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Flowering Fruit Trees

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March 7, 2015
In the early spring flowering trees can have an incredible impact in the landscape. Let’s look at a couple of my favorites. Probably the flowering tree that most gardeners are familiar with is the Bradford pear. In the spring Bradford pears produce an incredible amount of flowers that makes the tree look like it is cloud floating in the landscape. The blooming is intense but short-lived; typically lasting about 7 to 10 days. On windy days it can appear to be snowing as the petals flutter down. The flowers are about 3/8” diameter with 5 white petals; a closer look reveals dark purple wispy anthers and stamens above the petals. The individual flowers are grouped in 3 inch clusters. When the trees are young they have a distinctive oval pyramidal shape and they broaden becoming almost fan shaped as they grow older. As the tree matures the bark becomes ridged and furrowed with a somewhat blocky appearance. Another nice flowering tree is Yoshino cherry, which is one of the celebrated cherry trees during the Washington DC Cherry Festival. The begin showing a pastel pink color and when fully open have a white to pink color palette. This tree has gorgeous bark that has horizontal stripes and prominent lenticels. The upright branching habit makes it an ideal choice for along walks and streets. Even though these trees are fruitless when it comes to pears and cherries, they can both be heavy producers of color and interest in your landscape. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

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