5 Best Flowering Ornamental Trees For Minneapolis

In a typical front yard landscape design, there are some important concepts to keep in mind. You have to consider texture of the plants, times that the plants flower, heights of the plants, and even more. In this blog post, we’ll explore some options for a specimen or key plant as shown in the diagram before. We often plant a flowering ornamental tree as one or both of those places. Flowering ornamental tree give spectacular color in the spring when they flower, the summer when their leaves are green and full, and the fall when they give beautiful leaf color. 



Best Flowering Ornamental Trees for Minneapolis

#1 Serviceberry (native to MN)

For key corner trees in a landscape plant bed, you can’t find a tree better than the serviceberry. The combination of shape, height, and looks is unbeatable, especially when positioned off the corner of a house to frame the house correctly. They are known for their fantastic red/orange fall color. They also have beautiful white flowers in the spring. The trees hold berries after flowering that attract many types of birds. ‘Autumn brilliance’ is our preferred multi-stem variety. The ‘Spring flurry’ variety is better for the single stem growth type due to its strong central leader and taller canopy which makes it easier to mow around/under when planted in the lawn.  Both varieties have similar white flowers in springtime and great fall color.


‘autumn brilliance’ serviceberry


‘spring flurry’ serviceberry


#2 Ornamental Crab Trees

So many sizes/shapes and flower color options available. Fantastic flowering in spring.

Many new varieties are disease resistant and have persistent fruit (which means their berries are small and don’t fall to the ground’ making them far less messy. Attracts birds in fall/winter which eat the small crab apples. There are many other good ones out there to choose from. Here are our two favorites: ‘prairi-fire’ crab is disease resistant with persistent fruit and ‘sugar thyme’ crab has both of those traits as well.


‘sugar thyme’ crab


‘prairi-fire’ crab


#3 Redbud Tree (native to MN)

Amazing pink/fuchsia flowers in early spring that flower on the branches. The heart shaped leaves on these trees have nice buttery yellow fall color. Available in single stem and multi-stem growth types so there are lots of options for placements in landscapes. A Redbud does well in full sun to partial shade situations. 




#4 Magnolia Tree

One of the most spectacular flowering trees that will grow here. Large flowers with several color options available.. Many varieties available that offer different sizes to fit needs of your space. Many varieties are available in single-stem and multi-stem growth types. We consider these the best: ‘butterflies’, ‘Leonard Messel,’ and ‘Merrill.’ All 3 of these tree types are large enough to plant in large spaces and eventually mow beneath. There are many other varieties of magnolia trees with smaller grow habits that we consider more like large flowering shrubs than traditional trees when it comes to their usage in landscape spaces.


‘butterflies’ magnolia


‘Leonard Messel’ magnolia


‘merrill’ magnolia


#5 Japanese Tree Lilac

Fast growing with many varieties available offering different sizes/shapes. Available in single-stem and multi-stem growth types. Flowers in late spring early summer, while most other options listed above flower in early spring. They flower much better when planted in full sun




Hopefully that gives you some inspiration for all your flowering shade tree ideas in Minnesota. Just like you, we love seeing our landscapes come to life in the spring and fall with their beautiful colors. The landscape designers here at KG Landscape can help you achieve that unique, beautiful plant bed and yard that you’ve always wanted. Call us at our office or write into our quick quote to start the conversation.