Zone 7 flowering trees

Hardy Flowering Trees: Tips On Growing Ornamental Trees In Zone 7

USDA plant hardiness zone 7 is a great climate for growing a variety of hardy flowering trees. Most zone 7 ornamental trees produce vibrant blooms in spring or summer and many finish the season with bright autumn color. Some ornamental trees in zone 7 make songbirds very happy with clusters of red or purple berries. If you’re in the market for ornamental trees in zone 7, read on for a few ideas to get you started.

Hardy Flowering Trees

Selecting ornamental trees for zone 7 can be overwhelming, as there are literally tons that you could choose from. To make your selections easier, here are some of the more popular types of ornamental trees you may find suitable for this zone.

Crabapple (Malus spp.) – Pink, white or red flowers in spring, colorful fruit in summer, excellent color in shades of maroon, purple, gold, red, bronze or yellow in autumn.

Redbud (Cercis canadensis) – Pink or white flowers in spring, foliage turns golden-yellow in fall.

Flowering cherry (Prunus spp.) –Fragrant white or pink flowers in spring, bronze, red or gold foliage in autumn.

Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia spp.) – Pink, white, red or lavender blooms in summer and autumn; orange, red or yellow foliage in fall.

Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboretum) – Fragrant white blooms in summer, crimson foliage in fall.

Purple leaf plum (Prunus cerasifera) – Fragrant pink blooms in early spring, reddish berries in late summer.

Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) – White or pink blooms in spring, bright red berries in late summer and beyond, reddish-purple foliage in fall.

Lilac chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) – Fragrant violet-blue flowers in summer.

Chinese dogwood (Cornus kousa) – White or pink flowers in spring, red berries in late summer, reddish-purple foliage in fall.

Dwarf red buckeye/Firecracker plant (Aesculus pavia) – Bright red or orange-red flowers in late spring and early summer.

Fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) – Creamy white blooms in late spring followed by bluish-black berries and yellow foliage in autumn.

Saucer magnolia (Magnolia soulangeana) – Fragrant white blooms flushed with pink/purple in spring, colorful fruit in late summer, yellow foliage in autumn.

American holly (Ilex opaca) – Creamy white blooms in spring, bright orange or red berries in fall and winter, bright green evergreen foliage.

Zone 7 Deciduous Trees: Tips On Selecting Hardy Deciduous Trees For Zone 7

USDA planting zone 7 is a pretty good place to be when it comes to growing hardy deciduous trees. Summers are warm but not blazing hot. Winters are chilly but not frigid. The growing season is relatively long, at least in comparison to more northern climates. This means that selecting deciduous trees for zone 7 is easy, and gardeners can choose from a very long list of beautiful, commonly planted deciduous trees.

Zone 7 Deciduous Trees

Below are just some examples of zone 7 deciduous trees, including ornamental trees, small trees and suggestions for trees that provide fall color or summer shade. (Keep in mind that many of these hardy deciduous trees are suitable for more than one category.)

Ornamental

  • Weeping cherry (Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’)
  • Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)
  • Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa)
  • Crabapple (Malus)
  • Saucer magnolia (Magnolia soulangeana)
  • White dogwood (Cornus florida)
  • Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
  • Cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera)
  • Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana)
  • Serviceberry (Amelanchier)
  • Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica)
  • Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)
  • Golden chain (Laburnum x watereri)

Small Trees (Under 25 feet)

  • Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)
  • Fringe tree (Chionanthus)
  • Hornbeam/ironwood (Carpinius caroliniana)
  • Flowering almond (Prunus triloba)
  • Flowering quince (Chaenomeles)
  • Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia)
  • Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia)
  • Red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera syn. Cornus sericea)
  • Green hawthorn (Crataegus virdis)
  • Loquat (Eriobotyra japonica)

