My favorite flowering trees in the spring are the redbud and flowering dogwood. They put on very different shows, but when the redbuds are in full bloom they are hard to beat as far as dramatic color .
A single tree can be very striking, but a large area covered in full bloom is spectacular. When you see them it’s impossible not to be drawn in to them and mesmerized by their beauty.
They make you stop and forget about “real life” for just a moment (if not longer). For me they have a bit of a meditation-type effect.
Early in the spring along the Maumee River in Northwest Ohio these pink and purple trees put on quite a show. They are usually in bloom towards mid to late April, and sometimes very early may. Weather plays a big part when they will be in full bloom and what kind of display they put on.
Several warm days in a row bring them out in full bloom all at once. That’s when they look the prettiest.
I think the best place to see them is near Waterville, Ohio between Farnsworth Metropark and Bend View Metropark, which is two miles southwest along the towpath trail. In many places along that two-mile stretch you can walk or ride your bike through a canopy of pink and purple.
Old state route 24 at Farnsworth Metropark is also a beautiful drive as they line that stretch of the road.
If you catch things just right and the weather cooperates there will also be white blossoms on various other trees at the same time the redbuds are in bloom. Some years the white blossoms and the pink and purple blossoms don’t bloom at the same time, but when they do it’s a beautiful display.
If you go further down the towpath trail from Bend View towards Providence Metropark the pink and purple diminish for a few miles. When you get closer to Providence and back along the river there are more sections where the canopy drapes over the trail again.
A nice day in early spring along the Maumee River is a great time to be outside. The towpath trail is a good place to see the simple pleasures of spring here in Northwest Ohio.
Buckeye trees start to bloom along with the spring beauty flowers. Of course, the redbuds are the star of the show.
It’s rare that you don’t see a bald eagle near Bend View Metropark. There is a nest across the river from the park. Bend View is also perhaps the prettiest viewpoint on the Maumee River.
The old canal along the towpath trail is often home to wood ducks and turtles.
It’s well worth a walk along the towpath trail in mid to late April or early May.
For those woodworkers interested about the wood of this tree see the picture included.
The wood is very interesting. The heartwood has some yellow / green tints along with periodic streaks of black. The sapwood is much lighter.
It isn't a wood that you can easily find at a local lumber yard. Trees that do have wood large enough to harvest is often cracked and twisted. Chunks of the wood can be used for smaller items and it turns out great.
The wood is hard but works easily. It also finishes nicely with a clear finish. I've never stained it. The wood is too pretty by itself to cover with stain.