Our Favorite Trees and Shrubs for Fall Color

I absolutely love this time of year.  As the days grow shorter and the nights cooler, Mother Nature casts her spell and the colors of fall begin to appear.  After months of hot temperatures, I welcome the evenings that I can put on a jacket, sit out on my patio and listen to nature.  I feel blessed to live in an area that enjoys all four seasons.  I look forward to each changing one!

As landscapers, we love to play with color.  Different trees and shrubs provide changing color through the seasons.  Knowing this you can play up your landscape design and enjoy the beauty that each season brings.  Fall is the greatest time to play with color.  Mike and I have our favorite trees and shrubs that provide the richest colors as the temperatures begin to drop.  For great color this and every autumn, add one of these plants to your landscape.

Sugar Maple  This is a great, extra-reliable tree that makes a big statement in fall.  Sugar Maple offers gorgeous red, orange, or yellow end-of-the-season leaves.  They grow in sun to shade and need moist well drained soil.  These trees can grow up to 70 feet tall and are native to North America.  Its Latin name is Acer saccharum.

 

 

 

Sweet Gum  The Sweet Gum is my favorite fall tree because it will turn a kaleidoscope of colors including red, orange and burgundy.  The sugar content is different in each tree, so you can have three Sweet Gums in your yard and each one will be a different beautiful color in the fall.  They give the landscape a carnival feel at the season’s end.  Sweet Gums need sun to shade and well drained soil.  They will grow to 80 feet tall and are native to North America.  Their Latin name is Liquidambar styraciflua.

 

 

 

Stewartia  This tree looks beautiful throughout the year.  In the late summer the Stewartia has dark green leaves that turn festive shades of orange, yellow, and red in the fall.  This tree needs full sun and moist well drained soil.  It will grow up to 70 feet tall and is not native to North America.  Its Latin name is Stewartia pseudocamellia.

 

 

 

Ginkgo  If you are looking for a show stopping tree for the fall, the Ginkgo is your tree.  This slow growing tree adds elegance to any landscape with its graceful fan-shaped leaves.  In autumn they show breathtaking shades of luminous golden yellow.  The Ginkgo grows best in sun to shade and moist well drained soil.  It can grow to 100 feet tall and is not native to North America.  Its Latin name is Ginkgo biloba.

 

 

 

Amur Maple  The Amur is another beautiful maple for fall color.  It can be either a small tree or large shrub depending on how you prune it.  Its leaves turn bright red in the fall.  It needs sun and moist well drained soil to grow.  It will grow up to 25 feet and is not native to North America.  Its Latin name is Acer ginnala.

 

 

 

Sumac  The Sumac is a beautiful and tough shrub that provides some of the brightest red color you’ll see in autumn.  This shrub is best if you have a large space for it to grow.  It is a fast spreader and is not the best choice for small-space landscapes.  It needs full sun and well drained soil to grow.  It will grow up to 15 feet tall and is native to North America.  Its Latin name is Rhus typhina.

 

 

 

Burning Bush  This tough shrub earned its name because of its autumn hues.  In fall the foliage turns glowing shades of red and pink.  If you’re looking to add a punch of color, this is a knock-your-socks-off-plant.  The Burning Bush needs full sun and well drained soil.  It can grow to 20 feet tall and is not native to North America.  This plant does well in the Rocky Mountain area we service but can be a pest in some regions.  Be sure to check local restrictions before planting it.  Its Latin name is Euonymus alatus.

 

 

Autumn Purple Ash  The Autumn Purple Ash is the only shade tree that turns purple for fall.  From glossy green in the summer, the leaves first turn red and as autumn goes on they take on a definite purple shade. The kaleidoscope of colors is spectacular.  Autumn Purple Ash is easy to grow and thrives in full sun to part shade.   This is a great tree for smaller sized yards because of the compact canopy.  It can grow to 70 feet tall and is native to North America.  Its Latin name is Fraxinus Americana.

 

These are just a few of the many varieties of trees and shrubs that can add beauty and impact to your landscape this fall.  Make sure to take advantage of the colors in your area and know when they will be at their peak by checking this site http://www.foliagenetwork.com/  It will also tell you when to travel to your favorite fall destination for the best colors.  We hope you get outside and enjoy breathing in the crisp air this season.

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