Fall is a favorite time for many people who enjoy Mother Nature’s color show.
Leaves turn colors as the days become shorter and the nights become longer. When the green pigment Chlorophyll is absorbed by the trees for photosynthesis, other pigments that were there all along and masked by the green chlorophyll take over and are put on full display and that is when we begin to see the reds, oranges and yellows associated with fall leaf color. Other factors can influence the intensity of the fall colors. For example, I have noticed over the years that the soil moisture impacts fall color. If it is too dry, fall colors don’t seem to be as pronounced.
If you are contemplating adding some landscape plants for fall color with bright, beautiful showy leaves to your yard, here are a few selections that you may want to consider.
One of my favorite Shade Trees for fall color is the ‘Red Sunset’ Red Maple. There are a number of similar varieties such as Autumn Blaze, October
Glory and RedPointe. The Red Sunset is a medium fast grower that will reach 40-60’ tall. It has green leaves throughout the growing season,
Sweetgum Trees are also known for their fall color. It is not uncommon to see red, orange and yellow leaves all on the same tree. changing to red in the fall.
Serviceberry Trees are a medium sized ornamental tree that will reach around 20’ tall at maturity and will have a fall leaf color ranging from orange to red. Serviceberry is also well known for its brilliant spring flowers.
Gingko is not on my list of favorite trees but their fall color is a spectacular display of yellow.
Sumac is another plant that is well known for an interesting fall color usually ranging from orange to yellow.
Dwarf Winged Euonymus a.k.a. Burning Bush is a favorite of many people who are looking for a medium sized ornamental shrub. The leaves are green throughout the growing season and turn fire engine red in the fall. Plant these in full sun for the best fall color.
Although we are probably too late in the season for you to get much enjoyment from these trees this year, this is a great time for planting and the plants will be there for you to enjoy next year.
Someone once said that the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago but the second best time is right now.