Spring-Blooming Trees and Shrubs

By Natalie Boyack, Conservation Garden Park

One of the challenges that a lot of people face in their landscape is having something of interest in their yards for every season. Spring is often a season with lots of color, including spring bulbs and potted annuals. Shrubs and trees can be planted for their flowers and interesting leaf colors as well. Many shrubs and trees have beautiful flowers in the spring, and there are many that do well here in Utah. Here are some examples:


Nanking Cherry

This beautiful shrub is currently in bloom, showing off its fragrant white flowers. Its signature peeling bark has a red tint. Later in the summer it develops bright red tart berries, which are edible and birds love. It grows 6 to 10 feet tall by 6 to 15 feet wide.


This shrub puts on a brilliant show in the spring, displaying beautiful, bright, yellow flowers. With flowers that emerge before the leaves, Forsythia flowers are really pronounced. There are many different varieties that range in size from 3 to 6 feet tall and wide to 8 to 10 feet tall and wide. The leaves on this shrub are green and not really significant, but the show in the spring makes it a great addition to a landscape.


Ruby Falls Redbud

I love all the redbuds, but this one is a wonderful small weeping variety that stays 6 to 8 feet tall by 4 to 6 feet wide. It is covered in bright pink flowers in the spring before it leafs out. Its leaves emerge as a deep purple color, which then fade to a greenish-purple color through the summer. Redbuds, including this variety, have heart-shaped leaves. This variety does best in a more protected, sunny area.


These are great small trees for a couple of reasons. They have amazing red fall color and are often multi-trunked, creating a more natural feel. Ranging in height from 10 to 25 feet tall by 5 to 15 feet wide, they are suitable for many areas. They also produce purplish-black berries that look and taste somewhat like blueberries. Birds also like these berries and will likely be present in the late spring when the berries are ripe.

Pissard’s Cherry Plum

This beautiful tree stays on the smaller side and has beautiful light pink flowers that fade to white with age. It can produce small edible fruit in the summer. Another trait of this tree is that the leaves emerge as a dark purple and then gradually fade to purple-green through the summer. It flowers profusely and makes for a beautiful display of color during the spring and throughout the year with the purple tint to its leaves.

These are just some of the trees and shrubs that can be found when you come to visit Conservation Garden Park. Sign up for one of our waterwise trees and shrubs tours to see these and many more plants at https://conservationgardenpark.org/events.