Fall Color

  • Sugar maple (Acer saccharum)
  • Dogwood (Cornus florida)
  • Smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria)
  • Sourwood (Oxydendrum)
  • European mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia)
  • Sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
  • Freeman maple (Acer x freemanii)
  • Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
  • Sumac (Rhus typhina)
  • Sweet birch (Betula lenta)
  • Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)
  • American beech (Fagus grandifolia)

Shade

  • Willow oak (Quercus phellos)
  • Thornless honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)
  • Tulip tree/yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipfera)
  • Sawtooth oak (Querus acuttisima)
  • Green vase zelkova (Zelkova serrata ‘Green Vase’)
  • River birch (Betula nigra)
  • Carolina silverbell (Halesia carolina)
  • Silver maple (Acer saccharinum)
  • Hybrid poplar (Populus x deltoids x Popular nigra)
  • Northern red oak (Quercus rubra)

Every gardener dreams of spring flowers during the dark days of winter, and looks forward eagerly to the first burst of spring color. Spring arrives at different times depending on where you live, but the sequence of blooms is similar in most places. With that in mind, watch for these favorites in your own garden or in the garden next door.

Spring Flower Options for Late Winter or Early Spring

While some gardeners can enjoy year-round blooms, this list has flowers for the very beginning of spring in most areas. Experienced gardeners often create vignettes in one area to make the most of this early color, such as planting a pool of winter aconite at the feet of a witch hazel.

  • Winter Aconite: Also known as Eranthis, these pale yellow blooms might be considered insignificant later in the year, but they are a joyous sight when they push through the snow.
  • Witch Hazel: These shrubs add a wonderful touch of yellow in the early spring garden. Some cultivars bloom red.
  • Crocus: The earliest varieties, such as Crocus chrysanthus, Crocus sieberi and Crocus tommasinianus, bloom through the snow. These are the small crocus that usually flower in shades of purple or yellow.
  • Hellebore: These are often known by common names such as Christmas Rose and Lenten Rose in areas with mild winters.
  • Camellia: This beautiful shrub has lovely blossoms in mild winter climates or early spring in slightly harsher areas.
  • Snowdrop: This is another early bulb that sometimes blooms even through the snow.
  • Chionodoxa: This is commonly called Glory of the Snow. These pale blue flowers bloom as the snow melts.
  • Pansy: Cool growers, pansies bloom early and hardy to frost and snow. The will continue to bloom until the weather turns hot.

Flowers for Early Spring Bloom

Early spring brings rain, mud, and more flowers. Look for these favorites.

  • Daffodil: The earliest narcissi appear in early spring, especially small cultivars like Tete-a-Tete.
  • Iris Reticulata: The large iris are a summer pleasure, but this small beauty is an early spring treasure.
  • Forsythia: This bright yellow shrub literally screams “Springtime!”
  • Scilla: These small bulbs produce wonderful blue and purple blossoms.
  • Anemone: The blanda species produces pale blue and white starry blossoms for the spring garden.
  • Pussy Willow: Salix discolor and Salix caprea were standards in many grandmothers’ gardens, but new varieties have larger and more strongly-colored catkins to delight today’s gardeners.

A List of Mid-Spring Flowers

  • Daffodil: These are the glory of the mid-spring blossoms. Large, late varieties like King Alfred and Mount Hood are brilliant even on rainy days.
  • Tulip: On everyone’s list of spring flowers, these are starting their long period of bloom in mid-spring.
  • Rhododendron and azaleas: Both are just starting their springtime display.
  • Muscari: Often planted with daffodils and tulips, muscari hug the ground beneath those taller flowers.
  • Redbud trees: Their branches are outlined with wonderful pink blooms before their leaves appear.
  • Dogwood trees: These are breathtaking in the spring garden.
  • Magnolia Tree: The star magnolia, Magnolia stellata, is the first to bloom.
  • Trillium: This is just one of the many wildflowers that bloom before the large trees are fully leafed out.
  • Ornamental forms of Cherry and Crabapple trees are beautiful in mid-spring.
  • Hyacinths: These spring flowers bring scent as well as color to the spring garden.
  • Primrose: Jewels in the spring garden, Primula veris (Cowslip) and Primula vulgare (Common primrose) are the best known, but you will find many varieties are available in garden centers.

