There are many beautiful tree types that can enhance the aesthetics of any landscape. When choosing the prettiest tree, factors like flowering seasons, foliage color, bark texture, and overall form and shape should be considered. Some of the most attractive trees include cherry blossoms, red maples, weeping willows, and birches. This article will explore some of the prettiest tree varieties and help you determine which one is the most beautiful for your needs.
Flowering trees are among the most beautiful types of trees. When in bloom, they showcase colorful flowers that can make any landscape look stunning. Here are some of the prettiest flowering tree varieties:
Cherry blossom trees originate from Asia but are now popular worldwide. During spring, they produce abundant pink or white flowers that emerge before the leaves. The flowers have a delicate appearance and blanket the entire tree in color when in full bloom. Popular types of cherry blossoms include:
- Yoshino cherry: Features fragrant, pale pink or white flowers.
- Kanzan cherry: Bears rich pink blooms.
- Weeping cherry: Has cascading branches covered in pink or white flowers.
Cherry blossoms are arguably one of the most beautiful flowering trees. Their brief but dramatic display of flowers is highly anticipated each spring.
Crabapple trees are known for their colorful and fragrant flowers. They bloom in various shades like white, pink, red, and lavender. Some popular cultivars include:
- Spring Snow: White blooms.
- Brandywine: Pink blooms with red leaves.
- Royalty: Deep purple blooms.
These small ornamental trees are ideal for yards or gardens. When in full bloom, crabapple trees appear covered in flowers, making them a gorgeous choice.
Redbud trees are appreciated for their bright purple-pink flowers that emerge directly on branches and trunks. Popular varieties like the Eastern Redbud have rosy-pink blooms that contrast beautifully against the tree’s heart-shaped leaves.
Other redbud species like the California Redbud and Oklahoma Redbud have slightly different flower colors ranging from pink to white. Overall, redbuds make striking spring bloomers.
Dogwood trees are known for their showy spring flowers. Some popular varieties include:
- Kousa dogwood: Features delicate white or pink flower bracts.
- Cornelian cherry dogwood: Bears clusters of small yellow flowers.
- Pink dogwood: Produces deep pink flowers.
The flowers have a distinctive design with four petal-like bracts radiating outwards. Dogwood trees are treasured for their beautiful floral displays.
Trees with Interesting Bark
A tree’s bark also influences its beauty. Trees with unique and showy bark can make interesting focal points. Here are some trees prized for their bark:
Birch trees have strikingly white, paper-like bark that peels off in thin, papery sheets. This smooth bark creates an eye-catching contrast against the leaves and helps birches stand out. Some popular varieties include:
- Paper birch: Features tall trunks with white bark.
- River birch: Has salmon-colored and cream bark.
- Cherry birch: Reddish-brown bark that peels.
The unique bark is one of the characteristics that make birch trees so beautiful.
Japanese maples are admired for their delicately-shaped leaves, graceful form, and most importantly, their bark. The bark exhibits different textures and colors like green, red, golden, pink, and brown. Popular cultivars include:
- Bloodgood Japanese Maple: Red bark.
- Aconitifolium: Striking green bark.
- Viridis: Attractive mottled green bark.
The interesting bark patterns and colors help make Japanese maples visually appealing.
Crape myrtles display unique peeling bark that adds visual interest. As the trees mature, the bark peels to reveal patches of light and dark colors like gray, orange, and brown for an attractive mottled effect. The curled peeling bark provides great textural appeal.
Trees with Colorful Foliage
In addition to flowers and bark, colorful foliage is another characteristic that can make tree types beautiful. Here are some of the prettiest trees valued for their leaf colors:
Red maples get their name from their striking red foliage that develops in autumn. While they display the typical fall leaf colors of yellow, orange, and burgundy, the saturated red foliage is their most outstanding feature. Some popular red maple varieties include:
- October Glory: Vibrant red fall color.
- Autumn Flame: Bright orange-red leaves.
- Red Sunset: Brilliant scarlet foliage.
