Top Flowering Trees for Texas: Early Spring Bloomers

Spring is near! March 20th is the official first day and we can’t wait. However, our impatience is getting the better of us and we’re ready to see blooms earlier, rather than later. To ensure our own landscapes are some of the first to show color, we plant ornamental trees that are excellent early-spring bloomers. There are a number of small urban ornamental trees that are the perfect size for smaller landscapes, but still make a big impact.

Our favorite late winter, early spring flowering trees for the area are:

Mexican Plum Prunus mexicana This is one of our favorite blooming trees because not only is it a native, is one of the earliest bloomers. The abundant white flowers have an incredibly intense fragrance. If there is a Mexican plum in your neighborhood, your nose will know it!  The bark is dark, rough and peeling, which adds a rustic contrast in the landscape.

Texas Redbud Cercis canadensis var. texensis Even before the heart-shaped leaves begin to emerge on this Texas native, small deep rose-colored flowers open all along the branches for a very early spring show! Grows 15-20-ft tall with a slightly wider spread. Full sun to part shade. Adapts very well to our soil conditions.

Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum rufidulum Not only will you be thrilled at the lovely, delicate white blooms you’ll enjoy in spring, this small tree also gives a great show of foliage color through fall. It gets its name from the thin, deep orange-colored hairs that grow along the undersides of the leaves. Berries in summer and fall attract birds. Grows to 18’. Another Texas native, it’s tolerant of our dry summers. Full sun to part shade.

Saucer Magnolia Magnolia × soulangeana If you’re looking for larger flowers, saucer magnolia offers up deep rose, cup-shaped blooms in early spring, along with a soft fragrance.  We southerners will always have a soft spot for magnolias and the saucer variety offers a smaller, more colorful version of the large-growing classic we love. Grows 20-25-ft. Full sun to part shade.

As with all trees, plant in native soil in a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball. Apply organic root stimulator at planting time and water in well. Or, we can plant it for you! See our tree-planting guide here.