Nurseries use the gardening term "hardy" to describe a variety of trees and plants in the landscape. Hardy means the plant's genetics allow survival in certain climate zones. Hardy in plant-speak means a tree is tough, disease resistant and can tolerate climate changes within moderation. Ornamental flowering trees produce foliage and flowers that must match acceptable planting requirements for that cultivar. Pairing a tree in the appropriate USDA hardiness zone helps solidify the planting in the landscape to produce beautiful blooms for many years.
Eastern redbud grows to a height of 30 feet and offers the garden enthusiast pink blooms in early spring. This tree grows masses of flowers before producing its signature heart-shaped leaves in the late spring. This tree performs well in native environments and tolerates drought conditions once established. Eastern redbud is deciduous and hardy in zones 4 to 9. Redbud produces the best flowers when planted in a full sun location, although the tree will tolerate partial sun planting conditions.
Crabapple trees produce abundant flowers as well as fruits to tempt the landscaper. Trees bloom from April to May for a period of one to two weeks. Crabapples provide beautiful additions to the landscape before blooms appear with attractive flower buds. Flower colors range from white to deep red, depending on the cultivar. This close relation to the apple tree produces fruit in the form of 2-inch apples in late summer. This treat provides plenty of snacks for wildlife and humans. Mature trees can reach a height of 25 feet and often feature slow growth. Flowering crabapples require full sun to produce abundant blooms and are hardy in zones 4 to 7.
Dogwood trees grace the landscape well before many flowering trees in the spring. Dogwood is prized for its ready-blooming ability and relatively small size. Mature trees can reach 25 feet in height and produce a beautiful, four-petal flower in the early spring. Flowering dogwoods thrive in zones 5 to 9 and prefer partial shade environments. After blooming, flowering dogwoods produce attractive foliage that adds appeal to the landscape throughout the growing season. This deciduous tree produces red fruit in the fall when tree leaves change color to a deep maroon. Flowering dogwoods provide a beautiful ornamental option in shade gardens or in areas close to buildings.