Zone 5 ornamental trees fall under the types that grow in colder environments with annual average temperatures ranging between -10 and – 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The beauty of having a home is the ability to personalize it to suit your style.

Zone 5 Ornamental Trees for Garden

Trees present a wonderful opportunity to beautify your outdoor spaces, and zone 5 flowering trees are a great option. This complete guide gives you a list of ornamental trees that do well in zone 5.

List of Zone 5 Ornamental Trees for Your Garden

1. Crabapples

Flowering crabapples (Malus) are a jewel in any landscape because of the varying visuals they offer depending on the season. In spring, the tree waves its green leaves that have white flower buds. Later, these blossom into radiant pink, white, and red flowers.

When fall sets in, the flowers are replaced with fruits that attract squirrels and birds. It’s worth noting that there are wide varieties of crabapple trees. For a small garden, it’s important to choose small varieties that are slow growing.

Keep in mind that a crabapple tree is different from an apple tree. An apple tree bears larger fruits than a crabapple.  

– Growing Conditions

Crabapples do well in full sun. Plant them in well-drained soil. These trees love plenty of organic matter to get all the vital nutrients they require for optimal growth. Growing these trees in part shade is a bad idea since they will produce fewer flowers and fruits, and they are highly susceptible to diseases.

Blooming Crabapples in Spring

– Care Tips

This flowering tree can give your landscape a lift, especially if you opt for insect and disease-resistant varieties.

You might have the time to provide the much-required attention and care, but dealing with pests and diseases is often daunting. Therefore, disease-resistant crabapples allow you to focus more on the usual care essentials like pruning, watering and fertilizing.

Newly planted crabapples can grow without fertilization. However, it’s important to water them frequently when they are actively growing. Mulching will help to ensure the soil is moist since it prevents water from evaporating.

For established flowering crabapples, they require minimal maintenance, and you only need to water them during prolonged periods of drought. Ensure they have enough mulch to keep the soil moist throughout the dry period.

2. Japanese Maple

Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) come with beautiful foliage that will add elegance to your landscape. There’s a certain aura of the Japanese maple that will always give you a reason to pause and reflect.

It’s a deciduous small tree that grows well in zones 5-8. Heat is a normal consideration, particularly in the south, since it affects the tree’s health. Similarly, heat has a major effect on the leaf color as it transforms the colors from red or purple-leaved to green in the summer.

– Growing Conditions

Plant these maples in the fall, as this is the best time for the trees to establish their roots while the rest of the plant is dormant. However, there are instances where the trees can also do well when planted in spring. You only need to confirm that frost won’t affect the newly planted varieties.

Red Leaves of Japanese Maple Tree

It’s also important to improve the soil’s quality by adding organic matter like compost. Mulching can help to retain the soil moisture when the plant is still young. For warmer areas, consider covering the bottom of the plant with stones such as large river pebbles or sandstone flags to keep the roots cool.

– Care Tips

The good thing about Japanese maples is that they are fairly adaptive. However, provide them with well-drained, partially acidic soils. We’ve mentioned previously that you should consider providing organic matter to hasten the plant’s growth.

The maples can grow in clay soil, but you should plant them slightly elevated to guard against disease and root rot. If you’re planting the maples in containers, confirm that you’ve planted the dwarf varieties.

Watering regularly when the maples are still young is important. After that, you can water them occasionally since the plants are drought resistant.

3. Japanese Lilac

The Japanese lilac tree (Syringa reticulata) is an interesting addition to your garden, especially if you’re fond of scented florals and birds. This Japanese tree lilac will attract songbirds to your garden. It’s the perfect tree to pair with other ornamental trees since they have a unique blooming schedule compared to other trees.

It flowers in early summer, a time when other spring bloomers have faded. Their varying blooming schedule ensures your garden maintains its vibrant appeal.

– Growing Conditions

Plant this tree lilac in late winter or early spring. You can plant it in late fall if you’re too late. For small trees, ensure you water them regularly until established. Thereafter, once a week will suffice. Fertilizing each spring is highly recommended before the bloom starts. To improve the soil’s moisture retention, mulch with organic matter.

Close View of Japanese Lilac

– Care Tips

Caring for the Japanese lilac is easy as it requires minimal pruning and it’s small enough to grow near a patio or a deck. This lilac doesn’t have an aggressive root system, which makes it safe to grow near driveways, walkways, patios, and septic lines. Plant this tree where it can get full sun. While it might survive under partial shade, it won’t produce many flowers.

As for the soil, ensure it’s well-drained and mix it with compost when planting. Adding compost helps to loosen the soil and allows for moisture flow. This is very important if you plant the Japanese lilac in clay-rich soils.

4. Eastern Redbud

You’ll fall in love with the eastern redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) the first time you set eyes on it. It belongs to the bean family. The eastern redbud is also called the Judas tree. Rumor has it that Judas used this type of tree after betraying Jesus.