Late Spring Flowers

  • Lily of the Valley: This highly fragant flower typically blooms in late spring, but it can bloom earlier in years with mild winters.
  • Magnolia Tree: Magnolia x soulangiana, the saucer magnolia, is a beautiful late spring bloomer.
  • Lilac: This shrub fills the late spring garden with scent and color.
  • Spiraea: These shrubs are an old-fashioned favorite.
  • Peonies: These shrubs carry the garden from late spring into summer.
  • Allium: Somewhat prosaically called the “flowering onion,” this bloom is spectacular.
  • Wood Anemone: Anemones are always lovely in the wilderness garden.
  • Jack in the Pulpit: This wildflower is a favorite in spring.

Visit Your Garden Center

There’s nothing like a visit to your local garden center in the springtime to find out what’s blooming in your region. You’re bound to find old favorites and perhaps a few types of flowers you’ve never seen before. As long as you can provide the growing condtions required, don’t hesitate to bring a new plant home and make it part of your own spring garden.

Scarlet Buckeye

Native. Aesculus pavia Scarlet Buckeye, firecracker plant, red buckeye 12′ -15′. A deciduous small tree. Shade tolerant, scarlet buckeye is the perfect pick for a shade garden or woodland edge. It is tolerant of damp and moist areas. Scarlet buckeye has large, showy red flowers in spring which are very attractive to hummingbirds. The large, unique foliage is shiny deep green with an unusual compound shape. A flowering tree native to Georgia.

Carolina Silverbell

Native. Halesia carolina Carolina Silverbell 30′ – 40′. Carolina Silverbell is a beautiful small to mid size tree with a rounded canopy and clusters of small, bell shaped flowers in spring. Blooms are pure white with delicate yellow stamens. Oblong leaves are a medium green and turn yellow in autumn. Carolina Silverbell can handle having wet feet and is a best pick for damp or wet spots in a landscape.

Chaste Tree ‘Shoal Creek’, ‘Delta Blues’

Vitex agnus-castus Chaste Tree ‘Shoal Creek’ and ‘Delta Blues’, summer lilac tree, lilac chaste tree, fast growing. Vitex Chaste tree is an attractive small tree which blooms in dense clusters of fragrant violet flowers. Flowering appears over an extended season during the summer months. Vitex chaste tree ‘Shoal Creek’ (12′ – 15′) develops a wide open canopy as it matures and has and aromatic gray green foliage. This plant thrives in our Georgia heat and makes an exceptional patio tree or can be perfect for a driveway row. Flowers are quite attractive to butterflies. Vitex chaste tree can be an alternative idea to crape myrtle.

Ornamental Cherry Trees

Ornamental Cherry can be an ideal choice for an ornamental, flowering tree for a front yard tree. There are several cultivars to pick from which vary in height and size, the one that is best suited for your landscape will depend upon space. Flower color is either pure white, pink, pr pinkish white. They are available in upright and weeping forms. See: Cherry Trees.

Crabapple ‘Prairiefire’

Crabapple is a beautiful front yard tree with bright pink flowers in early spring that will turn into small crabapple fruits in the fall. Birds will eat the crabapples and help you tidy up! New foliage on ‘Prairiefire’ crabapple is a red purple and will hold its color until summer, when it changes to a deep green with red tips. Bark is an attractive silver grey for year round interest. ‘Prairiefire’ crabapple is heat tolerant and does well in our Georgia summers.

Crapemyrtle

Crapemyrtle is a flowering tree which is a strong performer in a landscape design. The best pick for your yard will depend on size and which color is your personal favorite! In white, pinks, lavender purple and red, along with an assortment of heights, crape myrtle can be a versatile flowering front yard tree. Flowering occurs from mid summer to fall and the exfoliating bark provides winter interest. See: Crapemyrtle.

