Flowering Trees

Flowering trees, also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land trees. Flowering trees are seed-producing trees such as the Southern Magnolia tree and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of derived characteristics. These characteristics include notably flowers, endosperm within the seeds, and the production of fruits that contain the seeds.

The ancestors of Flowering trees diverged from gymnosperms around 245–202 million years ago, and the first Flowering trees known to exist are from 140 million years ago. They diversified enormously during the Lower Cretaceous and became widespread around 100 million years ago, but replaced conifers as the dominant trees only around 60–100 million years ago.

Seasonal information: As with any plant life, the key to success is to provide the conditions which your flowering tree most desires. To be sure, you will need to research the exact species of flowering tree for details, but as a rule of thumb, most flowering trees should be planted at least six weeks before winter and can be kept in well-lit areas.

Location: When adding flowering trees to your garden, plant groups of flowering trees in beds. Flowering trees look spectacular in the landscape when growing in clusters or groves, much more so than do isolated individual trees. And there are other advantages to groupings. For example, in poor soils, roots can grow freely through the entire amended bed. You can water and fertilize the entire group at the same time, and the problem of mowing or trimming around the trunks is eliminated, saving time and damage to the bark.

Planting instructions:  Dig the hole twice as wide, but no deeper than the root ball. Setting the ball on solid ground that has not been fluffed by tilling or shoveling will provide a firm foundation. If the soil underneath settles or shifts, the tree can sit too deep. Plant beneath your Flowering trees with ground covers if you don’t want a sea of mulch under them.

Watering: Watering should be followed depending on the Flowering trees you choose, but should usually increase watering routines in warmer climates and reduce them in winter or cooler climates.

Fertilization: You would not want to use a fertilizer containing such a high percentage of nitrogen on landscape Flowering trees because it would be very easy to burn them. You must also keep in mind that many lawn fertilizers contain broad leaf weed killers, and most Flowering trees have broad leaves. The fertilizer doesn’t know the difference, and it will damage or kill Flowering trees and shrubs. To encourage flower bud production, you can apply a fertilizer that contains a small percentage of nitrogen, a higher percentage of phosphorous, and a little potassium.

Weed Control: In addition to the watering and fertilizing, it is important to keep your Flowering trees weed-free, especially since weeds will steal moisture and nutrients. Keep your Flowering trees from becoming over populated by other plants and wildlife underneath.

Pests and Disease: Always monitor your flowering trees for signs of pests and disease. Due to their flowering nature, usual garden pests can infiltrate the flowers, leaves, and root system while looking for coveted nectar. Certain maples that flower are known to attract these more than others, and care should be taken to note which bugs and insects are resident in your garden. Flowering trees are also able to support many types of wildlife organically and only pests should be removed.

Pruning: Early spring bloomers set their flower buds the fall before. Pruning them early in the spring would mean losing some blossoms. Most of the time this is not what you want. However there are exceptions. It’s often easier to prune when you can see the shape of the plant, before the branches are masked by leaves. Trees and shrubs that are in need of a good shaping could sacrifice a few blooms to be invigorated by a spring pruning.

Pollination: If the plant is producing flowers, it is attracting an animal to pollinate. Wind pollinated plants use catkins or cones, not conspicuous flowers. Flowering timing for pollination is always tied to the time for fruit growth/seed maturation and efficient seed dispersal. Early pollination ensures more time for fruit maturation and dispersal before winter. Fruit must be mature before the migrant seed dispersal partner leaves the region. Bird dispersed fruit must be grown well before birds migrate and mammal dispersed fruit must be grown well before mammals hibernate.