Blog Post By Jona Elwell

Bummed Winter is Hanging Around? These Early Bloomers are Sure to Brighten Your Mood (and Yard!)

Does winter wear on a bit long for your taste? Brighten up your day with plants and trees that bloom early, so you can get the earliest start on spring. All of these are available for little to no cost to you through our residential planting programs.

Silver bell (Halesia diptera)
Native to the southeastern United States, silver bell (Halesia diptera) is a lovely tree that produces small four-petaled white flowers that hang down in large numbers from the branches. Their thin leaves allow light to filter through, and create a lovely effect under the tree in summer. Grown in full sun or partial shade, silverbells will reach 30 feet in height in as many years and therefore are eligible for $50 back through our tree rebate program.

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
A local favorite found in forests, fields and yards – the redbud usually bloom in late February or March. Small, pinkish-purple flowers are produced in unbelievable profusion along the branches (and even on the trunk) before the leaves appear. A fast grower, redbuds can reach 15 – 25 feet in height in approximately 15 years. For this reason, it is often planted under power lines – a plus in a city like ours. Not only are redbuds available through our residential planting program RiverSmart Homes, you can also get up to $50 back for planting this tree yourself through our tree rebate program!

Saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana)
The Saucer magnolia is spectacular landscape show stopper because its flowers are so large. The stunning early spring blossoms have been said to open “like a thousand porcelain goblets,” and lush summertime leaves are dark green and leathery—adding nice contrast to silvery-gray bark. Long lived and reliable, Oriental magnolias grow 15 to 20 feet tall. Therefore, you can get $50 back for planting this magnolia (and many others!) yourself through our tree rebate program.

Hawthorn (Crataegus sp.)
The hawthorns are a splendid group of native trees (220 species native to North America alone!) that provide white spring blooms. Hawthorn has much lore and a variety of historical uses, including as traditional Mayday festivals in Northern Europe, as a medicine for high blood pressure and their fruit is traditionally to make jams and jellies. Don’t let the thorns on some of those Hawthorns scare you off. This tree has a rich cultural and ecological history, is a beautiful addition to any landscape, and it could even improve your health! And you guessed it – you can get $50 back for planting many species of tree yourself through our tree rebate program.

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