Dogwood Trees

Dogwoods are a classic southern tree for Georgia landscapes. They have a wonderful, uneven shape and overall gentle look. Large pink or white flowers in spring will turn to bright red fall berries for the birds. Fall colors are frequently deep red to maroon. Shade tolerant. See: Dogwood Trees.

American Fringe Tree

Native. Chionanthus virginicus American Fringe Tree, Old Man’s Beard, Grancy Gray Beard Deciduous Small Tree12′ – 30′. Shade tolerant – part shade. If you want something unique, Fringe tree is a best pick. This stunning small tree is an underused native for front yards! Flowers are very showy, covering the tree with tassel like white blooms. Fall foliage is a beautiful bright yellow. Females plants will produce large metallic blue berries in autumn that are attractive to birds. American Fringe Tree will offer multi season interests, making it a good pick for a front yard or when planted as a focal point.

Magnolia

Magnolia The south is know for its amazing magnolia trees and they can be a best pick for a home landscape. Cultivars can range from large 50′ shade tree sizes to narrow space, smaller varieties for small landscape plants. Large white flowers in summer, with a primary bloom early then sporadic flowering throughout the remainder of the season. Some varieties can be fragrant. See: Magnolias.

Mountain Gordlinia ‘Sweet Tea’

X Gordlinia grandiflora Mountain Gordlinia ‘Sweet Tea’ 30′. A hybrid that blends the best traits of Franklinia alatamaha Franklin tree and Loblolly Bay. Large white lowers are slightly cupped with bright yellow centers. Fall color is a rich orange and red. Mountain Gordlinia is semi-evergreen and prefers morning sun with shade later in the day to provide relief from the afternoon sun. Mountain Gordlinia ‘Sweet Tea’ is a must have plant for collectors. Mountain Gordlinia is the best alternative to the difficult to grow Franklin tree.

Ornamental Flowering Peach ‘Corinthian Pink’

Prunus persica Ornamental Flowering Peach ‘Corinthian Pink’ 20′ – 25′. At 10′ – 15′ wide ‘Corinthian Pink’ ornamental flowering peach tree is ideal for narrow spaces by a walkway or down a driveway. It may also be used in a front yard. In spring the bare branches of this ornamental Flowering Peach are full of double pink blossoms before foliage emerges. Leaves are a colorful reddish green with sharply serrated edges. A show stopper.

Ornamental Weeping Flowering Peach ‘Pink Cascade’

Prunus persica Ornamental Weeping Flowering Peach ‘Pink Cascade’. Weeping Peach ‘Pink Cascade’ is small sized ornamental peach tree that has double pink flowers in early spring. Blossoms appear along arching branches before foliage emerges. Foliage is a red-purple turning green as it matures. Weeping Peach ‘Pink Cascade’ is a great variety as a front yard focal point. The graceful shape offers a landscape winter interest.

Ornamental Flowering Plum

Flowering plum is an early spring blooming ornamental tree with unusual, purple red foliage. Flowers are a delicate pinkish white. Even after the flowers have passed, the coloring on an ornamental plum can add value to a landscape. Some cultivars can be used in narrow spaces.

Eastern Redbud

Native. Eastern Redbud in bloom is a sure sign of spring. One of the first flowers to emerge, the bright lavender pink color is always a welcomed sight at the end of winter. Tree sizes range according too the cultivar, some are even in dwarf weeping forms! All feature the large, heart shape leaves redbud is known for and leaf color can be green or red. See: Eastern Redbud.

Rose of Sharon ‘Raspberry Smoothie’

Hibiscus syriacus ‘Raspberry Smoothie’ Rose of Sharon .

Serviceberry

Native. Amelanchier arborea Serviceberry ‘Autumn Brilliance’, ‘Robin Hill’. Deciduous small tree 15′ – 25′. Serviceberry is an early flowering, large shrub or small tree with showy white flowers which bloom in drooping clusters. Serviceberry has outstanding fall color. Small, round mature to a dark purple black in early summer. The fruit may used in jelly, jams, or pie. Amelanchiers are also called Juneberries. Serviceberry is a best pick for a backyard bird garden.

