Log in


Flowering Trees

Honey Bees and Trees

If you haven’t already read it, go into the main Foraging heading on the website and read Honey Bees and Flowers.  There is a wealth of fascinating information that won’t be repeated here. 

Planting bee-friendly trees is the best way to help save the honey bee.  A flowering tree with a fifteen foot radius produces on average as many blossoms as two acres of flowers.  Mike Connor of has a long but good YouTube video: Bees and Trees

All fruiting trees are honey-bee magnets and you will be rewarded with much more fruit thanks to the honey bees.  

Many of us don’t have the space to plant a tree in our own yard. Keep your eyes open for a place on one of your friend’s properties.  Although most trees will take many years to mature the honey bees will need those flowers five or ten years from now as much as they need them now.  When considering a birthday present or a memorial think about planting a bee-friendly tree!

Littleleaf Linden  (Tilia Cordata)

Blooms:  July

Zone:   4 to 7 

Height:  30’ to 50’

Spread:  15’ to 30’

Sun:  Full

Water:  Low once established

Other:  Very hardy

Vine Maple (Acer circinatum)

Blooms:  Fall

Zone:   7 to 8

Height:  10’ to 15’

Spread:  20’

Sun:  Full sun to part shade

Water:  Low

Tolerates:  Drought once established 

Other:  Quick grower; beautiful fall color; every bit as decorative as a Japanese maple; native Americans called it the “basket tree” because they made bows, baskets, snow shoes, etc. from this tree


Crab Apple (Malus spp.)

Blooms:  Spring

Zone:   4 to 8  

Height:  10’ to 25’

Spread:  10’ to 25’

Sun:  Full

Water:  Low once established

Tolerates:  Drought, any soil

Other:  Some bloom every other year

Black Locust  (Robinia pseudoacaia.)

Blooms:  Spring

Zone:   4 to 8 

Height:  40’ to 80’

Spread:  30’ to 70’

Sun:  Full

Water:  Low

Tolerates:  Low maintenance

Other:  Very fragrant;  can be invasive;  thorns at the base of each leaf; seedpods hang for birds; flowers usually white but purple varieties are available


Mountain Ash (Sorbus spp.)

Blooms:  Late spring

Zone:   3 to 7

Height:  15’ to 25’

Spread:  20’ to 30’

Sun:  Full to part shade

Water:  Low once established

Other:  Great food for wildlife

Strawberry Tree (Arbutus Marina)

Blooms:  Fall

Zone:   8 to 9

Height:  40’ some smaller

Spread:  25’

Sun:  Full

Water:  Low once established 

Other:  Suckers; slow growing


Alder Buckthorn (Rhamnusfrangula)

Blooms:  June to July

Zone:  3 to 7  

Height:  7’ to 20’

Spread:  13’

Sun:  Full sun to half shade

Water:  Medium to high, prefers damp sites

Other:  Doesn’t have thorns; can be invasive

Black Tupelo (Nyssa Sylvatica)

Blooms: Late spring

Zone: 4 to 9

Height: 30’ to 50’

Spread: 20’ to 30’

Sun: Full to part shade

Water: Medium

Other: Spectacular fall foliage with many shades of yellow, orange, bright red, purple or scarlet that may appear on the same branch; fruit loved by birds


Seven Sons Tree (Heptacodium miconioides)

Blooms:  September

Zone:   5 to 9

Height:  15’ to 20’

Spread:  8’ to 10’

Sun:  Full sun

Water:  Medium

Tolerates:  Most soils

Other:  Fragrant; in the honeysuckle family; sepals turn from green to pink; available in Portland nurseries; deer resistant

Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus castus)

Blooms:  Summer

Zone:   6 to 8 

Height:  15’ to 25’

Spread:  15’ to 25’

Sun:  Full

Water:  Medium especially in hot weather

Other:  Fragrant; can be kept as a shrub


Sourwood (Oxydendrum Arboreum)

Blooms:  July to August

Zone:   5 to 9

Height:  25’ to 30’

Spread:  25’

Sun:  Full

Water:  Medium

Other:  Very fragrant; great  fall color; makes a rare and highly sought after honey; available through Portland nurseries; native only to North America; got its name because the leaves are sour

Thundercloud (Prunus Cerasifera)

Blooms:  Spring

Zone:   4 to 9

Height:   15’ to 20’

Spread:  15’ to 20’

Sun:  Full

Water:  Medium

Other:  Coppery purple foliage throughout growing season; recommended by OSU