The Arboreal Bloom

Small flowering trees are a beautiful element in spring landscapes, cultivated and wild alike. Their peak blooming periods coincide with, or follow, the traditional flush of spring wildflowers and can be spectacular. Severe winter weather limits our species diversity, but the few that prosper are eagerly anticipated spring highlights.

The first species of note to appear in natural landscapes is Serviceberry, also called Shadbush, Juneberry or Amelanchier. In late June and early July, I’ll be competing with robins, catbirds and grouse for the small, blueberry-like fruits.

Serviceberry in full bloom, weeks beyond normal due to extended cold weather in late winter and early spring

Redbud flourishes in the wild a couple hundred miles to the south. Here, it performs fairly well at lower elevations in cultivated landscapes — when the flower buds don’t freeze.

Eastern Redbud, just beyond peak bloom (flowers generally develop before the leaves; 1 of 2)

The most prominent small, flowering tree in Central New York is, oddly, an introduced species: wild (domestic) apple. There are many varieties in the wild, differing slightly in form, flower color, fruit characteristics, etc. But, as a whole, the value added to our visual resources is immeasurable.

House Wren in a wild apple tree near its nest box

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

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4 thoughts on “The Arboreal Bloom

  1. Lovely flowers and soft green landscape. Spring has sprung for you Nick and thanks for sharing it. 🙂 I walked my dog in a snowstorm last Thursday and it may snow in the mountains tonight. Ah spring in the foothills of the Sierras. I will look at the flowers and dream of warmer days.

    • Thank you Alison! I really enjoyed your comments — except for the part where you said the “S” word. This is the time of year that I relate to the worries of farmers and their crops. The wild apple trees are in full bloom and we might have a killing frost tonight. Really hate to lose that crop! I was just out trying to get a shot of a catbird feeding on sumac fruit and had to get my winter coat out of storage. Keep shooting, no matter what. 🙂

  2. Very beautiful in your area. I love the horse in the field photo and when I go beck to PA and pass through central NY I always marvel at the beautiful scenery. It is not like that here where everything is so flat. The flowering trees just look prettier on that ride southeast. Surprised the apple is so prevalent. I will have to note that next visit through.

    • Thanks Donna. This is a nice area but I must admit, having spent my formative years in various parts of PA, mostly west of I 81, I miss the longer growing seasons and variety of plant life associated with them. Some of that is here, but the sweet spots are few and far between and I have to hunt them down!

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