Trees that are full of color, especially in fall

Colorful trees

In fall, their branches seem bejeweled with gold, bronze, and ruby red colors.

Make the most of November to plant one or more of these magnificent late-summer shrubs and trees.

Fall colors

Fall is the best season for these trees: they burst into colors that range from yellow to deep violet. It’s a fabulous way to heat up chilly nights with spots of color now that flowers have become rare. One of these autumn stunners is Parrotia persica. Its common name is “ironwood” due to how hard and durable its wood is. The leaves of this tree are similar to those of beech and take on warm yellow, orange and red hues. It favors acidic soil, but can still grow well enough in chalky soil as long as the soil stays cool and drains well all year round.

Golden orange and red leavesHere’s another option for acidic soil: Japanese maple! The fiery red autumn leaves is just as celebrated in its native country as the famed cherry blossoms in spring. There are a great many varieties of this short tree; what makes each unique is the shape of their leaves and the tint they take on in fall.

  • For instance, Acer japonicum ‘Acon itifolium’ turns a bright carmine red,
  • whereas those of Acer palmatum ‘Senkaki’ turn golden yellow.

Leaves like gold

Ginkgo maidenhair, a colorful yellow treeAh, one cannot talk about trees with golden leaves without mentioning the mysterious Ginkgo biloba. Its common name as the “maidenhair tree” refers to the blond yellow color of its fall fan-shaped leaves. This is an extremely resilient tree: its lineage has been genetically unchanged for over 40 million years! It loves cool soil, and thrives in temperate climates.

Gold-colored leaves as well for the caramel tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) which takes its common name from the delicious toffee-like smell leaves release in fall as they wither. This round-leaved tree prefers neutral-to-acidic, moist soil, and loves it when air moisture is high, such as along the coast.

Another option worth looking into is burning bush (Euonymus alatus), which is covered in fall with bronze, bordeaux and red leaves. And its bright pink berries definitely catch the eye as they dot this rich-colored backdrop. It doesn’t require any care that’s out of the ordinary. It favors well-drained and cool soil, and also grows well in chalky soil. Same goes for the liquidambar tree, which has leaves similar to those of maple. These take on fire-red hues that bring warmth to fall gardens.

L. H.