If your property doesn’t have a flowering tree that bursts into spectacular beauty each spring, why not?
Level Green Landscaping designer Shelley Russell has a few beauties to recommend. But don’t let their stunning looks fool you — all her picks are “urban tough,” she says.
“Flowering trees are great for the color, the pop factor,” Russell says. “Curb appeal is especially important for a commercial property. They can really make your property stand out, especially if your buildings are gray and drab.”
Pink? Red? White? Can’t choose?
Here are the best flowering trees for Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.
Red Flowering Trees That Dazzle
‘Yuletide’ Camellias (Camellia sasanqua)
This beauty boasts red flowers with a golden yellow center. Their shiny, dark green foliage is evergreen, so it looks great all year.
It grows to 8-10 feet high and wide, so it’s perfect as either a large shrub or a smaller tree.
Yuletide is unique because it blooms fall through winter, so it adds color to the otherwise dull winter landscape in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.
'Ruby Falls’ Weeping Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
This redbud has all of the great attributes of a regular redbud, with the bonus of an elegant weeping form. This makes it an interesting focal tree or accent in the landscape.
Its red blooms appear in early spring, before the leaves emerge. The burgundy, heart-shaped leaves are a great contrast next to plants with golden foliage like Spirea ‘Goldmound.’
‘Cherokee Brave’ Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
The red flowers fade to white in the center. Don’t nibble its bright red suit — it’s not for humans. But birds love it.
Two things to note here: this tree is native to this area, a nice bonus. And it’s more drought resistant than most other flowering dogwoods.
‘Dynamite’ Crape Myrtle
The standout red flowers are the star of the show, but this crape myrtle also has intriguing peeling bark that makes it a landscape attraction.
Its fall foliage is a stunning vibrant orange-red.
Pretty Pink Flowering Trees
‘Tuscarora’ Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
Few trees are as drought tolerant and disease resistant as crape myrtles. Tuscarora crape myrtles have coral pink blooms all summer that add a splash of color to the landscape.
‘Rising Sun' Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Rising Sun redbud is a great flowering tree for Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. It has unique heart-shaped leaves that emerge an apricot yellow, then mature to a lime green in summer. Consider this beauty for in front of a brick building to add a pop of color.
‘Pink Chimes’ Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonicus)
Pink blooms put on a show in May and June. The drooping bell-shaped flower clusters cover the tree in spring. No significant insect or disease problems, which is a great plus.
Flowering Trees That Wow In White
Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
Flowering dogwoods have beautiful white spring blooms. Its branching form is also lovely, showcasing a tiered effect.
They’ve been known to suffer from a disease called anthracnose, but many are now disease resistant, including ‘Appalachian Spring.’ They prefer a little shade, so plant this where it gets morning sun and afternoon shade.
Sourwood (Oxydendron arboretum)
Bonus: this is a native tree to Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. Its fragrant white flowers appear in late spring and look like graceful white chains. It’s a great tree for wet areas — it doesn’t do well in drought. It offers stunning red foliage in the fall.
White Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus)
This small native tree is covered in fragrant, showy flowers in spring, which attract pollinators. Birds love to eat its berries in the fall.
Enjoy its golden yellow leaves in the fall. This is a great tree for a courtyard or other small space.
‘Autumn Brilliance’ Serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora)
A small native tree, it wows with showy blooms in the spring. It has excellent disease resistance and attracts birds, who love to eat the purplish-black berries it produces. The fall color is a stunning orange-red.
Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)
This native tree boasts fragrant, big creamy white blooms that appear in May and June. It’s happy in wet soil, so consider this one for a rain garden.
‘Natchez’ Crape Myrtle
Enjoy white blooms all summer long and intriguing, peeling cinnamon brown bark. Its fall color is an outstanding orange-red.
Lots of Crape Myrtles — But No Cherries?
Bonus points for you if you noticed that Russell has a crape myrtle recommendation in every color category.
“They’re drought tolerant, urban friendly, pest and disease resistant,” she says. And they boast a long bloom time.
Why no cherry trees on her list — in this area sort of famous for them?
“Cherry trees are so pretty, but I don’t plant them much because they’re higher maintenance,” Russell says. “They have a lot of problems with pests and diseases.”
Go ahead and enjoy D.C.’s famous cherry blossoms. But leave the high maintenance trees to somebody else.
Find The Best Flowering Trees With Level Green
When Shelley Russell recommends a tree, you know it’s a beauty.
Whether you need one perfect stunner to highlight a front entrance or a whole stand of flowering beauties for impact, let us set you up with the best flowering trees for your landscape.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers.
Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.
Contact us at 202-544-0968.
You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.
We’d love to hear from you.
Image sources: camellia sasanqua, weeping redbud, cornus florida, crape myrtle, lagerstroemia indica, eastern redbud, styrax japonicus, flowering dogwood, sourwood, chionanthus virginicus, amelanchier x grandiflora, sweetbay magnolia, natchez crape myrtle