There’s not much flowering trees can’t do for your Greater Chicago commercial property.

Those delicate blooms and the intoxicating fragrance they bring. Many times, they are the first to bloom after a long winter, and if that doesn’t draw more people to your property, we don't know what doesn’t.

Flowering trees can be great additions to your commercial properties, especially near patios, along sidewalks, and near entryways.

As you contemplate taking up your flowering tree game at your facility, you might be wondering what are the best flowering trees you could choose to use in Greater Chicago.

That’s why we’re here.

Let’s talk about Zone 5 native trees and Zone 6 native trees and which ones can make the best additions to your property.

Best Flowering Trees for Greater Chicago Commercial Properties

When you’re looking for an ornamental flowering tree, you get not only the bonus of great color and fragrance, but you also get all the benefits trees provide.


What kind of benefits do trees bring to your commercial site? The list is long, especially if you choose Zone 5 native trees and Zone 6 native trees. They prevent soil erosion, boost oxygen, reduce stormwater runoff, buffer wind, provide shade, and improve your property’s overall appearance. Not bad, right?

Here are some of the best flowering trees we’ve used on commercial sites here in Chicago.

1. Serviceberry (Amalanchier)

If you are looking for a showy, small zone 5 or zone 6 native tree with attractive form, foliage, and bark, as well as great fall color, then the serviceberry is for you. Plant it 6 to 10 feet out from power lines and it promises to not get in the way as it grows.

Serviceberry (Amalanchier) CC

On top of being a great size for busy commercial properties since it only reaches a height and spread of 15 to 25 feet, the serviceberry provides multiple seasons of interest – from delicate white flowers in March and April to berry-like reddish-purple fruit in summer to vivid red and gold shades in fall.

2. Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

In early to mid-spring, the eastern redbud tree erupts with rosy pea-sized flowers that emerge from distinctive, fuchsia buds along its branches before the leaves appear.

Then this best flowering tree is covered in forest green foliage that begins in a shade of burgundy in spring. In fall, its heart-shaped leaves turn a buttery, golden yellow. The eastern redbud can reach 20- to 30-feet tall with a spread of 25 to 35 feet at maturity.

Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud) CC

This strong tree remains hardy down to negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit, so it resists ice damage. With a rounded, dense canopy, it provides winter interest as well.

Plant this tree in full sun or partial shade, keeping in mind that it prefers 4 to 8 hours of sunlight daily with some protection from very bright afternoon sun. Keep this tree 6 to 8 feet from structures and 3 feet from fences to give it room to grow.

And if you’re looking for a small flowering tree to add to your commercial site, try the ‘Ruby Falls’ Eastern redbud, which is a dwarf cascading variety that offers tons of small purple flowers.

3. Crabapple (Malus)

Every year in May in Greater Chicago, the crabapple shows off its vivid magenta blooms.

This compact, versatile best flowering tree provides year-round interest, too, with handsome foliage and fruit that sticks around through winter to provide interest and feed the birds.

Crabapple (Malus) Purple Prince CC

These trees are great for the smaller spaces on your commercial property since they come in a range of sizes – most not reaching more than 20 feet high. Some varieties to try include the ‘Coralburst’ crabapple, the ‘Red Jewel’ crabapple, and the ‘Royal Raindrops’ crabapple.

4. Cornelian Cherry Dogwood (Cornus mas)

This tree is one of the first trees to flower in spring with its small, yellow, star-shaped flowers on medium green foliage.

Cornelian Cherry Dogwood (Cornus mas) CC

Growing to an average height of 20 to 25 feet tall with a 15- to 20-foot spread, this best flowering tree thrives in well-drained soil and full or partial sun.

5. Amur Maackia (Maackia amurensis)

This small, deciduous tree has a broad, rounded growth habit, growing to 20 to 30 feet in height with a 20- to 30-foot spread.

Blooming in June, you’ll be rewarded with clusters of showy, pea-sized, fragrant, white flowers.

Amur Maackia (Maackia amurensis) CC

Dark, olive-green leaves grow on the coppery-bronze bark of this best flowering tree.

6. Magnolia

There are multiple magnolia trees that perform well in Greater Chicago commercial landscapes.

In spring, they offer white and pink flowers, depending on the variety. The flowers are usually scented and unique in shape, adding stunning drama to your facility.

Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia viriginiana) CC

Most magnolias will range in the 15 to 30 foot tall range. Some of the choices in this category of best flowering trees are even native to the region.

7. Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora)

The Bottlebrush buckeye offers fluffy, white flowers that are shaped – quite literally – like bottle brushes.

What’s more, the blooms attract pollinators and hummingbirds, adding some visual appeal to your commercial property.

Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora) CC

While you'll find a lot of the best flowering trees prefer quite a bit of sun, this one favors some shade, which is nice for properties that need some color but have shadier spots to fill.

8. Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium)

This sturdy, shapely, small tree grows to just 12 to 15 feet tall with dark-green foliage that turns reddish-purple in fall.

Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium) CC

This best flowering tree in Greater Chicago offers white flower clusters in spring followed by yellow berries that turn blueish-black and draw birds.

9. Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata 'Ivory Silk')

The Japanese lilac is native to northern Japan and a part of the olive family.

Place it near an outdoor recreation space where your visitors can see it and smell the creamy, white flowers in early summer. Or you can plant it near an entryway where its showy blooms offer striking visuals.

Lilac Ivory Silk (Syringa reticulata) CC

This best flowering tree is considered medium in size, growing to a height of up to 30 feet with a 15- to 20-foot spread. It grows in a graceful, upright, attractive shape with reddish bark with white markings. Its leaves are simple and oval in shape, ranging from 3 to 6 inches long. They turn greenish-brown in fall.

The tree blooms in clusters that can be up to 10 inches wide and 1 foot long. The creamy, white Japanese lilac flowers have a sweet fragrance, delivering early summer delight for approximately two weeks.

10. River Birch (Betula nigra)

River birch trees are fast-growing, deciduous trees that can reach between 50 and 90 feet in height.

Betula nigra river birch CC

This best flowering tree’s leaves are diamond-shaped and grow on an upright, spreading canopy. In the fall, the river birch brings a yellow-gold color that radiates sun in the landscape. Its silvery-gray bark becomes pink-ish brown as the tree ages.

Flowers in the spring and winter are followed by small brown or green cones in summer.

11. Vernal Witchhazel (Hamamelis vernalis)

Vernal Witchhazel has yellow and orange-red flowers with a spicy fragrance that appear In late winter or very early spring.

Vernal Witchhazel (Hamamelis vernalis) CC

Foliage then emerges in a bronze-red color, maturing to a dark green, and turning a buttery or golden yellow in fall.

This zone 5 or zone 6 native tree likes full to partial sun and moist, well-drained soil.

12. Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)

Hydrangeas are hardy and easy to grow, making them a great best flowering tree choice when you’re looking to add something with long-lasting flowers to your commercial landscape in Greater Chicago.

Hydrangea paniculata CC

There are several varieties of hydrangea trees. For instance, hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora' grows to 25 feet with a 10-foot spread and has pure white flowers, and hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' grows 6 to 8 feet tall and 5 to 7 feet wide and has a greenish color in its flowers.

Add the Right Commercial Landscape Enhancements in Greater Chicago With Flowering Trees

You can certainly attract more customers to your Greater Chicago commercial site with flowering trees.

It may be hard, though, with all of the options out there to pick the right ones.

If you see a list of trees for your site and find the options overwhelming, try the trees on this list or give KD Landscape a call. Our commercial landscaping experts have a ton of experience dealing with local growing conditions and can help you pick just the right trees to suit your specific needs.

Want to learn more about how KD Landscape can help you choose the best flowering trees for your Greater Chicago commercial property? Get started today with a consultation. We’ll review your options together so you can feel confident and make a great choice.

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Image Sources | Viburnum, Buckeye, Magnolia, Cornelian Dogwood, Crabapple, Redbud, Serviceberry, Maackia, Hydrangea, Witch Hazel, River Birch, Lilac