What Kind of Trees Are Blooming in the Spring in Massachusetts?

Spring puts on a wonderful, colorful display in Massachusetts – its revitalizing effects are something we look forward to year after year. There’s no better way to say farewell to the gloom and hostility of winter than by getting outside and enjoying the gentle touch of spring sunshine. 

The following blog will list some of the trees you can find blooming in Massachusetts during the spring.  We hope it inspires you to get outside and enjoy the state’s fantastic green spaces. 

If you’d like to enjoy time spent in nature as part of a guided tour, please explore our Day Trips Outside of Boston

Male Red Maple flowers

Early Spring Bloomers

Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

One of the first heralds of spring is the Red Maple. This tree is easy to spot with its bright red flowers that seem to set the branches aflame. Found in abundance across Massachusetts, the Red Maple thrives in wetlands and along rivers. Its early blooms provide a critical food source for bees and other pollinators emerging from the cold. The Red Maple’s ability to adapt to various soil types and environments makes it a resilient pioneer in the spring landscape.

American Elm (Ulmus americana)

The American Elm, once a dominant tree in North America, still stands tall in many Massachusetts towns, lining streets and gracing parks. In early spring, before its leaves unfurl, it produces small, subtle flowers that contribute to its charm. The elm’s vase-like, spreading canopy is also a great provider of shade as the days grow warmer.

Cornus florida

Mid-Spring Bloomers

Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)

By mid-spring, the Flowering Dogwood takes center stage with its show-stopping white or pink petals that radiate against the backdrop of its dark, bare branches. Often found in the understory of Massachusetts’ forests, this tree shines in dappled sunlight. 

But the Flowering Dogwood is not just a treat for the eyes; its fruits are a valuable food source for birds and mammals, playing an integral role in the biodiversity of the region.

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Adding to the mid-spring color palette, the Eastern Redbud displays an abundance of pink to magenta blossoms on its branches. This small, striking tree is a favorite in residential gardens and public landscapes alike. Its heart-shaped leaves, which emerge shortly after the flowers, keep the tree attractive throughout the summer.

Purple prince crabapple tree

Late Spring Bloomers

Crabapple (Malus)

As spring progresses, Crabapple trees burst into a profusion of red, pink, or white flowers. Massachusetts hosts several species of crabapples, each adding its unique hue and shape to the local flora. These trees are not only loved for their decorative appeal but are also appreciated for their fruit, which can be used in preserves.

Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)

Late spring brings the blooms of the Horse Chestnut, with its distinctive, candle-like flower clusters that stand erect and can be seen from a distance. Commonly found in city parks and large backyards, this tree’s shade and ornamental qualities make it a popular choice with city planners and homeowners.

How Climate Affects Spring Blooms

The timing and vibrancy of spring blooms in Massachusetts can be significantly influenced by the local climate. Typically, mild winters and early springs will prompt earlier blooms, while harsh, prolonged winters may delay them. 

Recent shifts in climate patterns have been noticeable with some trees blooming sooner than in past decades. Observing these patterns year over year can provide insightful data on the impacts of climate change on local ecosystems.

Learn more about the flora and fauna of Massachusetts and the importance of conservation on our Guided Tour of the New England Botanical Gardens

Where to Enjoy the Spring Blooms

For those eager to experience these seasonal transformations firsthand, Massachusetts offers numerous spots ideal for spring bloom viewing:

  • Arnold Arboretum in Boston – This arboretum provides a comprehensive look at native and exotic trees in a beautifully maintained setting.
  • Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge – While it serves as a resting place, it is also celebrated for its exceptional tree collection and serene landscape, making it a perfect spot for a quiet walk.
  • The Public Garden in Boston – Known as America’s first public botanical garden, it showcases a variety of flowering trees amidst traditional Victorian landscape design.
  • Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge – Located in western Massachusetts, this garden offers a peaceful retreat with a rich assortment of native and adapted plants.

Ready to get outside and enjoy the magic of your local environment? Join us for one of our Guided Walking Tours Near Boston, such as our Hiking Tour in the Harold Parker State Forest or our Blue Hills Hike.