Best Trees for Fall Color

One of the things we all love about Fall is the glorious display of color that the trees put on. But which trees put on the best show?

Here are some of the top trees for Fall color:

  1. Maples. Maple trees are often what we think of when someone mentions Fall trees. Their leaves turn a flaming scarlet, yellow or orange at this time of year and many iconic Fall images feature some variety of maple, as does the Canadian flag! Native varieties include the Vine Maple (Acer circinatum), Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) and Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), all of which will provide a gorgeous burst of color in September and October.
  2. Quaking Aspen. The gold and orange leaves of the Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) line many driveways and roads during the Fall. While still on the tree the round leaves move in the slightest breeze (hence the name), creating a lovely shimmering effect. Aspens can grow up to 50 feet in height so make sure you plant this one in a space where it can grow up!
  3. Sassafras. Sassafras trees (Sassafras albidum) don’t just look pretty: they actually repel mosquitos and give off a unique licorice scent, while also producing berries that are enjoyed by various birds. Their lobed leaves turn a variety of Fall-hued tones such as orange, purple, yellow and red.
  4. Dogwoods. The dark red of Dogwood tree (Cornus florida) leaves offers a moody contrast to the brighter, sunnier shades of Fall, while the bright red berries produced offer an autumn treat for birds. Dogwoods can be pruned to maintain shrub form or allowed to grow to reach heights of up to 30 feet.
  5. Northern Red Oak. Commonly found in Northern forests these large trees turn red and russet tones in the Fall, and also produce acorns which serve as much-needed food for a variety of wildlife.

Photo: InexpensiveTrees.com

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