10 Spectacular Spring-Blooming Trees and Shrubs That Always Make a Statement

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Molten Lava crabapple blooms white and pink
Photo: Denny Schrock

As winter fades, these spring-flowering trees and shrubs seem to light up the landscape more than any other plant. Many of these woody plants burst into bloom before leaves start to grow, offering some of the first color of the season. Add a profusion of stunning spring blooms to your yard with these outstanding selections.

01 of 10

Eastern Redbud

Eastern redbud, Cercis canadensis
Denny Schrock

One of the earliest flowering trees to bloom in the spring, Eastern redbud is an easy-to-grow, small tree that is native to North America. Its tiny but numerous rosy pink flowers line the branches before the heart-shape leaves appear. It also has pretty yellow fall foliage.

Name: Cercis canadensis

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 30 feet tall

Zones: 4-9

Buy It: Eastern Redbud Tree with Pink Blossoms ($34, The Home Depot)

02 of 10

Southern Magnolia

Magnolia grandiflora
Mary Carolyn Pindar

Popular for its huge, creamy white fragrant spring flowers, Southern magnolia does everything in a big way. It has large, shiny, evergreen leaves, and can grow very tall. It bears cone-like fruit in the fall. Dwarf varieties are available and can even be grown in containers.

Name: Magnolia grandiflora

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 80 feet tall

Zones: 7-9

Buy It: Little Gem Southern Magnolia Tree ($55, The Home Depot)

03 of 10

Flowering Dogwood

Flowering Dogwood Cornus florida
Allen Rokach

One of the best trees for spring color, flowering dogwood has striking, horizontal branches that give this plant a graceful appearance year-round. Its eye-catching early-spring blooms can be white or pink. Its leaves turn reddish-purple in the fall, and it produces small, glossy red fruits.

Name: Cornus florida

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 30 feet tall

Zones: 5-9

04 of 10

Forsythia

Forsythia x intermedia 'Lynwood'
Bill Stites

You'll know that spring is just around the corner when you see the bright yellow flowers of forsythia. Its blooms emerge before the plant leafs out, making this beautiful shrub appear to glow in the spring sunshine. Plant forsythia as an informal hedge or in a border; either way its foliage will maintain its fresh green color until late fall, and some varieties such as 'Lynwood Gold' have purple fall foliage.

Name: Forsythia

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 2 feet tall

Zones: 5-8

05 of 10

Rhododendron and Azalea

rhododendron and azalea garden with statue
Greg Ryan

Although rhododendrons and azaleas share many characteristics, one difference between them is the shape of their flowers: Azaleas have funnel-shape blossoms, while rhododendrons have trumpet-shape flowers. Azaleas also have small leaves and profuse flowers scattered over the entire shrub. The leaves of rhododendrons are leathery, and the flowers are in large clusters at the ends of the stems. Don't forget to deadhead each cluster of flowers after the blooms fade.

Name: Rhododendron

Growing Conditions: Part shade to full shade and well-drained acidic soil

Size: To 6 feet tall

Zones: 4-8

Buy It: PJM Compact Rhododendron Shrub ($34, The Home Depot)

06 of 10

Flowering Crabapple

Molten Lava crabapple blooms white and pink
Denny Schrock

Flowering crabapples are small to mid-size trees that can grow in low mounds, or have upright, narrow, or weeping shapes. In spring, they're covered with fragrant white, pink, or red flowers, and produce tiny yellow, orange, or red fruit in fall. Look for newer varieties that are disease-resistant and hold their fruit into the winter.

Name: Malus

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 30 feet tall

Zones: 4-8

Buy It: Prairie Fire Flowering Crabapple Tree ($35, The Home Depot)

07 of 10

Lilac

Lilac Syringa ‘Virtual Violet’
Jacob Fox

One of the most popular spring-flowering shrubs, lilac is a true showstopper. Hundreds of lilac varieties are available, offering large clusters of purple, magenta, pink, blue, white, or yellow flowers. The fantastically fragrant blooms attract butterflies and hummingbirds in late spring.

Name: Syringa vulgaris

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 12 feet tall

Zones: 3-7

Buy It: Bloomerang Dark Purple Reblooming Lilac ($16, The Home Depot)

08 of 10

Viburnum

'Allegheny' Viburnum
Doug Hetherington

A wide selection of viburnum varieties offers clusters of white or delicate pink flowers throughout spring and into summer. Certain types such as Koreanspice viburnum (V. carlesii) offer fragrant flowers and most also boast fall color.

Name: Viburnum

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 16 feet tall

Zones: 2-8

Buy It: Summer Snowflake Viburnum Shrub ($32, The Home Depot)

09 of 10

Flowering Cherries

cherry blossom tree
Denny Schrock

The white or pink blossoms of flowering cherry trees are so showy, they can draw crowds like they do in Washington, D.C. every spring. In fall, these small to mid-size trees have festively colored leaves in shades of amber, orange, and red.

Name: Prunus

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 30 feet tall

Zones: 5-9

Buy It: Amanogawa Flowering Cherry Tree ($36, The Home Depot)

10 of 10

Dwarf Fothergilla

white Fothergilla flowers
Jerry Pavia

A compact native shrub, fothergilla can be tucked into a perennial border or a narrow foundation planting. It's prized for its bottlebrush-like spikes of fragrant white spring flowers and brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red fall foliage. You can even use it in a hedge with a little pruning.

Name: Fothergilla gardenii

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 3 feet tall

Zones: 5-8

Buy It: Legend of the Small Bottlebrush ($18, The Home Depot)

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