Sunday, March 25, 2012

More of What's Blooming Now: Trees

Alleghany Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis), just about ready to bloom, earlier in the week.

By the middle of the week, they were in full bloom, feeding all kinds of tiny pollinating insects.

Each flower, if pollinated, will transform into a small sweet berry by June.

Serviceberries make excellent substitutes for Bradford Pears in the landscape, and are especially lovely combined with Redbuds. The fruits are edible and resemble blueberries both in appearance and taste, however I gladly share mine with the birds.

Dogwoods (Cornus florida) are beginning to open now and should be peaking next week, if this weekends rain doesn't foul them up.

I love how the buds look like little presents to unwrap.

A Dogwood, backlit by the sun Friday morning.

Another favorite of the bees, our young "Prairie Fire" Crabapple was also beginning to bloom.

I did nothing to alter the color of this photo, the blossoms really were that bright in the rising sun on Friday morning. Normally I don't care for such gaudy color, but I really love this tree. As of Saturday afternoon, the flowers had faded to a nice soft medium pink thanks to the rain.

You may not recognize this one, give yourself extra credit points if you do!

These are the cute little flowers of a Sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum). Another favorite of mine, they also have excellent fall color and are a host plant for the Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly. Double extra credit if you knew that too!


  1. You captured these buds so full of expectation and just about ready to pop.

    I especially liked the sassafras buds. I've been trying for years to get some new ones established and have only a few successful sassafras saplings (say that fast) to show for all my efforts. I need to go check to see if there are buds on my little ones!

  2. Laurrie, Thanks! I wish you luck on your Sassafras, they're such a great, under-used tree. Ours were already here when we bought this house, we now have a nice little grove of several sizes since they make babies readily.

  3. A superb collection of good trees. I like that second picture of the dogwoods - I have never noticed that stage before. They do look like little presents.

  4. Thanks Ellen, I'd never noticed that stage before either, I think I just got lucky and was standing with the camera in the right place at the right time.

  5. Love the serviceberry photos! I thought of planting some in my Middle TN garden, but was told they only thrive further North.

    But yours seem to be doing great. Do you think they would do OK here too? And do you get any berries at all or do you let the birds have all of them?

  6. Aaron, Thanks! Personally, I think they'd do just fine in middle TN. I see them locally along the Appalachian trail, so they're definitely OK with this latitude. I have 2 varieties, Amelanchier laevis and A. canadensis. Laevis is taller and more tree-like, and canadensis is more of a suckering shrub/tree. The fruits are tasty, like really small blueberries, but we let the birds have them.