Summer and blooms go hand in hand. It's not just flowers and vegetables that bloom during the summer months. There are also a few summer flowering trees that bloom during the hottest season of the year. Learning about them will help you recognize what kinds of trees you see blooming as you're out and about, as well as inspire you to add a summer-blooming tree (or several!) to your landscape.
American basswood (Tilia Americana), also referred to as American linden or bee tree, is a large shade tree. This stately spring and summer bloomer typically reaches between 60 and 70 feet tall, but it can grow as high as 80 feet. It also has a wide spread. It produces fragrant yellow flowers starting in May and continuing through July. American basswoods are hardy in USDA Zones 2-8.
Even though people tend to associate apple blossoms with springtime, the late-season apple varieties (such as Pink Lady, Macoun, and Winesap) bloom during the summer. Apple trees (Malus domestica) spread as wide as they grow tall. Full-size apple trees grow to 20-25 feet tall, semi-dwarf ones reach between 12 and 15 feet, and dwarf varieties stand around 10 feet tall. Some apple trees grow best in USDA Zones 3-5, while others grow best in Zones 5 to 8.
Chaste trees (Vitex agnus-castus) start flowering in mid-June and continue through September. They produce three- to six-inch flower panicles in white, blue, pink, or purple. There are a number of different varieties that range greatly in size. Some are as short as three feet at maturity, while others grow to 20 feet. Chaste trees tend to be as wide as they are tall. These trees, which are often used as shrubs, are hardy in USDA Zones 7-9.
Crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) are popular landscaping trees that bloom profusely in a variety of colors. These long-flowering trees start blooming in mid-May or early June and keep going throughout the entire summer. Some crape myrtles have white blooms, while others have vibrant pink, red, or lavender flowers. They generally grow to between 15 to 25 feet tall and have a spread ranging from six to 15 feet. Crape myrtle trees are hardy in USDA Zones 7-10.
Franklin trees (Franklinia alatamaha) bloom in July and August. They produce fragrant white flowers that are about three inches wide. They typically grow to between 10 and 20 feet, but occasionally grow to reach a height of 30 feet tall. Franklin trees can be grown as small trees or shrubs. They are hardy in USDA Zones 5-8.
Japanese Pagoda Tree
Japanese pagodas (Styphnolobium japonicum), also referred to as scholar trees, typically grow to between and 25 and 50 feet in height, but they can grow even taller. These trees produce white flowers that look a lot like pea blossoms from July through September. The tree actually produces legume pods with peas inside in fall after the blossoms die back, but they are toxic and so should not be eaten. They are hardy in USDA Zones 4-7.
Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) trees, also referred to as silk trees, produce beautiful pink flowers during June and July. Mimosa trees can grow to reach between 20 and 40 feet in height with an equivalent spread. These trees are hardy in USDA Zones 6-9. Mimosas spread so prolifically that they are considered to be invasive, so exercise caution if you decide to plant one.
Oleanders (Nerium oleander) bloom from the beginning of summer until mid-autumn. They are small, bushy trees that are often used as shrubs in landscapes. They can reach a height of between eight and 12 feet tall and tend to spread as wide as they are tall. They produce clusters of flowers that can be pink, salmon, peach light yellow, or red. Oleanders are hardy in USDA Zones 8-10.
Smoketree (Cotinus coggygria) can be considered a small tree or a large shrub. It is sometimes referred to as smokebush. This plant has multiple stems and a bushy top. It typically reaches a height of between 10 and 15 feet and can achieve a spread of up to 12 feet. It bursts into bloom in June and continues producing pink flowers throughout the month of August. Smoketrees are hardy in USDA Zones 5-8.
Enjoy the Beauty of Summer Flowering Trees
Flowering trees are a joy to behold any time of the year. Fortunately, once spring blooming trees such as dogwood and cherry trees finish blooming, there are still some summer flowering trees to look forward to seeing. Take the time to look up when you're outdoors admiring the beauty of nature during the summer, as you just might catch a glimpse of flowers on a tree.