The trees in our landscapes provide the frame for everything else in our yards, and the backdrop it creates doesn’t end after summer. Deciduous trees, in particular, add beautiful fall interest as most varieties turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. As flower blooms begin to fade and the temperature starts to drop, brighten up your yard with trees that offer rich fall color.
Trees For Fall Interest
Fall is an ideal time to plant trees since the temperatures are lower than in summer. If you were to plant a tree during summer, the hot weather could shock the tree’s roots, stressing the sapling. If you’re planting trees this fall, add a layer of mulch around the base of each tree so it can stay insulated during winter.
Plant some of these trees to add rich, fall color to your yard.
Emerging burgundy in spring, the bluish-green leaves of the Katsura tree turn a brilliant yellow-orange in the fall. Also, in autumn, fallen leaves give off a caramel fragrance. Native to China and Japan, the tree has a relatively fine texture and a tight, pyramid shape. Katsura trees grow at a fast rate and can reach up to 50 feet tall, spreading up to 30 feet at maturity — perfect for providing shade in the yard. They don’t require a lot of maintenance, though they should be pruned late in winter, after any risk of extreme cold. Grow your Katsura tree in full sun for the best fall color and in rich, acidic soil.
Redpointe Red Maple
As the name implies, the Redpointe Red Maple has bright red, fall foliage, as well as clusters of red flowers in spring just before the leaves emerge. When leaves do appear in spring, they emerge as red and then become green for the summer. This variety of maple grows in a pyramidal form, and since it has more of an average texture, it blends well into the landscape, pulling together finer and coarser plants in your yard. Besides pruning in summer after the leaves have fully developed, the Redpointe Red Maple doesn’t require much maintenance at all. Growing up to 45 feet and spreading up to 30 feet, this tree is an excellent choice if you want to create shady spots in your yard. Grow in full sun, and while it is tolerant of multiple soil types, it prefers acidic soils.
Beloved for its striking gold foliage in fall, the Ginkgo tree is considered to be one of the oldest living species of trees in the world — and you can have it right in your backyard! Some dwarf varieties, like the Jade Butterflies Ginkgo, grow to about 12 feet tall, while others, like the Autumn Gold Ginkgo, grow up to 50 feet. In spring and summer, the fan-shaped leaves are emerald green, and while they look attractive to us, deer tend to stay away from Ginkgos, opting instead for tastier plants. This tree is adaptable, though grow it in full sun for best performance.
With leaves in shades of orange, yellow, and red during fall and white flowers that bloom in spring, Serviceberry trees provide color to your yard well before and beyond summer. Even in winter, the bark turns silver, adding interest to your landscape. The berries produced by the trees in summer are delicious by the handful or when added to pies and jams. Serviceberry trees do best in full sun to part shade, though shade can be tolerated as well. They can grow as small trees or large shrubs.
By considering the trees in your landscape and their colors in fall, you can make the most of the growing season. If you need any help choosing which trees to plant for rich fall color, get in touch with us.
Platt Hill Nursery is Chicago’s premier garden center and nursery.