When you plant trees, you must choose ones suited to the climate in the area. Otherwise, you'll have to remove the tree a year later. The Sacramento area has a somewhat unique climate, which can make finding the right trees a challenge, especially if you are looking for an ornamental, flowering variety.
Summers are hot and winters are generally mild - but with the occasional bout of true cold that can harm certain plants. As such, Sacramento falls into USDA growing zone 9. Here are some flowering trees that grow well in this zone.
The camellia is a small tree, best suited for privacy hedges and garden beds. It grows to about 8 to 20 feet tall with about the same width. Camellias may feature pink, red, or white flowers, depending on the variety. A good variety for zone 9 is Camellia sinensis, or tea plant. It has tiny, pink-white blossoms that appear in the fall.
Camellias grow well in partial shade and that also have a lovely scent, so they're a good choice for planting along walkways and along the sides of buildings. They require a good water supply during the first year of growth but are happy to tolerate a California drought after that.
If you're looking for a bold tree that will quickly reach its mature height, the saucer magnolia is a smart choice. It grows to about 25 feet tall within a few years, and the white and pink flowers that appear each spring are truly the size of saucers.
Saucer magnolias do require a bit of maintenance. They demand a sunny spot and frequent watering, especially during a dry spell. Prune the tree in late winter to ensure bountiful flowers the next spring.
The Kiefer pear is a gorgeous tree that also produces edible fruit. Since it is a self-fertile pear variety, you will get fruit even if you only plant one tree, although fruit production will be higher with at least two. The Kiefer pear tree's white blossoms appear in springtime, and by mid-fall, the tree is laden with long, golden-yellow pears.
Standard Kiefer pear trees are about 20 feet tall when mature, but the dwarf variety matures to 12 to 15 feet. Both standard and dwarf trees prefer full sunlight and slightly acidic soil. They're resistant to common fruit tree diseases, too.
Another stunning option is the Newport plum, which provides color from spring to fall. Its foliage has a unique purple tint, it bears pink flowers in the summer, and it turns golden-yellow in autumn. Although its fruits are technically edible, most people don't find them appealing.
Newport plum trees are about 30 feet tall and almost as wide. They are very tolerant of almost any temperature or fluctuation in temperature, and they'll adapt to most soil types. They do require full sunlight, however.
The largest tree on this list, the Kwanzan cherry grows to about 40 feet tall and is known for its bright pink flowers that appear each April. This tree is impossible to miss when it is flowering; it has twice as many blooms as other cherry varieties.
Kwanzan cherry trees tolerate most any soil type, and they require full sunlight. They're incredibly hardy and can tolerate cold spells as low as -10 degrees F.
Regardless of which tree variety you choose, proper maintenance is essential to keep it healthy in the sometimes harsh Sacramento climate. Flowering trees, especially, need to be properly pruned to prevent disease and enhance blooming. Contact Anderson Tree Company for a free estimate or to schedule a trimming appointment.