10 Trees & Shrubs for Great Autumn Landscape Color

//10 Trees & Shrubs for Great Autumn Landscape Color

10 Trees & Shrubs for Great Autumn Landscape Color

2018-08-24T13:56:18+00:00August 23rd, 2018|

Regardless of how passionately you might love summer, there are a few things about fall that everyone finds delightful. Chief among them is the fall foliage that turns the world around you into a dazzling display of colors. Even if you live where autumn is usually lackluster, a little knowledgeable landscaping will have you in love with the season as well.

These are some suggested trees and shrubs to get you started on your landscaping ideas to turn brown and gray into gold and bronze. Many of these selections are also lovely in other seasons, blossoming during spring or summer, some even producing fruit, and others with interesting bark in the winter to keep your eyes twinkling all year long.

Ginkgo TreeGingko Tree

Gingkos are lovely trees that are a gorgeous yellow throughout the fall. They are related to conifers, but instead of needles produce fan-shaped leaves that resemble to maidenhair fern. The trees are considered living fossils, as they are the last known survivors of tree varieties that 200 million years ago grew worldwide. The trees have an interesting umbrella shape and typically grow to be about 40 feet, though they can grow double that size.

Name: Ginkgo biloba
Growing Conditions: Sun to shade and moist, well-drained soil
Size:  Up to 100 feet tall
Zones: 4-9

Smoketree

Smokebush Tree

The smokebush, or smoketree as it’s sometimes called, can be pruned to be a small tree or simply kept as a shrub. It has a stunning color pattern to follow: in June, small yellow flowers open. When they fade, fuzzy pink hairs on long stalks spring forth from the plant, giving the impression that the bush is now surrounded by colorful smoke. When these hairs fade away come fall, the leaves turn either orange-red or yellow. The ‘Ancot’ variation has lime-green foliage that typically turn orange while the ‘Royal Purple’ variation has purple leaves that become scarlet.

Name: Cotinus Coggygriav
Growing Conditions: Full sun; moderate water.
Size: Up to 16 feet tall
Zones: 5-8

Crepe Myrtle Tree

In the South, everyone knows and loves the crepe myrtle for everything it has to offer but many Northerners are only aware of its show-stopping summer flowers. People often remain unaware that during the fall, cool weather produces an amazing leaf display, although sudden freezes can destroy the process. Crepe myrtles also have interesting bark and beautiful trunks, making them a year-long stand-out in the garden.

Name: Name: Lagerstroemia indica
Growing Conditions: Full sun; moderate water.
Size: Up to 4-30 feet tall
Zones: 7-10

Crepe Myrtle Tree

Redbud Tree

Redbud Tree

If you’re looking for something to offer interest year-round, or to provide contrast next to the traditional winter evergreen, the redbud tree is it. In spring this small tree yields bring purplish-pink flowers first, then its heart-shaped leaves appear. Most species turn yellow in autumn, such as the ‘Eastern Redbud’, but the ‘Forest Pansy’ produces purplish-red fall foliage. Redbuds tend to be easy to grow in light shade and make for a great addition for your yard.

Name: Cercis canadensis
Growing Conditions: Full sun or light shade; moderate to regular water
Size: Up to 30 feet tall and 35 feet wide
Zones: 4-8

Fothergilla

A unique selection, fothergilla is a North America native that shines in shade gardens so it infinitely belongs in a fall and winter landscape. It has brushy blooms in a tangled branch structure that will add texture and interest to your garden. Its leathery leaves don’t require any pruning, and turn to bright colors of yellow, red, and orange for autumn.

Name: Fothergilla major
Growing Conditions: Shade and moist, well-drained soil
Size: To 6 feet tall
Zones: 5-8

Fothergilla

Virginia Sweetspire Shrub

Virginia Sweetspire Shrub

For a dramatic fall color, the Virginia sweetspire shrub will bring burgundy to your garden for an extended time during each brisk season. They may bear blossoms that smell delectable and have slight hints of orange or yellow. The color alone supports this bush as one of the best landscaping plants for the fall season.

Name: Itea Virginica
Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil
Size: To 10 feet tall
Zones: 5-9

Oakleaf Hydrangea

It may require full sun for its best coloration, but the Oakleaf hydrangea will be worth it. This full-year interest bush will be an attractive addition to your yard bringing the shape of the oak leaf, white flowers in summertime that fade to brownish-pink in fall, and fall foliage you’ve been awaiting. Reds, bronzes, oranges, and purples adorn the Oakleaf Hydrangea throughout autumn and then in winter it has a peeling bark that adds texture and interest to your garden. It is definitely one of the best selections to add year-round color to your landscape.

Name: Hydrangea quericifolia
Growing Conditions: Shade and moist, well-drained soil
Size: To 6 feet tall
Zones: 5-9

Oakleaf Hydrangea Shrub

Japanese Maple Tree

Japanese Maple Tree

The Japanese maple tree is actually a species of tree that is composed of hundreds of different varieties. They can be different sizes with assorted leaf shapes and colors that may be variegated or range from shades of purple, red, orange, or green. They are are all, however, beautiful. They should be considered as an excellent accent piece to a medium or large garden or a focal point to a smaller area.

Name:  Varies by species
Growing Conditions:  Part sun, well-drained soil
Size: To 30 feet tall
Zones: 5-8

Cleyera Shrub

If you are looking for a hedge shrub that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, look no further than the cleyera. Not only does it work as a sound barrier or privacy screen, but it also adds beauty and fall colors to your home or garden.

It tolerates shade well with white blossoms that produce holiday-appropriate bright red berries in the fall. It also sports glossy, red-orange foliage that eventually matures to a deep, lush green. Cleyara requires little to no care but adds a lot of great color to your landscape.

Name:  Ternstroemia gymnanthera
Growing Conditions:  Full sun to part shade, well-drained soil
Size: Up to 20 feet tall but may be pruned
Zones: 7-10

Cleyera Shrub