How to Select Flowering Ornamental Trees


With a seemingly endless variety of flowering ornamental trees to choose from, the task of choosing the right combination for your landscape can seem daunting. The process can be easy if you follow a few simple guidelines and ask a lot of questions. The best way to select the right tree for the right location is to observe flowering trees in the landscape near your home over time to determine if they fit your site and individual tastes. A little research will go a long way toward filling your garden with perfect flowering trees.

Step 1

Observe flowering ornamental trees that grow and bloom well in your area. Keep a notebook and pen in your car or tote bag, and jot down notes when you see particular blooming trees you like. Make a note of the size, color, bloom time, duration of bloom and any other observations, including potential negative aspects of the tree. Take photos so that you can remember what the tree looked like in bloom. You can identify any unknown trees later by showing your photos to local nurserymen or master gardeners.

Step 2

Identify any undesirable characteristics of the ornamental trees you like. Be aware that some flowering trees drop large amounts of debris, such as spent flowers or seeds, which become messy or hazardous if placed near walkways or patios. Avoid planting thorny or weak-wooded species near high activity areas. Decide which trees are compatible with frequent traffic and those that are best observed from a distance.

Step 3

Research the growing conditions for each species you want to grow. Evaluate how closely the conditions of your site match and if the tree would thrive. Compose your landscape mostly of species you know will do well in your area.

Step 4

Find out how large each type of flowering ornamental tree you like will be at maturity. Decide which species best fit the space you have. Avoid planting trees too closely together by making sure you know their mature widths.

Step 5

Choose trees that bloom over a long season in colors you like. Try to stay with one or two main color palettes that go well with the other plants in your garden; for example, use a deep orange flowering royal poinciana tree behind orange or yellow potentilla for a warm to hot look. Plant a pastel-flowered crab apple tree near soft pink peonies and blue flax for a cool, muted look.

Things You'll Need

  • Notebook
  • Pen
  • Camera


  • University of Missouri: Selecting Landscape Plants: Flowering Trees
Keywords: choose ornamental trees, selecting flowering trees, flowering ornamental trees

About this Author

Malia Marin is a landscape designer and freelance writer, specializing in sustainable design, native landscapes and environmental education. She holds a Masters in landscape architecture, and her professional experience includes designing parks, trails and residential landscapes. Marin has written numerous articles, over the past ten years, about landscape design for local newspapers.