The blossoms, or flowers, of fruit trees mark the beginning of springtime weather. Stone-fruit trees, such as plum and cherry trees, produce blossoms with 5 petals that grow in clusters of 3 to 5 flowers, usually before the trees' leaves and fruit appear. Other blossom-producing trees include apple and almond trees. Tree blossoms are celebrated for their beauty and as a sign of the harvest to come.
All peach trees have pink blossoms. The blooming period for peach blossoms starts in early April, but most trees are in full bloom by mid- or late April. Peach blossoms are approximately 1 inch wide and grow alone or in pairs.
Peach trees are native to China, but were introduced to Western civilization during the time of Alexander the Great. European explorers brought peach trees to North America in the 17th century. The peach blossom is the official state flower of Delaware.
There are 2 types of cherry tree: sweet cherry and sour cherry. Sweet-cherry blossoms are usually pink, while sour cherries primarily have white blossoms. The blooming period for both types of cherry tree occurs in late March to early April. Sweet-cherry blossoms appear before sour-cherry blossoms.
Cherry trees were originally native to Europe and Asia, but were introduced to the Americas during European exploration. Cherry-tree blossoms are the marquis attraction of annual cherry-blossom festivals, including the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.
Native to the Middle East and South Asia, almond trees blossoms appear in mid-February and March, earlier than any other trees with blossoms. Although they are considered nuts, almonds are actually the tree's fruit. Almond blossoms are pale pink or white.
The University of Arizona's Department of Agriculture recommends pruning young almond trees to a vase shape after the blossoms bloom in order to enhance the flowers' growth. However, pruning before the blossoming period will stunt the growth of the blossoms.
Apple-tree blossoms bloom in April and May. All apple-tree blossoms are white with a tinge of pink near the flowers' bases. The coloration of apple-tree blossoms is the same for all apple varieties, including Granny Smith, McIntosh, Golden Delicious and Ida Red. Unlike other tree blossoms, apple blossoms sprout at the same time as the tree's leaves grow.
The apple blossom is Michigan's state flower.
In the spring, plum trees produce clusters of white blossoms. The blossoms of Old World plum trees – native to Europe and Asia – have clusters of 1 to 3 flowers, while New World plum trees – grown in North America – have 3 to 5 flowers in a cluster.
New World plum-tree varieties include Chickasaw plums, American plums, beach plums and Mexican plums. Italian plums and cherry plums are examples of Old World plum trees.
- University of Minnesota Extension; Stone Fruits for Minnesota Gardens; Doug Foulk, et al.
- University of Georgia; Peach Thinning; Gregory L. Reighard, et al.
- Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service; Growing Cherries in Indiana; Peter M. Hirst, et al.; September 2001
- University of Arizona; Almond Trees; August 2007
- Government of Michigan; Down at the Orchard the Apple Trees Bloom; Patricia Chargot
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Chickasaw Plum
Skip Davis has been writing professionally since 2005. His work has appeared in "Southern Literary Magazine," on various websites and in graphic panels at the Jackson Zoological Park in Jackson, Miss. Currently living in Southern California, Davis received his Bachelor of Arts in theater at Belhaven College.