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7 Great Ornamental Trees to Plant in Your Yard

By: Deanna Wiegand on May 14th, 2015

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7 Great Ornamental Trees to Plant in Your Yard

Landscaping  |  Trees

Are you looking to add some ornamental trees to your yard or landscaping? When considering what to plant, the options can be overwhelming. We are going to discuss seven great options to consider adding to your outdoor space.


Cleveland Select PearOrnamental trees Cleveland Select Pear


This tree offers white spring blooms and glossy green leaves, which turn to a stunning red-orange color in the fall. It grows 25-35 feet tall and 15 feet wide, making it a great fit for narrow spaces. While it prefers a rich, well-draining soil it also does well in clay and poor soil types, which is typically not a good fit for deciduous trees. It needs full sun to thrive. After the first growing season, it should be well established and tolerate drought with little attention needed. Another great attribute of this tree is that there are very few pests and diseases that bother it. Overall, this is a great option for a low maintenance tree with lots of visual interest from spring through fall!




Ornamental trees Kousa Dogwood Kousa Dogwood


Another great tree to consider is the Kousa Dogwood. A small, deciduous flowering tree, this dogwood grows 15-30' tall starting with a vase shaped form but maturing to a more rounded form. It flowers in late spring with beautiful white petal-like flowers. Berry-like fruits follow the flowers and persist into fall. The leaves of this tree are oval and dark green and also provide good fall color! The kousa dogwood has better disease resistance and tolerance to cold than the flowering dogwood has. This is a great tree to add visual interest to your lawn and garden space.



Thundercloud PlumOrnamental trees Thundercloud Plum


This tree is commonly called a cherry plum. It has purple leaves and can grow 15-25' tall. It is a popular ornamental tree, due in part to the fact that the foliage has excellent color throughout the growing season if planted in an area with plenty of sun. It blooms in early spring with light pink flowers, followed by small edible berries and ruby red leaves which mature to a dark reddish-purple.




Ornamental trees Japanese MapleJapanese Maple


The Japanese Maple typically grows 20-33 feet tall with a rounded canopy. There are often multiple subtrunks as opposed to a single leader. They produce a bright red foliage in the spring which becomes a darker burgundy color in the summer. The leaves have an elegant almost finger-like shape to them. Dappled shade is ideal for this tree. Japanese Maples do not require a lot of care, just some light pruning as they mature.








Prairiefire CrabappleOrnamental trees Prairiefire Crabapple


The Prairiefire is a dense, rounded tree which typically grows 15-20' tall with a similar spread. It produces slightly fragrant pink-red flowers in the spring. The flowers are followed by masses of small red crabapples, which are attractive to birds. Purplish leaves emerge in the spring, mature to a dark green in the summer and then turn an orangish color in fall. This tree has a high disease resistance. It is excellent as a small flowering lawn tree or along streets. It does well on its own or in groups.




Ornamental trees Kwanzan CherryKwanzan Cherry


This tree has a double flowered bloom that is profuse and beautiful in the spring. It is considered one of the most ornamental flowering cherries. It can grow 25-30' tall and the same width, with a vase shape. The double flowers are a deep pink, each with 20-30 petals. The flowers are followed by dark green leaves. As the leaves are emerging they may be tinged with a bronze-red color. In fall they turn yellow to orange-bronze. This tree does not produce fruit. 




ShadblowOrnamental trees Shadblow Serviceberry


The Shadblow Serviceberry is a large shrub or small tree which grows 15-30' tall. It flowers in early spring with a showy 5-petaled white flowered clusters which are slightly fragrant. Flowers are followed by small round berries which start green, then turn red, and finally mature to a dark purplish black in early summer. The berries, which resemble blueberries, are edible and can be used in jams, jellies and pies. The leaves are a medium to dark green (1-3" long) and they turn an orange-red color in the fall. There are typically no serious insect or disease problems with this tree.



We have discussed seven great ornamental trees that can bring beauty to your yard and landscape. There are obviously many options out there, but hopefully this article has helped highlight a few great choices for you to consider.


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