The vivid red leaf color is what makes red maples one of the prettiest trees in the fall.
In addition to having beautiful bark, Japanese maples also produce attractive foliage colors. The delicate leaf shapes combined with the range of colors like red, orange, yellow, purple, and green create a lovely display of colors and textures. Some popular cultivars include:
- Bloodgood: Bright red leaves.
- Aoyagi: Leaves emerge red then turn green.
- O kagami: Vibrant crimson fall color.
Japanese maples are truly one of the most ornamental trees, prized for both their bark and foliage.
Sugar maples are another tree variety valued for autumn leaf color. As the seasons change, the leaves transition to hues of orange, fiery red, and purple. The contrast of the red leaves against the gray bark creates beautiful scenery. Popular cultivars like Green Mountain and Legacy produce reliably stunning fall color.
Weeping trees have cascading branches that give them a distinct graceful, ornamental look. Here are some pretty weeping tree varieties:
Weeping willows have long, pendulous branches that sway gently in the breeze. Their soft, wispy appearance makes them look almost whimsical. Some popular weeping willow types include:
- Weeping golden willow: Yellow twigs and graceful form.
- Niobe willow: Dark branches and reddish-brown buds.
- Weeping pussy willow: Catkins along drooping stems.
Weeping willows are timeless beauties, with their sorrowful form and trailing branches reflecting beautifully on water.
Weeping cherry trees bear the lovely pink or white flowers of regular cherry trees, with the added elegance of cascading branches. Some examples include:
- Kiku-shidare-zakura: Lavender-pink blooms on long, trailing branches.
- Snow Fountains: White flowers and curved weeping branches.
These romantic, ornamental trees become truly stunning when laden with flowers. The cascading cherry blossoms create a dramatic floral display.
Weeping larches have a conical, irregular form with branches that arch downward gracefully. Their soft needles turn golden yellow in fall, creating a striking colorful display against the weeping form. They have a delicate beauty both when their needles are on the branches and after they shed them for winter.
Columnar or fastigiate trees have upright, erect crowns and branches. Their tall, narrow forms lend a dramatic vertical element. Some handsome columnar tree varieties include:
Columnar oaks like Quercus robur ‘Fastigiata’ have an upright, towering orientation. Their narrow shape makes them suitable for tight, vertical spaces, while providing a stately architectural form.
The narrow, columnar shape of Populus tremula ‘Erecta’ works nicely in a landscape where you want a vertical accent but have limited space. In fall, the small leaves turn vibrant yellow, lighting up the tree.
Acer platanoide varieties like ‘Columnare’ have tightly upright branching suited to urban settings and small areas. Their uniform shape adds formality.
When it comes to the prettiest tree varieties, there are many factors that contribute to beauty, from flowers and foliage to bark and form. While the aesthetic appeal of trees is subjective, some characteristics that make trees visually stunning include colorful flowers like crabapples and redbuds, ornamental bark like birches and Japanese maples, fall foliage colors like in sugar and red maples, weeping forms in willows and cherries, and columnar shapes of oaks and maples. However, any tree can have outstanding qualities that enhance its beauty. The trees highlighted here represent some of the most common picks for the prettiest trees, but stunning trees can be found in almost any species. With the range of attractive qualities different trees offer, it is difficult to definitively choose only one type as the prettiest. The tree you find most beautiful will depend on your personal preferences and the visual qualities you appreciate most. Any tree that brings you joy through its appearance can be considered one of the prettiest.
|Abundant spring blooms in pink and white
|Vibrantly colored flowers in spring
|Bright pinkish-purple flowers along branches
|White papery bark with black markings
|Lacy leaves and artistically colored bark
|Flaking multicolored bark in gray, orange, brown
|Leaves turn vibrant red in fall
|Leaves transition through orange, red, and purple in autumn
|Gracefully cascading branches and soft green leaves
|Elegant, drooping shape adorned with cherry blossoms
|Tall, narrow, upright form