This truly is the most wonderful time of the year. I always look forward to fall. The main reason is the title of this blog, fall color! Every year the colors are a little bit different. Read read about the how’s and why’s of fall color in the blog I wrote last year.
Now is a great time to plant trees and shrubs that produce gorgeous fall colors. Which reminds me, I need to do a post on basic tree planting. For now I will tell you, skip the stake. Most trees don’t need staking, unless you plant them in a very windy area (for windy areas, stake trees for one year). If a tree can’t make it without a stake when it’s young, chances are it won’t support itself later in life. Also, improperly staked trees as well as trees staked for more than one year are difficult to correct and wounds from wires happen easily. But I’ll get into that in another blog (steps off tree-staking soapbox).
Okay, back to fall color, wahoo! Here are some of my favorite trees and shrubs. Remember, even though a color is listed, the plant may not always turn that color every year. It all depends on the temperature. Underlined plants have links to more details written earlier in a blog dedicated to that plant. In the future I plan to write about each of these plants. Please feel free to write and ask me about one you are particularly interested in, and I’ll try and get to it next.
SMALL TREES (to 30′ high)
- Birch (Betula species) gold
- Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) red, purple, orange, gold
- Japanese Maple (Acer japonicum) red, purple, orange, gold
- Chinese Pistache (Pistacia chinensis) red, purple, orange, gold
- Washington Thorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum) red, purple, orange, gold
- Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis) gold
MEDIUM TREES 30-60′
- Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) gold
- Liquidambar or Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) red, purple, orange, gold
- Chinese Flame Tree (Koelreuteria bipinnata) gold, with orange & red seed pods
- Flowering Pear (Pyrus species)
- Ash (Fraxinus species)
- Red Maple (Acer rubrum) ‘Autumn Fantasy,’ ‘October Glory,’ ‘Autumn Blaze’ etc. red, purple, orange, gold
LARGE TREES 60′+
- London Plane Tree (Platanus x acerifolia) gold
- Sycamore (Platanus racemosa) gold
- Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) gold
- Oak (Quercus species) Red Oak-red, purple, orange, gold. Valley Oak-mostly gold
- Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica) red, purple, orange, gold
- Photinia (Photinia villosa) red, purple
- Pomegranate (Punica granatum) gold
- Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster) red, purple, orange, gold
- Hydrangea (Hydrangea species) gold
- Grape (Uva species) gold
- Virgina Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) red, purple, orange gold
- Wisteria (Wisteria species) gold
Plants highlighted in green are California Natives.