If you want to attract pollinators to your garden, and enjoy an abundance of visual interest in the spring, then adding a blossoming tree to your outside space is a wonderful way to go. To help you select the right specimen, here are 7 best trees for blossoming that can do well in UK gardens. Of course, this is a selective list, and somewhat based on personal preference. But looking at these options could be a good place to start when choosing blossoming trees for your own garden:
Crab Apple (Malus Rudolph/ Malus Evereste)
Crab apples are an excellent addition to consider for many UK gardens. Malus Rudolph is one wonderful variety to consider. The abundant blooms are a wonderfully bright cerise pink. Foliage on this trees is also attractive – starting out a deep red before softly changing to a deep, rich green. Another lovely ornamental crab apple to consider is Malus Evereste, a white blossoming tree which develops pink buds that bloom out into beautiful white flowers. This variety also has attractive crab apples of orangey hue later in the year, and can hold onto the fruits (if you do not make use of them) well after the first frosts.
Blossoming Cherry (Prunus Kanzan/ Prunus Shirotae)
Flowering cherry trees are also amongst the best known blossoming trees for UK gardens. There are plenty of different varieties to choose from, though the Japanese varieties, perhaps, could be said to be the most abundant in blossom. Prunus Kanzan has blowsy pink blooms, while Prunus Shirotae is a variety with brilliant white blooms.
Blossoming Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera)
Cherry plum, or purple-leafed plum, is a forefather of the modern cherry and plum trees that so many of us have in our gardens. This is a truly wonderful ornamental tree, which not only has attractive purple or pinkish foliage but also an abundance of beautiful pink blossom in the spring. There a number of different ornamental varietals of Prunus cerasifera to choose from.
Amelanchier (Amelanchier arborea/ or lamarkii)
Amelanchier are also great blossoming trees to consider. Juneberry, Amelanchier arborea, usually blossoms early in the spring. The trees are covered by small, pale pink buds which then unfurl into small off-white flowers. Another great thing about the ‘Robin Hill’ varietal of Amelanchier arborea is that it has vibrant red autumn colour as well. Another great tree both for its blossom and autumn colour is related species Amelanchier lamarkii.
Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata ‘Paul’s Scarlet/ Crataegus persimilis ‘Prunifolia’)
Several hawthorn varietals are also wonderful for spring blossom. While most hawthorns spring forth with abundant white blossoms, Crataegus laevigata ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ bursts forth with profuse bright pink blooms. Another great ornamental option in this plant species is Crataegus persimilis ‘Prunifolia’ – also known as broad-leafed cockspur thorn. It has attractive clusters of lovely creamy-white flowers, followed by red or black fruits, and autumn colours.
Blossoming Dogwood (Cornus kousa ‘John Slocock’)
These attractive trees, or large shrubs, are a great blossoming tree for smaller gardens. ‘John Slocock has a more upright habit than is typical of the species, and so is good for smaller spaces. It boasts tight clusters of small white flowers surrounded by four large creamy-white bracts that become blotched with pink over time. These flowers are then followed by deep pink fruits in strawberry-like clusters.
Blossoming Styrax Hemsleyanus
The Hemsley snowball, as it is sometimes known, is another great blossoming plant. It is a conical shaped deciduous tree which boasts nodding, bell-shaped white flowers in the spring or summer. Not only do the flowers look great, they are fragrant too, so this could be another lovely choice for your garden.
Of course, these options mentioned above are just some of the lovely blossoming trees that you could choose for your garden. Blossoming trees are a great choice – not only enhancing the look of your garden but also serving as a boon for pollinators and other wildlife.
Do you grow blossoming trees in your garden? Share your own success stories, and your favourite varietals in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.