However, it has other common names that bear cheerful connotations, such as the Mediterranean redbud and the love tree. There are plenty of reasons to love this tree and make it a member of your beautiful landscape.

– Growing Conditions

Early spring is the best timing for the eastern redbud. These ornamental beauties love well-drained soil and wouldn’t mind growing in partial shade. When growing it, ensure the root ball fits the ground and is even with the surface when you place the tree in its hole. Fill the hole with native soil and provide enough water.

Eastern Redbud Tree Blossoms

The eastern redbud will do well in various soil types. They are best grown in groups to give your landscape a colorful feel. With their horizontal branching patterns, they bring architectural interest to your garden.

– Care Tips

These trees can survive moderate dry spells since they do well in zones 4 to 9. If you plant them in full sun, ensure regular watering is provided. Keep the soil moist in the summer by applying a thin layer of mulch.

Maintain the redbud’s beauty and health by pruning as required to remove crowded branches, weak forks, and dead limbs. Consider pruning immediately after the trees flower or in late fall.

5. Weeping Cherry Tree

The Weeping cherry tree (Prunus pendula) is often adored for its pink flowers and the extraordinary form it maintains throughout the year.

Cherry trees make a good addition to any small garden thanks to their limited height and spread. The varieties that form umbrella-shaped branches are a perfect spot for children to make their playhouse.

These trees will bring a pink or white blossom in spring and can bear single or double flowers. The varieties with weeping branches are normally distinctive since they have huge, ovate, toothed foliage.

Buds and Flowers of Weeping Cherry Tree

– Growing Conditions

The weeping cherry tree creates a gorgeous focal point for any garden. For the best flowers, plant this tree in well-drained soil, under partial shade. Provide ample space to grow out. The best time to grow it is in autumn since the plant is dormant during this time. Keep the soil moist during the dry season and mulch annually.

– Care Tips

Keep the tree watered when it’s actively growing. Watering daily can help to ensure it establishes strong roots. After that, occasional watering will do. If possible, provide good garden loam soil since it helps improve drainage. Amend the soil as required to prevent root rot.

6. Flowering Dogwood

The flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) adapts well to the climate in the eastern half of the U.S. It’s one of the best zone 5 ornamental trees that will add beauty to your landscape all year long. While there are tons of other species in the Dogwood or Cornus genus, the flowering dogwood is a common type that most gardeners love.

Other common names for flowering dogwood are pink flowering dogwood or pink dogwood. It gets its name because the tree blooms pink, white or red flowers. During summer, it enriches your garden with its green foliage.

Flowering Dogwood in Garden

– Growing Conditions

Essentially, dogwood trees are understory trees, meaning they do well when sheltered or surrounded by other larger trees. This is a crucial consideration before you plant any dogwood tree in your garden.

Grow this tree where it gets partial shade, especially in hot regions. It’s possible to plant these trees under full sun, but it only works best if you provide enough water. But this can be somewhat stressful because the plants are easily susceptible to heat stress and dogwood borers.

– Care Tips

If you plant this dogwood under full sun, water frequently and mulch to keep the soil moist. Flowering dogwood will make you happy if you provide them with good drainage. They perform well in slightly acidic soils.

7. Pagoda Dogwood

Since we’re already talking about dogwoods and how they thrive well in shady areas, pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) is an excellent addition to your landscape.

This tree spreads out in symmetrical layers and produces yellowish-white flowers in late spring. In winter, these dogwoods produce black berries. The flowers take on different fall color shades, as you’ll find some in reddish-orange, reddish-purple or coppery colors.

Blooming Flowers of Pagoda Dogwood

– Growing Conditions

Pagoda dogwood is best suited for a woodland garden or grown as a specimen plant. Grow this tree when it’s dormant, particularly in late fall or early spring. When planting it as a container tree, ensure you use a large container with proper drainage. This dogwood thrives well in acidic soils, but neutral soil can also work.

– Care Tips

Plant this tree in a sunny location where it can get some shade in the afternoon. Amend the soil where necessary to improve its fertility and keep it moist by mulching.

When planted in an ideal location, pagoda dogwood requires little care. Water occasionally if you live in an area that doesn’t get regular precipitation in the summer.

8. Carolina Silverbell

Carolina silverbell (Halesia carolina) is a large shrub or a deciduous tree that blooms bell-shaped flowers in spring. It grows well in USDA zones 4 to 8 and will fill your garden will white flowers from April to May.

– Growing Conditions

Carolina silverbell is an easygoing tree and will do well as long as you provide optimal soil conditions. It thrives in acidic and well-drained soils.

Beautiful White Flowers of Carolina Silverbell

You can amend the soil to increase its acidity by adding sulfur, aluminum sulfate or sphagnum peat moss. With the right growing conditions, Halesia carolina will appeal to you throughout the year.

