The Q&A Archives: small flowering trees

Question: I would like to put in some small flowering trees that have lots of small flowers in the spring and great leaf color in the fall. I would like for them to get no taller than 10-12 feet.

Answer: 10-12' is pretty small for a tree so you may want to reconsider and plant a large shrub instead; one that you can train to a single bare trunk. Lilac is a good example. Or, if you don't mind pruning, you can grow Bradford pear, crabapple, and ornamental cherry, pruning them back regularly to keep them in control. A real standout (but larger than 10-12') is the Franklin Tree (Franklinia alatamaha). Named for Benjamin Franklin, the Alatamaha River in Georgia is where it grew before its extinction from the wild. It was originally found along the Alatamaha and brought back to Philadelphia in 1765. The last verified sighting in the wild was 1803. Franklin Tree is one of the very few trees to bloom in late summer, with white cup-shaped flowers in August and September. Fall foliage is a dependable orange-red color, and with handsome gray bark this is another tree with four-season interest.

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