My Spring Flowering Trees

By Amy Grant | May 26, 2022
Image by Marina Krisenko
by Amy Grant
May 26, 2022

You know spring has sprung in the Inland Northwest when the otherwise barren hillsides turn gold with the advent of golden arrowleaf balsamroot. These sunny yellow blooms aren’t the only harbingers of spring however. 

Flowering Fruits

In my landscape, the first tree to bloom interestingly is the pear tree. Our pear tree is multi-grafted so each variety has a slightly different time frame, but generally the entire tree is in bloom by April. 

At about the same time as the pear, the crabapple bursts into hot pink bloom. The crabapple came with the house when we bought it. It is not my favorite tree. It is beautiful when in full bloom and the persistent red fruit is a nice ornamental addition that stays on the tree through the winter, but the mess the tree makes when that fruit drops! I mean really. Even the birds won’t eat the tart fruit likely because they contain amygdalin which breaks down into cyanide. Smart birds. 

Hot on the heels of the crabapple is our enormous cherry tree, which when done blooming carpets the entire yard in pink tinged “snow”. 

Last but certainly not least is our multi-grafted apple tree which sadly dropped the majority of its fruit last year… I think it was the 107 F days. I didn’t like them either, apple tree. 

Favorite Flowering Trees

Since moving to this side of Washington State from the west side, I have to say I miss the Camellias. Camellias are everywhere on the other side of the state. What we do have on the east side in spades are tons of lilacs. Hence the moniker of my lovely town, “the Lilac City”. 

Of course the lilacs bide their time. They won’t be in bloom until late May to early June. They’re worth the wait though, and although I don’t have any in my landscape it’s a quick trip to Manito Park to see the over 100 named cultivars from 23 different species!

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