Blog Post By Jona Elwell

Late Blooming Trees to Spice Up Your Summer

We’ve talked about brightening up your spring with early bloomers, but the seemingly relentless heat and humidity of summer can also be a drag. How about bringing some color and variation with these late blooming trees that spice up your summer? PS, all of these are available for little to no cost to you through our residential planting programs!

Lagerstroemia Indica | Crape Myrtle

The hallmark of summer bloomers, Crape Myrtles are small, flowering trees that will provide shade when fully-grown. They bloom in early July and has wonderful, showy flowers (which we professed our love for in the DCist) that can range from white to deep purple. The Crape Myrtle tree also features fabulous fall leaf color, in hues of purple, red, orange and rust. After the leaves drop in winter, the bark peels and takes on nice shades of brown, cream, white and gray. Bring some beauty to your yard for the next summer when you let us help you plant it for free!  

Magnolia Grandiflora | Southern Magnolia

Unlike the small, delicate flowers of the Crape Myrtle, Southern Magnolia trees feature fewer flowers. What they lack in number, they make up for in looks – their incredibly large white flowers (that bloom into June) are striking against their waxy, evergreen leaves. The flowers of this tree are special in that they are pollinated by beetles and flies. In fact, the magnolias family history dates back further than most trees around today to a time before the well-adapted pollinators of today (bees, butterflies, etc.). Magnolia flowers do not provide nectar but rather entice beetles with a prolific amount of pollen as a food source. But beetles also find the flower petals themselves tasty, which is part of why the flowers have evolved to be so thick, so they can stand up to the munching of the beetles. This tree is available through our residential planting program, RiverSmart Homes. You can also get up to $100 back for planting this tree yourself through our tree rebate program.

Tilia americana | American Linden

Wait, a large shade tree on a list of flowering trees? You bet! The American linden, also known as “basswood,” is a stately shade tree with vertically ridged and gray bark, with quite long, overhanging limbs. In late June or early July, small, yellow clusters of delicate pea-shaped fruits hanging from wing-shaped bracts bloom at the tip of its branches  – a fragrant attraction for honeybees, eager to extract pollen for their production of sweet honey. It is also a deciduous tree, meaning that in just a few months its bold, heart-shaped leaf canopy will be ablaze with golden yellow foliage, eventually shedding its leaves for the winter months. This tree is available through our residential planting program, RiverSmart Homes. You can also get up to $100 back for planting this tree yourself through our tree rebate program.

Styphnolobium Japonicum | Japanese Pagoda Tree

Despite its name, the Japanese pagoda tree does not come from Japan. This ornamental tree is native to China, Korea and Vietnam. Keep your eyes and nose peeled for the Japanese pagoda’s white fragrant, pea like flowers which are arranged in loose clusters and bloom in late summer. The flowers give way to their easily identifiable slender, 1- to 6-seeded, knobby, bean-like pods that persist into winter.

 

 

 

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