What is: Ornamental Trees

Ornamental trees are a popular choice for landscaping and adding beauty to outdoor spaces. These trees are specifically selected for their aesthetic appeal, with features such as colorful foliage, unique bark patterns, or attractive flowers. They are often used as focal points in gardens, parks, and other public spaces, as well as in residential landscapes. In this article, we will explore the characteristics, benefits, and popular varieties of ornamental trees.

Characteristics of Ornamental Trees

Ornamental trees come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors, making them versatile options for various landscaping needs. They can be deciduous, meaning they shed their leaves in the fall, or evergreen, retaining their foliage year-round. The foliage of ornamental trees can vary from vibrant shades of green to variegated patterns with multiple colors. Some varieties also produce showy flowers, adding an extra layer of visual interest.

One of the key characteristics of ornamental trees is their ability to enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of a space. They can provide shade, privacy, and create a sense of tranquility. Additionally, many ornamental trees have interesting bark patterns or textures, which add visual and tactile interest to the landscape.

Benefits of Ornamental Trees

There are several benefits to incorporating ornamental trees into your landscape design. Firstly, they can increase property value by improving the overall curb appeal of your home or business. Well-placed ornamental trees can create a welcoming and visually appealing entrance, making a positive first impression on visitors or potential buyers.

Ornamental trees also provide environmental benefits. They can help to reduce air pollution by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Additionally, they provide shade, which can help to lower energy costs by reducing the need for air conditioning during hot summer months. The shade provided by ornamental trees can also create a more comfortable outdoor living space.

Popular Varieties of Ornamental Trees

There are countless varieties of ornamental trees to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics and requirements. Some popular choices include:

1. Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum): Known for its stunning foliage colors, the Japanese Maple is a small to medium-sized tree that adds a touch of elegance to any landscape.

2. Dogwood (Cornus florida): This tree is famous for its showy spring flowers and vibrant fall foliage. It is a great choice for adding color and interest to your garden.

3. Magnolia (Magnolia spp.): Magnolias are known for their large, fragrant flowers that bloom in early spring. They are often used as focal points in gardens due to their striking beauty.

4. Cherry Blossom (Prunus serrulata): These trees are famous for their delicate pink or white flowers that bloom in the spring. They are a symbol of beauty and are often associated with Japanese culture.

5. Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica): Crape Myrtles are known for their long-lasting summer blooms in shades of pink, purple, or white. They are also prized for their attractive bark.

6. Redbud (Cercis canadensis): Redbuds are small to medium-sized trees that produce clusters of pink or purple flowers in early spring. They are a favorite among gardeners for their early bloom time.

7. Flowering Crabapple (Malus spp.): These trees are valued for their showy spring flowers and colorful fruit. They attract birds and other wildlife to the garden.

8. Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica): Weeping Willows are known for their graceful, cascading branches. They add a touch of elegance to any landscape.

9. Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis): This native tree produces clusters of pink or purple flowers in early spring. It is a popular choice for adding color to the landscape.

10. Japanese Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata): These trees are famous for their stunning spring blooms. They are often planted in parks and gardens for their ornamental value.


In conclusion, ornamental trees are a valuable addition to any landscape design. They provide aesthetic appeal, shade, and environmental benefits. With a wide variety of options to choose from, you can find the perfect ornamental tree to enhance the beauty of your outdoor space. Whether you prefer vibrant foliage, showy flowers, or interesting bark patterns, there is an ornamental tree that will suit your preferences and needs.