, the smaller the tree. It produces fruit that attract birds and other wildlife to your area and survives best in sun or partial shade. Its flowers are small, white, and clustered and appear in late May through July. This tree is quite adaptable and can survive in multiple conditions.
The cascara buckthorn is another native tree that grows small flowers with greenish yellow petals. It grows to about 40 feet in height and can also adapt to a variety of different climate conditions. You should consult your local arborist to discuss what species of native trees can survive in the unique conditions found on your property.
Growing flowering trees doesn’t need to be a lot of work. Plenty of tree species are tough, hardy, and can thrive in many different climates. Just because they are low-maintenance, however, doesn’t mean they don’t require any care. You should consult a professional arborist, like us at Mr. Tree, on what trees are best for you and advice and tree shaping. After the tree has been planted, we can help you care for it by pruning it if necessary and keeping it free of pests and diseases.