Connecticut Garden Journal: Dwarf Flowering Trees | Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Garden Journal: Dwarf Flowering Trees

Apr 4, 2019

There's nothing like a dwarf flowering tree in your yard. While shade trees are beautiful, they take years to get established. But dwarf flowering trees are instant eye candy. They bloom each year, not growing too large and unruly.

Crabapples and dogwoods are the most common dwarf flowering trees in Connecticut, but I'd like to suggest a few others that flower in spring or summer.

Redbud, or Cercis canadensis, is a very early flowering tree that pops out of the landscape. The flowers are neon pink and bloom before the leaves come out, making the color show even more striking. This native tree only grows 15 feet tall and just requires pruning to shape or remove low hanging limbs. There's a weeping form, too.

The fringe tree or Chionanthus virginicus grows 10 to 20 feet tall as a single trunk or multiple stemmed, native tree. It blooms a little later than redbuds, with fragrant, white flower clusters that look like an old man's beard. It also produces berries birds love.

Summer is often a quiet time for flowering trees, but not so for the Japanese tree lilac or Syringa reticulata. The tree lilac grows 20 feet tall in a vertical form, making it great in a narrow planting area. It flowers best in full sun. The cotton candy-like, ivory colored flowers bloom in early summer making it a feast for bees and butterflies, and a delight for people. It can tolerant dry soils and road salt, so it's a good street tree as well. There are even variegated varieties, such as Golden Eclipse with yellow edged leaves.