Flowering trees and shrubs are a gorgeous addition to a landscape design. Whether aiming for spring flowers, early-summer scents, or showy fruit and foliage in the fall, many species of flowering trees can help provide multi-season interest on your property. As a landscaping company, we love to use a variety of plants when executing tree planting on commercial landscaping projects as well as front or backyard landscaping for homeowners.
One of the great species of trees you should consider is Magnolia trees. These trees vary in bloom time, foliage, fruit, and flower characteristics and some offer aromatic features as well:
1. Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora): This medium to large tree keeps the majority of its enormous leaves year round. Its blooms are a beautiful off-white but only last for a short time in late spring. Be careful not to plant these trees too close to wires and structures because of their size. Although a beautiful choice for your landscape, this tree can pose a bit of a challenge with cleaning up its large leaves in the fall and winter.
2. Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata): This large deciduous shrub/small tree provides a beautiful display of spring flowers that resemble daisies, with primarily white colors but also come in cultivars with light pink blooms. This Magnolia can grow as round as it is tall, so be careful to give it enough room to mature. It will take some selective hand-pruning each year to keep it smaller, but people often underestimate its size that can resemble a small tree in its mature age.
3. Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia soulangeana): This deciduous Magnolia tree becomes very large and has an absolutely stunning display of pink to purple flowers in early spring before leaves show up. It’s most often a multi-stemmed tree, spreading to a large width. The blooms can create quite a mess, but most people feel it is worth the spectacular display of color in their landscapes before most of the surroundings display color. Just be very careful to give it plenty of room to grow.
4. Jane Magnolia (Magnolia lilliiflora): This deciduous shrub is a great choice when you need a smaller Magnolia species because it will rarely grow more than 10-15 ft. tall. It has gorgeous large pink to purple flowers in the spring emerge before its leaves. This plant will also tolerate hand pruning to reduce its size when done on a somewhat regular basis.
5. Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana): This often multi-stemmed, deciduous large shrub/small tree is a great choice to plant near a window you’ll get a breeze from. Its blooms give a sweet aroma in late spring/early summer, and the bloom time can last several weeks as flowers don’t always open all at once. People often underestimate how tall this plant will get, so consider that aspect when planning where it will be installed, because they don’t look the greatest if you attempt to top them.
Depending upon what species of Magnolia you select, there will be a few common considerations. None of these plants should be sheared, always use hand-pruning methods. Most times, they don’t have common disease problems, but they all can get a varying degree of scale insect feeding depending upon multiple factors. These insects can be easily managed by getting a tree service to spray trees and also perform systemic soil injections to reduce scale activity. For the most part, Magnolias are full-sun trees, but may tolerate some slightly shady conditions. Most Magnolias develop some sort of fruit in the fall, although these are not often long-displayed or a primary feature of the plant. The fall foliage color isn’t spectacular, but it can provide some fall interest as colors change.
Feel free to research these trees online. Look for all sorts of examples, both young and mature specimens. If you are considering hiring one of your local landscape contractors to plant trees on your property such as a Magnolia or others, we would love to talk to you to see how we may help you with your project.