– Care Tips

Besides providing the plant with acidic soils, this tree will enliven your landscape when provided with ample sunlight. Like other shade trees, plant this tree where it can get partial shade in the hot afternoon. It can tolerate full sun, but it works best under partial shade. Aim to provide it with about six hours of sun every day.

9. Saucer Magnolia

Saucer magnolia is a small flowering tree that thrives in zone 4 to 9. It’s commonly known as the Chinese magnolia or tulip magnolia. This tree is a product of crossbreeding Magnolia denudata and Magnolia liliflora.

– Growing Conditions

Saucer magnolia performs well in slightly acidic, well-drained soils. It does well in full sunlight to part shade.

Saucer Magnolia Flowers Blooming

Provide it with fertile soil and keep the soil moist. You can plant these small flowering trees next to your home since their roots don’t grow aggressively.

– Care Tips

Prune often to keep the plant in shape. Get rid of broken or diseased branches to keep the plant healthy. During the first few months of planting, provide enough water to allow the tree to establish its roots.

10. Chaste Tree

The chaste tree is a nice pick if you’re not that into fruit trees but would still want fast-growing flowering trees in your garden. Also known as Vitex, this tree flowers in late spring and maintains its beautiful purple flowers until early fall.

– Growing Conditions

Plant vitex in early spring to give it enough time to develop its roots before it becomes dormant in winter.

Blooming Flowers of Chaste Tree

This tree will give you a smooth time growing it as long as you avoid waterlogged and dense soil. The only issue with the chaste tree is that it can get aggressive and invasive, which might require frequent pruning to keep it neat.

– Care Tips

The chaste tree will enjoy growing in full sun. However, it can still thrive in part shade, but this might prevent it from producing bright flowers. As for the soil, provide it with slightly acidic to alkaline soil.

11. Golden Chain Tree

The stunning beauty of yellow flowers in your garden should make you not think twice about planting the golden chain tree in your landscape. Also called Waterer laburnum or bean tree, the chain tree beautifies your surroundings with its brilliant colors.

– Growing Conditions

Unfortunately, the golden chain tree is rarely planted by gardeners because it’s quite fussy about its growing conditions, but its beauty should lure you into giving it a try.

Golden Chain Tree Blossoms

Plant this tree in a spot where it gets full sun. In warmer regions, choose a spot with partial shade. Water infrequently since it’s drought tolerant.

– Care Tips

The golden chain tree prefers moist soil types. Provide good drainage to prevent waterlogging. Amend your soil to improve its pH and add organic matter to enhance its growth.

12. Seven-sons Tree

The seven-sons tree (Heptacodium miconioides) is native to China and is a family of small trees. It produces small, white flowers from late summer to early fall. You’ll want to grow this tree in your garden since it’s not invasive and requires little care.

White Flowers in Seven Sons Tree

– Growing Conditions

Heptacodium miconioides won’t have any issues if you live in USDA zones 5 to 9. While it tolerates part shade, it’s recommended to plant it in full sun. The tree is also highly adaptable to various soil conditions.

– Care Tips

Caring for the seven-sons is minimal as long as you provide them with the right soil conditions. Just keep the soil moist and water during prolonged droughts.

13. Star Magnolia 

The beauty of the star magnolia (magnolia stellata) will always signal that it’s spring. Its colorful white flowers normally bloom in early spring. This makes this tree an interesting addition to your garden to make the most of its beautiful colors.

Flowers and Buds in Star Magnolia Tree

– Growing Conditions

Magnolia stellata will do well in USDA zones 5 to 8. The tree thrives in slightly acidic, well-drained soils. Ensure you provide enough space for the tree to spread out.

– Care Tips

It’s easy to care for the star magnolia once it establishes its roots. Consider covering the soil with mulch to prevent evaporation.

14. Crepe Myrtle

Southern gardeners will always want to grow crepe myrtle in their landscapes because of its long-lasting summer blooms. Like other shrubs, crepe myrtle requires little attention to survive.

Pink Flowers of Crepe Myrtle Tree

– Growing Conditions

Plant the crepe myrtle in a spot where it can get full sun. It prefers rich soil to get the nutrients required to grow and produce vibrant flowers. While it can adapt to most soils, ensure it isn’t soggy.

– Care Tips

Crepe myrtle is susceptible to powdery mildew and sooty mold. As a result, this might require organic spray to keep it healthy.


Generally, zone 5 ornamental trees are easy to grow and are an exciting addition to your garden.

If you’re planting these trees for the first time, here’s a quick overview of what you should know about these trees:

  • Plant these ornamental trees in full or part sun.
  • Provide the trees with well-drained soils.
  • Amend soil where necessary by adding organic matter to keep the trees happy and healthy.
  • Water occasionally during prolonged periods of drought.

Most gardeners adore ornamental trees for all the right reasons. With this list of 14 flowering trees, we’d love to know which ones you want to plant in your garden!

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