American Yellowwood

Fragrant. Native. Cladrastis kentukea American Yellowwood deciduous small shade tree 30′ -50′. A handsome front yard tree with a round canopy and smooth, gray bark. American Yellowwood puts a spectacular display of wisteria like, foot long blooms droop from the branches. Flower color is white but can also take on a pink shade. These will develop into bean like pods which can remain into winter. American Yellowwood fall foliage is yellow or gold orange.

6 Small Trees For Small Yards

‘Velma’s Royal Delight’ crepe myrtle. Photo: Grateful Reader

One of the dumbest things that homeowners do is planting a tree without first determining how big that sucker’ll get. Before long, it’s hiding the windows, blocking the driveway, cracking the sidewalk, killing the lawn, and falling down during a storm and smashing the house. The following smaller trees will do none of these annoying things. Instead, they’ll beautify your yard, win compliments from neighbors, and make you fall to your knees in gratitude before Grumpy. (You may rise now.)

Small Tree #2 — Japanese Maple

Image zoom emJapanese maple. Photo: a href=

Small Tree #3 — Chaste Tree

Image zoom emChaste tree. Photo: Steve Bender/em

Few trees give you showy blue or purple flowers in summer. Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) is one. This is mine. I’ve had it for almost 20 years and it’s still less than 15 feet tall. I do prune it a lot in winter to remove the internal twigs and let the sculptural trunks show. It blooms on new growth, so winter pruning is good for it. Removing the first wave of flowers after they fade results in a second wave of blooms in August or September. Chaste tree is fully winter-hardy in USDA Zones 7-11 and may come back from the roots and still bloom in Zone 6.

Small Tree #4 — “Little Girl” Magnolias

Image zoom emMagnolia x ‘Ann.’ Photo: a href=

Breeders at the U.S. National Arboretum did Grumpy no favors when they named an outstanding group of compact, spring-blooming magnolias the “Little Girl Series.” Maybe they had no choice, seeing as how different members of the group are named ‘Ann,’ ‘Betty,’ ‘Jane,’ and ‘Susan,’ but I can’t imagine walking into a garden center and saying, “Can you show me some Little Girls?” without being arrested. Growing 10-15 tall, these hybrids put on a magnificent display of deep-pink to reddish-purple flowers late enough in spring that frosts seldom damages them. Then they open a few flowers off-and-on all summer. Grow them in USDA Zones 3-8.

Small Tree #5 — Fringe Tree

Image zoom emFringe tree. Photo: Steve Bender/em

Offering fleecy, white flowers in spring and bright yellow fall foliage, this lovely native tree makes a good substitute for flowering dogwood for people who can’t grow dogwoods. Also known as grancy graybeard, fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) grows about 15 feet tall and wide and is hardy in USDA Zones 4-9. In the South, it’s pest-free, but susceptibility to the emerald ash borer (it belongs to the ash family) should temper its use in the North and Midwest.

Small Tree #6 — Rose-of-Sharon

Image zoom Steve Bender

This old Southern favorite has come full circle. It was one of Grandma’s standby plants for weeks of colorful summer blooms. But nurseries back then mostly sold unnamed seedlings that could be weedy and gnarly looking. Today’s improved hybrids, on the other hand, feature better blooms over a longer period, more colors, fewer seeds, and nicer forms. Blooming on new growth, they reach 10-12 feet tall and adapt to USDA Zones 5-9. Grumpy recommends the following: ‘Ardens’ (double lilac-purple flowers, few seeds), ‘Blue Chiffon’ (blue with ruffled center,) ‘Blue Satin’ (blue with red center), ‘Blushing Bride’ (double white, few seeds), ‘Diana’ (large white, few seeds), and ‘Pink Giant’ (rose-pink with red center).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *