Wasson Nursery’s Spring Planting Guide – Trees

By Jocelyn Bonesteel

Spring is finally here! The weather is warmer, the days are a little longer, and the cold winter seems like a thing of the past. As we head into spring, Wasson Nursery starts getting questions about great plant options for our area. In this 4-part series, we will touch on some of our favorite plants for the landscape and how they can be used. This article will cover some of our most popular trees. If you learn about something you like, you can pre-order them by visiting Wasson Nursery’s online store,

Several homeowners believe they must have a lot of garden space to plant trees, but many of our favorite trees have been bred to create smaller sizes. Cultivation has come a long way, and even those that do not remain particularly small may offer traits that make them a perfect fit for your landscape.


Eastern Redbud. Photo by University of Redlands

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Size: 30’ x 25’

Sun: Full Sun to Part Shade

Best Feature: Early Spring pinkish purple pea-like blooms

The Eastern Redbud, an Indiana native, is one of the earlier blooming trees. Available in both single stem and multi-stemmed varieties, cultivars also offer a variation in foliage. Heart-shaped leaves are normally green, but can be available in burgundy, chartreuse, and even a range of colors on a single tree. Pinkish purple flowers emerge directly on the branches in early spring, bringing a flush of color to an otherwise green landscape. Shop at Wasson Nursery for your Eastern Redbud.


Red Point Maple. Photo By University of Oregon

Red Pointe Red Maple (Acer rubrum ‘Redpointe’)

Size: 45’ x 30’

Sun: Full Sun

Best Feature: Leaves are a brilliant red in fall

Red Maples are native to Indiana, and the Red Pointe is one of our favorites! With a slightly narrower version of the traditional maple leaf, Red Pointes offer show-stopping fall color in a brilliant red tone. Its habit is unmatched, as it needs little to no pruning to maintain a stunningly symmetrical shape. Shop at Wasson Nursery for your Red Pointe Red Maple.


Jane Magnolia. Photo by North Carolina State University

Jane Magnolia (Magnolia ‘Jane’)

Size: 25’ x 20’

Sun: Full Sun to Part Shade

Best Feature: Early spring cupped, pink blooms

Jane Magnolias are one of the most common saucer Magnolias. Part of the little girl series, Jane is smaller in stature while still being coated in blooms in early spring. Flower buds burst out in medium pink, then open to a light pink, almost white. Magnolias make a great statement tree, and Jane may even rebloom in the fall! Shop at Wasson Nursery for your Jane Magnolia.


River Birch. Photo by University of Wisconsin – Madison



River Birch (Betula nigra)

Size: 60’ x 45’

Sun: Full Sun to Part Shade

Best Feature: Architecturally interesting; leaves graceful in wind

River Birches are another great Indiana native. They are available as a single stem, but we prefer a multi-stemmed variety that gives you 3-4 trees growing in a clump. This clump will produce a gorgeous shade tree and makes a fantastic specimen planting close to a house; the exfoliating bark is particularly interesting up close. Foliage adds texture as it moves in the breeze, and turns a gorgeous shade of yellow come fall. Shop at Wasson Nursery for your River Birch.


Royal Raindrops Crabapple. Photo By Ohio State University

Royal Raindrop Crabapple (Malus ‘JFS-KW5’)

Size: 20’ x 15’

Sun: Full Sun

Best Feature: Early spring magenta blooms; burgundy foliage all year

Royal Raindrops Crabapple is a showstopper! Significantly more disease resistant than many other Crabapples, Royal Raindrops features four full seasons of color. Flowers emerge bright magenta in early spring, followed by the burgundy, almost maple-leaf shaped leaved in summer. Come fall, the leaves turn shades of scarlet and orange, and small, red crabapples the size of berries persist well into the winter. The fruit barely drops, making the Royal Raindrops Crabapple the perfect addition to a bird-watcher’s paradise! Shop at Wasson Nursery for your Royal Raindrop Crabapple.


Weeping Willow. Photo by North Carolina State University


Weeping Willow (Salix tristis; Salix babylonica)

Size: 50’ x 50’

Sun: Full Sun

Best Feature: Long, weeping branches

Weeping Willows are well known, and make a grand statement in the landscape, particularly over a pond. Willows needs quite a bit of space, but, if given it, are completely unmatched by any other plant. Branches weep gracefully and move gently in the breeze. Foliage, normally a medium or almost grey-green, turns bright yellow come fall. Shop at Wasson Nursery for your Weeping Willow.

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