Ornamental trees are generally defined as trees that reach a maximum height of 25 feet or less, and are grown primarily for their decorative value. There are plenty of reasons to choose an ornamental tree for a garden, and there are species to suit all tastes and environments.
Ornamental trees are ideal for city dwellers. The compact size of ornamental trees allows for greenery where a larger tree wouldn't ordinarily fit. Cities throughout the world frequently plant ornamental trees in small spaces between or in front of buildings in order to add a little nature into the urban landscape. With heights frequently under 25 feet, ornamental trees work well in gardens that are already pressed for space. Gardeners living in hurricane prone or windy areas will have less fear that their tree will fall over and seriously damage their homes.
Many ornamental trees are cultivated for their blooms, which signal the beginning of spring and add a much needed burst of color into the air. Popular species of flowering trees include Japanese cherry tree (Prunus serrulata), flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), flowering crabapple (Malus) and various species of hawthorne (Crataegus) trees. Flowering ornamental trees also attract wildlife such as birds, butterflies and bees.
Unlike many species of exotic, tropical ornamental plants that must be shipped at the risk of the buyer, ornamental tree species are widely available at local nurseries. Gardeners from almost any climate should have little trouble finding a species of ornamental tree well suited to their environment. Many species are quick growers and will establish themselves in new soil with just a little effort and care.