Gardeners looking for a spring-flowering tree that is cold hardy should strongly consider flowering almond (Prunus triloba var. multiplex). Capable of surviving cold northern winters, this tree fares well if planted in full sun and pruned annually. Pests and diseases may threaten the almond tree, however.
Grown for its flowers, this tree does not produce almonds. In the spring, the flowering almond develops light pink flowers with ruffled edges. Gardeners can choose from varieties that bear a single flower, then red fruit, or a double-flowering variety. Squirrels and other small critters eat the small red fruits.
Flowering almond trees top out at a height and spread of 15 feet. Smaller dwarf version of the tree are available that don't grow taller than 5 feet.
The flowering almond is not native to North America. This tree grows in hardiness zones 3B to 6 and can be found throughout the eastern and central North American states.
Flowering almond trees may contract powdery mildew, black knot or leaf spot fungus. Powdery mildew leaves white dots on leaves, while leaf spot gives leaves small red holes. Trees affected by black knot develop galls (or swollen tissue) on branches.
Aphids are attracted to the flowering almond, leaving a sticky slime on the tree's leaves. Scales and spider mites may infect the tree; they are generally too small to identify. Borers and tent caterpillars also damage the tree by feeding on leaves. These pests can be controlled with horticultural oil or fungicide.