Cold Hardy Flowering Trees: Growing Ornamental Trees In Zone 4

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By Jackie Carroll

Ornamental trees enhance your property while adding to the resale value. Why plant a plain tree when you can have one with flowers, brilliant fall foliage, ornamental fruit and other attractive features? This article offers ideas for planting ornamental trees in zone 4.

Ornamental Trees for Zone 4

Our suggested cold hardy flowering trees offer more than just spring flowers. The blossoms on these trees are followed by a shapely canopy of attractive green leaves in summer and either brilliant color or interesting fruit in fall. You won’t be disappointed when you plant one of these beauties.

Flowering Crabapple – As if the delicate beauty of crabapple blossoms aren’t enough, the blossoms are accompanied by a delightful fragrance that permeates the landscape. You can cut branch tips to bring the early spring color and fragrance indoors. The leaves turn yellow in the fall and the display isn’t always brilliant and showy, but just wait. The attractive fruit persists on the trees long after the leaves fall.

Maples – Known for their flashy fall colors, maple trees come in all sizes and shapes. Many have showy clusters of spring flowers as well. Hardy ornamental maple trees for zone 4 include these beauties:

  • Amur maples have fragrant, pale yellow spring flowers.
  • Tartarian maples feature clusters of greenish white flowers that appear just as the leaves begin to emerge.
  • Shantung maple, sometimes called painted maple, has yellowish white flowers but the real show stopper is the leaves that emerge purplish red in spring, changing to green in summer, and then red, orange and yellow in fall.

All three of these maple trees grow no more than 30 feet in height, the perfect size for an ornamental lawn tree.

Pagoda Dogwood – This pretty little beauty grows no more than 15 feet tall with graceful horizontal branches. It has cream-colored, six-inch spring flowers that bloom before the leaves emerge.

Japanese Lilac Tree – A small tree with a powerful impact, the Japanese lilac is loaded with blossoms and fragrance, although some people don’t find the fragrance as pleasant as the more familiar lilac shrub. The standard lilac tree grows to 30 feet and dwarfs grow to 15 feet.

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