Sweet Spring Blossoms

Springtime Flowering Trees in Mableton, GaJust like last year, Spring sprang early as indicated by the abundance of flowering trees we all have been enjoying for the past few weeks. It’s safe to say that Georgia has seen it’s last big freeze and, soon enough, we can enjoy our garden splendor. Hopefully, most of our early flowering garden plants survived the crazy weather we had late last month.

What better way to signal the end of winter than the bright pink, purple and white blossoms of our favorite landscape plants. I find it funny that this is the time of year I get many calls asking us to install this tree or that tree that someone coveted in someone else’s yard. Although there are many pretty spring blooming trees out there, such as Saucer Magnolias, Pears, Quince, etc, I specifically enjoy the flowering cherry trees. Notice that I did not name one variety. There are many different varieties of flowering cherry trees, often confused for each other, that are suited to our landscapes. Each has its own characteristics that set them apart so I thought it would be helpful to give you a guide in order of bloom time to help familiarize yourself with the differences.

Autumnalis Cherry Tree

Autumnalis Cherry Tree
Autumnalis Cherry says it all, these trees flower in fall, winter during warm spells, and early spring. They grows 20-40’ and are considered the most cold/heat stress tolerant of the bunch. They are ideal because of the multiple bloom, but can be more difficult to find in the trade. Personally, I find that they do not always bloom as profusely as the later blooming varieties, but with the fall bloom are worthy additions to the landscape.

Okame Cherry Tree

Okame Cherry TreeOkame Cherry has clear, rosy pink blooms in early spring that are mildly fragrant. They grow 15-30’ and have a longer flowering period than most cherries. This is my all time favorite cherry. I have one off the corner of my back patio and enjoy its blossoms year after year. I think that they have a brighter pink blossom, almost pepto bismol color, than the other varieties.

Yoshino Cherry Tree

Yoshino Cherry Tree
Yoshino Cherry is probably the most recognized flowering cherry tree in the home landscape. They have clusters of double, pale pink or white flowers in March/April and are slightly fragrant. Growing 30-40’, they are prized for an excellent floral display. You may have also seen Yoshino Cherry in a weeping form as well.

Kwanzan Cherry Tree

Kwanzan Cherry Tree
The last of the blooming cherry trees is the Kwanzan Cherry. It is probably the showiest of the bunch, with deep, double pink blossoms that occur in large clumps along the stem. It grows 25-30’, however its useful life is typically limited to 15-25 years.

With this primer I have provided, you should be able to go forth and populate your landscapes with lots and lots of cherry trees. The key is to plant several different varieties so that you can enjoy the lovely blossoms for weeks on end.

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