Virginia is a wonderful place for tree lovers! The climate and terrain in our area provide the perfect conditions for many trees and local neighborhoods are showplaces for some of the most beautiful trees around. Which decorative trees are best for your yard? There are several that are native to our area that benefits bees and birds, and many of them add beauty to your landscape during the larger part of the year. Below are a few of our favorites:
The Eastern Redbud is a common native plant in our area, and many of us have seen them in April when the bare branches are coated with a sort of fuzzy purple coating of blossoms. This small tree is a lovely accent and a treat in early spring when they are often the first sign of spring.
In Virginia, we are lucky to be able to call this versatile ornamental our state tree. Cornus florida is the most common variety, with beautiful blossoms that appear each spring and red foliage and fruit in the fall. The fruit of the florida variety is not edible for humans, but it is a tasty treat for birds. The “Cherokee” variety sports gorgeous pink blossoms in the spring and is resistant to drought. Cornus kousa varieties feature beautiful, star-shaped flowers in the spring and produce a spiky, edible fruit in autumn that you can use to make jam, candy, and even a tasty liqueur.
These ubiquitous trees are not native to our area but they thrive in Virginia’s climate, making them a popular choice. Crape myrtles can grow in a shrub-like cluster or they can be pruned to create a dainty tree with a distinctive bark. Blossoms appear in mid to late summer, and leaves will show fall color depending on the variety. “Red Rocket” is often favored for its mold resistance, showy red blossoms, and attractive red fall foliage.
Magnolias are a favorite tree in the southern US and can be seen on some of the most prestigious historic properties in the area. Magnolia virginiana produces beautiful, creamy white blossoms with a unique, fresh fragrance in May and June. The Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) is more delicate with pretty flowers consisting of several slender petals. The Star Magnolia can be pruned to act like a tree or a shrub, making it a versatile ornamental in any landscape.
Kwanzan and Yoshino are both gorgeous, showy trees that look great lining driveways or streets. Both varieties boast wonderful, intricate blossoms in the spring. The Kwanzan is slightly smaller than the Yoshino, making it a popular choice in groups to produce an impressive display in the early part of spring.
This is just a sampling of the many beautiful decorative trees that do well in our area – there are literally thousands more, from small ornamentals to large, showy shade trees. Talk with your local nursery owner to find out which trees will work best for your landscape.
If you need a local arborist to help you care for your decorative trees and help them show their best, contact RW Morris today! Happy planting!