The climate in Arkansas ranges from humid subtropical in the southern portion to more temperate in the north. The state tends to have hot summers and cold dry winters as a result of its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. There are many varieties of flowering tree that are well-suited to growing in this area.
Royal Empress Tree
The royal empress tree is also sometimes called the dragon tree. Its scientific name is Paulownia kawakamii. It is a flowering tree that reaches an average height of 30 to 40 feet tall. The ideal spacing in a landscape setting is 15 to 20 feet between trees. This tree is rated to survive in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 10, which encompasses all of the state of Arkansas. A spot that gets full sun is ideal for this tree. The royal empress blooms in mid-spring with a display of fragrant violet or lavender flowers. The best method of propagation for this tree is to sow the seed directly outdoors, either in fall or after the last frost. To collect the seeds from an existing tree, wait for the seed pods to dry on the tree, then break them open to collect the seeds inside.
The crepe myrtle is a flowering tree that reaches heights of 10 to 20 feet. Crepe myrtles require full sun exposure, and should be spaced at least 10 feet away from other trees or buildings. This tree can be cultivated in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 10. Its distinctive blooms show up in late spring and continue into early summer. There are a large number of cultivars of this tree which range in color from white to purple to vibrant red. This tree is a popular choice in landscaping because it has a high resistance to drought. The crepe myrtle can be propagated in a number of ways, including: softwood cuttings, semi-hardwood cuttings, hardwood cuttings, hardwood heel cuttings, and by air layering.
Okame Flowering Cherry
The okame is a cultivar of the flowering cherry tree. Its scientific name is Prunus okame. These trees can reach heights between 15 and 30 feet tall. They are rated for USDA hardiness zone 6 through 8. This area covers all of Arkansas. The flowering cherry thrives in full sun to partial shade. It displays pink or rose-colored blooms beginning in late winter and lasting into early spring. This tree has average watering needs, but its ideal location has consistently moist soil. Okames are a favorite in residential landscaping due to their fragrant flowers which attract birds, bees and butterflies. These trees are the showcase of the famous Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.