Species of flowering trees are so numerous and diverse that it is best for interested landscapers to do a reasonable amount of planning prior to the initial planting. Consider spatial requirements: how large will the tree be when it matures? What kind of fruit will it produce? If the fruit is soft-bodied or prone to falling, will homeowners be able to handle the mess? Make careful selections here, as dark fruits may permanently stain patios, driveways, porches, and paths. Care must also be given to the types of birds and insects the potential fruit trees will attract. Certain species of flowering trees may be used to increase the population of local pollinators for a successful garden.
Homeowners should also be aware that at certain times of the year, the trees’ blossoms will be extraordinarily noticeable focal points in the landscape. Coordination with other plants’ blooming cycles is important here—it will allow attention to transition smoothly from the blossoms on the trees to the blossoms on ground-level plants. If maximum blossom impact is desirable, then DIY landscapers can research flowering trees and plants with similar blooming cycles. Deadheading ground-level flowers (deadheading being the practice of removing dead petals before seed production begins) will force the flowers into producing more blossoms over a longer period of time. This is not recommended for flowers that homeowners wish to save seeds from, however, as it often delays seed production until past the onset of winter.
Flowering trees, perhaps more than most plants used in landscaping design, encourage homeowners to think about creating a plant culture on their property. There are the obvious aesthetic concerns—the size, shape, color, and longevity of the trees’ blossoms will help in determining what kind of ground-level annuals and perennials homeowners choose to pair the trees with. With flowering trees, on the other hand, DIY landscapers should also research local pests to get a sense of potential infestation problems. Pairing flowering trees with certain varieties of native plants may help in reducing the incidence of disease and pest infestation. This is particularly helpful for homeowners who wish to grow soft fruits in their yards.
Growing conditions, especially for flowering trees that produce edible fruits, require a large daily quota of natural light. Sandy soils will hinder the trees’ absorption of water and nutrients, while soils with elevated clay content can deprive the trees’ roots of oxygen. Make sure that flowering trees have access to soil with adequate drainage and plenty of organic material. Also, homeowners should avoid planting flowering trees in the shadow of large buildings, as the diminished natural light can hinder their growth.
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