Trees with summer color, summer interest, and more!

The Eugene Branch

Trees with summer color, summer interest, and more!

When we think about trees + color most of us typically think of spring flowers or fall color. And while there is an incredible variety of trees with beautiful flowers and stunning fall foliage, here in the Eugene area we’ve been planting some great trees that deliver on summer color, summer interest, and more!

All of trees here, except for the Gambel oak, are drought tolerant species that do well in poorly drained or compacted soil. Added bonus: All of the trees in this list (again, except for that Gambel oak, good thing it has so many other wonderful qualities ūüôā ) are insect pollinated, making them especially beneficial to our threatened native pollinators!

Here are a few of our favorites:

Chitalpa tashkentensis ‘Pink Dawn |¬†‘Pink Dawn’ chitalpa

This drought tolerant tree is a hybrid of southern catalpa and desert willow. It blooms for several months during the summer showcasing trumpet shaped white and pink flowers. Also a pollinator favorite!


Golden rain tree

Koelreuteria paniculata | Goldenrain Tree

Native to Asia, this clay tolerant species is easy to recognize in summer when it shows off its lantern shaped seed pods.


Crape myrtle

Lagerstroemia indica | Crape myrtle

This hardy species is currently in full bloom and hosts a large number of pollinators on their large clusters of bright colored flowers. Once they’ve finished blooming, clusters of brown seed pods will form and release winged seeds.


Amur maackia

Maackia amurensis | Amur maackia

Amur maackia clusters of greenish-yellow flowers are a favorite for pollinators and have just finished their bloom. Their seed pods are beginning to turn brown before falling off of the tree.


Pagoda tree

Styphnolobium japonicum | Pagoda tree

Once established, these trees can fare well in heat and drought. During the late summer months, white blooms in large clusters are a haven for bees with their sweet smelling flowers.


Gambel oak

Quercus gambellii | Gambel oak

From the southwestern US, these oaks provide a lot of shade for a small sized tree. In the late summer you will find their bright green, egg-shaped acorns forming.


Aster subspicatus | Douglas aster

For fun, a flower! A favorite native in our greenspace program, Douglas aster is in full, striking purple bloom! Growing in a variety of habitats, this native perennial is a great addition to any yard, garden, or planting pod.

 photo at top: Oregon myrtle