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Flowering Trees in Spring at NYC Parks

In the springtime, many trees around New York City blossom with beautiful spring flowers that add to the vibrant colors of the season. Here's a look at some of the flowering trees in our parks: 

Callery Pear


Callery pear trees at the Pulitzer Fountain at Grand Army Plaza, in Manhattan. (Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks)

Callery pears are commonly called flowering pear trees. They bloom clusters of tiny, snow-white flowers and can sometimes make the trees appear to have "falling snow" when the petals drop. Each flower has five petals. The leaves are glossy on the top and slightly paler below. Our city's most famous callery pear tree is the 9/11 Survivor Tree. The tree was recovered from Ground Zero in 2001 and rehabilitated in Van Cortlandt Park before returning to the 9/11 Memorial site in 2010. Find callery pear trees near you on our new NYC Street Tree Map

Crabapple


A crabapple tree in Madison Square Park, Manhattan. (Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks)

Crabapple trees bloom fluffy-looking clusters of sweet-smelling blossoms on the tree's gnarled, craggy branches. The flowers are hues of pinks and reds, white, or white with pink trimmings. The type of crabapple flower is classified by the number of petals on each flowersingle (five petals), semi-double (6-10 flowers), or double (more than 10 petals). The tree leaves are oval and green; they're glossy on top while the undersides are a paler green with hairs along the veins. The crabapple fruit, which appears in the late summer and fall, has a sour flesh and is much smaller than your typical apple. While crabapples are mostly eaten by birds, some say the fruit makes for a lovely jelly. Learn more about NYC's crabapples

Eastern Redbud


An eastern redbud tree at McCarren Park in Brooklyn. (Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks)

The eastern redbud grows to about 30 feet tall, has heart-shaped leaves, and blooms intensely bright lavender-pink clusters of tiny flowers that bloom directly from the tree's branches. Find eastern redbud trees near you on our new NYC Street Tree Map

Hawthorn 


 

Hawthorn trees are commonly called May trees because they usually bloom in May. The tiny white, five-petaled flowers grow in flat clusters. Because it is usually mistaken for crabapple blossoms, the hawthorn is best identified by its bright pinkish-red heads or anthers (male parts). Find hawthorn trees near you on our new Street Tree Map

Kanzan / Kwan-zan / Japanese Cherry Tree


Kanzan cherry tree in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. (Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks)

The Kanzan cherry tree, named for a mountain in Japan, is one of the most popular of cherry trees. The tree blooms heavy clusters of deep-pink double flowers. The leaves are football-shaped, have parallel veins, and are bronze when in bloom. Find Japanese flowering cherry trees near you on our new NYC Street Tree Map

Magnolia


Saucer magnolias in Central Park, Manhattan. (Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks)

Magnolias are among some of the earliest trees to bloom in our parks. Their aromatic flowers vary in color based on the species. They are generally pink, magenta, or white. You'll find southern magnolias, sweetbay magnolias, star magnolias, and saucer magnolias in our parks. Sweetbay magnolias have white flowers with leathery leaves and hairy undersides. The star magnolia is actually a shrub that blooms white, narrow-petaled flowers. Saucer magnolias bear large pink and white flowers that grow about 5-10 inches in diameter. Southern magnolias are creamy white and can grow up to 12 inches in diameter. The southern magnolia tree at the Magnolia Tree Earth Center in Brooklyn was planted in 1885 and is the sole remaining designated landmark tree in New York City. The tree is 56.58 feet tall. Use our new Street Tree Map to find magnolia trees near you

Okame Cherry Tree


Okame cherry trees in Owl's Head Park, Brooklyn. (Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks)

The Okame cherry trees are hybrids of Formosan (Taiwan) and Fuji cherries. The flower is light pink but with a long deep red calyx (the cup-like part of the flower that holds the petals together). The calyx and reddish-brown flower stalks give the tree a deep pink appearance from a distance.

Red Maple


A red maple tree in Harvey Park, Queens. (Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks)

Red maples are all around the city and they're easy to spot. They have red leaf buds, red flowers, fruits with red wings (samaras), and their leafstalks and five-lobed maple leaves turn red come fall. Red maple flowers are one of the first trees to bloom in early spring. Find red maple trees near you on our new Street Tree Map 

Serviceberry 


 

This tree or large shrub blooms white, sweet-smelling flowers. The petals are narrow and the leaves are heart-shaped to elliptical. The berries start off as green then change to a purplish-black color by summer. Use our new Street Tree Map to find serviceberry trees near you

Weeping Cherry Tree


A weeping cherry tree (left) in Fort Tryon Park. (Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks)

Weeping cherry trees have long, slender branches that hang like weeping willows. The flowers vary; they're sometimes single or double and white or pink. 

Yoshino Cherry Tree


Yoshino cherry tree flowers near the observation towers at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. (Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks)

Yoshino cherry trees, also known as Somei-Yoshino, are the most common species of cherry trees. Their flowers are white or very light pink and they smell like almonds. Yoshino cherry trees bloom in April, before the Japanese flowering cherry trees bloom. The leaves are bronzish-reddish when first emerging, and later become dark green. Thirty five yoshino cherry trees are planted on the east side of the Central Park Reservoir. These trees were originally part of a gift from the Japanese government in 1912, which also included cherries for the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C. Learn more about the yoshino cherry trees at the Central Park Reservoir

Great Trees of New York City

Many other trees, including horse chestnuts and littleleaf lindens, bloom in the springtime. Some, because of their unusual size, species, form or historical association, are considered "Great Trees of New York City". To learn more, please visit our Great Trees page.

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