Every spring for about the first two weeks in April (in Northern NJ when the trees are just starting to leave out), I am able to see scattered through the woods, trees with small white flowers. The trees don't seem to attain appreciable size, but what they lack in size, they make up for with their white blooms against the starkness of the surrounding bare trees. The bark of the tree is smooth; the biggest specimens I've seen have trunks up to 8" and heights of 15-20 feet. I am attaching a photo of the white blooms- not the best view- this was taken with a cell phone. Every year I am determined to find out what type of tree this is, and every year I forget once the blooms fade...only to be reminded when I see them again the next spring. Anyone have any idea what type of tree this is? Many thanks for any and all input.
Star magnolia has a much bigger flower with a distinctly different large "center" (pistils and stamens). That image sure looks like a Rosaceae family flower, with 5 parts.
I suspect that is an Amelanchier species (Serviceberry) of some sort. You likely are not going to have a non-native Magnolia scattered through the woods of northern NJ.
If you are visiting with this kind of plant again soon, snap off a branch and bring it back where you can take a clearer picture of it - and post shots of any remaining flower, fruit beginning to form, leaves, buds, and/or bark.
It also would be helpful to take an image of the whole plant.
Thank you both- the flower is stimilar to the Magnolia stellata, but much smaller- hard to tell from this photo. I looked up some images for the Amelanchier species and I believe this is it- will have to follow up once it leaves out.