The Blue Ridge Mountains, which form the southern portion of the Appalachian range, reach from Virginia to North Carolina to northern Georgia, with peaks varying from 1,600 feet to 4,700 feet. With such a large geographic area, flowering trees do bloom at slightly different times based on elevation and the micro-climate where they live. While most trees in the Blue Ridge Mountains bloom in the spring, some are late bloomers and some bloom earlier.
March Through May
One of the earliest trees to flower is the silver bell tree. Also called snow-drop tree or opossum-wood, the silver bell is a small tree with white bell-shaped flowers. It is found throughout the southern Appalachian region. People living in the region appreciate its soft, close-grained wood as a craft material, while squirrels eat the seed and bees produce honey from the blossoms. Silver bell grows along streams below the cover of hardwood trees.
April Through June
Tourists visit the Blue Ridge Mountains in spring to see the largest number of trees in bloom and some of the most beautiful as well. The yellow poplar, or tulip poplar, is one of the tallest hardwoods in the Appalachian range. According to the Western North Carolina Nature Center, it can live for 300 years.
With showy white or pink flowers, dogwood trees reach 25 to 30 feet tall and bloom throughout May. Dogwood is considered by many gardeners to be one of the most beautiful trees with sweeping branches that rise slightly at the ends. Dogwood blossoms are followed by red berries in the fall. Black locust, with sweet-smelling white flowers, blooms later in May.
From May to June, hawthorns, which Barbara Damrosch, author of "The Garden Primer" calls "among the best ornamental trees," bloom with clusters of small white flowers.
September Through October
Witch hazel, which has both tree and shrub varieties, can reach 25 feet tall, but is normally 10 to 15 feet tall. Its very fragrant, yellow flowers form in drooping clusters. In the fall, the leaves turn yellow and orange and sometimes actually hide the flower clusters. Witch hazel is native throughout the eastern United States.