Flowering trees in Utah must be able to adapt to a wide variety of conditions. Since Utah is a desert region, drought often prevails. In winter, plants are confronted with freezing temperatures that bring ice and snow. Summer temperatures can reach more than 100 degrees. The soil and water are usually alkaline.
Canada Red Chokecherry
The Canada Red Chokecherry, Prunus virginiana known as "Canada Red," will catch attention in the landscape with its dark red leaves and small white flowers. At maturity, it will be up to 20 feet tall.
Many gardens feature at least one crabapple, Malus spp. There are more than 200 varieties available offering a wide variety of colors according to the Utah State University Extension. These can be used as pollinators for apple trees.
The Eastern redbud, Cercis canadensis, is one of the first trees to bloom each year, producing pink blossoms before the heart-shaped leaves unfurl. Expect this tree to reach 20 to 30 feet tall.
For a splash of yellow in the garden, plant the Goldenrain tree, Koelreuteria paniculata. This member of the Sapindaceae, or Soapberry, family will grow to 30 feet tall and bloom in July.
Three species of hawthorn found in Utah are the Douglas hawthornm Crataegus douglasii; cockspur hawthorn, Crataegus crusgalli; and the Washington hawthorn, Crataegus phaenopyrum. These relatives of the rose will be 20 to 30 feet tall.
The horsechestnut, Aesculus hipposcastanum, produces cone-shaped clusters of white flowers each year. Plant them in a location that can support a tree that is 50 to 70 feet tall.
Idaho Flowering Locust
When looking for a tree with purple flowers, consider the Idaho Flowering Locust, Robinia x ambigua "Idaho." It will quickly reach 50 feet tall.
Japanese Tree Lilac
In May and June, the Japanese tree lilac, Syringa reticulata, starts producing flowers. It is especially suitable for Utah since it is pH tolerant.
Though the Kwanzan cherry, Prunus serrulata "Kwanzan," usually has a shorter life due to pests, it is still planted for the double-pink flowers that appear each spring.
The Northern Catalpa, Catalpa speciosa, is covered in white blossoms each spring. This tree also has large heart-shaped leaves and produces long bean-like pods.
Purple Leaf Plum
As with many species of Prunus, the purple Leaf plum, Prunus cerasifera, is short-lived due to insects and diseases. It is still planted for the striking purple-red leaves and white flowers. The plum fruits are the size of large cherries and are edible.
The smoke tree, Cotinus coggygria, can either be a large shrub or small tree. The leaves are purple or dark green. The name of the tree comes from the pink puffs of unpollinated flowers that form a wispy open cluster.