Ornamental flowering trees are used extensively in landscaping. Hybridizers have developed varieties that can be classified as "dwarf" because of their shorter heights. Many of these hybrids exhibit increased vigor and disease resistance than their non-hybrid relatives. Dwarf varieties of flowering ornamental trees are excellent for use in small urban lots because they take up less space than standard full-size varieties.
The variety Camelot (Malus 'Camzam') grows about 10 feet high with a rounded shape to its canopy of leaves. It produces flowers that are fuchsia on white and leaves that are dark green with a burgandy overcast. Small, numerous 3/8-inch fruits turn burgundy late in summer. It is a specimen tree used in urban landscapes. Plant all crab apples in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. Allow sufficient space for the tree's mature size when planting. Prune yearly in early spring to shape its canopy and remove dead or diseased branches, as well as those that crowd more desirable, mature branches. Although Camelot is a disease-resistant variety, a spraying schedule will keep apple diseases and chewing insects in check.
Hybrid varieties of star magnolia (Magnolia stellata hybridus) grow to about 10 to 15 feet high with an equal spread, which can also be grown as a large shrub. These hybrids have flowers in shades of purplish-red that bloom when the tree is still relatively young. Although the trees are hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8, the flower buds can be killed by late spring frosts or winter temperatures below minus 10 degrees F. Magnolias grow well in full sun or partial shade but perform best in partly sunny sites. They are adaptable to a wide range of soil types and stand up well to pollution. Provide with the equivalent of 1 inch of rainfall per week during the tree's first year after transplanting. Thereafter, supplemental watering will be needed only in times of extreme drought. Magnolias are not bothered by pests or diseases. Prune in spring to remove dead or diseased wood and to maintain its natural shape.
One of the most widely-planted ornamental flowering trees, hybrids of the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida hybridus) grow to a variety of heights. The cultivar Cloud 9 grows only about 15 feet high and spreads of about 20 feet. Cloud 9 blooms at a relatively young age. Plant dogwood trees of all varieties in partial shade--they dislike hot, sunny sites. Mulch to retain moisture and keep the soil cool. Dogwood prefers acidic, well-drained soil with a large amount of organic matter. To minimize damage to the trunk from lawnmowers, protect with a mulched, grass-free area around the trunk or plant it within a flower bed. Trunk damage creates an entry point for borers, to which dogwood is susceptible. Dogwood is hardy in USDA hardiness zone 5 through 9.