Top trees with best autumn color – the best fall foliage
We present a list of the top trees with best autumn color, it is our selection, there are many others that could be in this article featuring the best fall foliage.
Autumn is naturally a gray season as it brings rain, shorter and colder days.
However, it doesn’t have to be sad. You may think that there aren’t many flowers in the fall, but there are plants that become even more spectacular and lush than all the spring flowering in the garden. This happens when their green leaves change and show warm colors, from yellow to red, orange to purple, there is everything.
When we talk about autumn colors, we have to start with Japanese maples (Acer palmatum).
Japanese maples or Acers are the trees of choice for this season. Here we are going to highlight only a tiny part of the Acer palmatum varieties that have stunning autumn colors.
In this article
Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’
The Japanese Acer ‘Bloodgood’ forms a small tree or shrub and can grow up to 5m in height and 5m in width.
It is cultivated because of its deep cut leaves of dark color, close to purple, which turn bright red in autumn.
Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’
The ‘Osakazuki’ Acer forms a small tree up to 6m high and 6m wide.
Like most Acer palmatum, it does not tolerate cold winds well and should therefore be planted in a sheltered position from the wind.
The green leaves of Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’ are larger than most Japanese maples and turn bright red in autumn before falling.
Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’
The ‘Sango-kaku’ Acer (Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’) is one of the most appreciated Japanese maples and, personally, my favorite.
It provides color interest throughout the year and is a perfect choice for the garden.
The leaves are yellow-orange in the spring, ripening to green during the summer. Then they turn yellow in the fall before they fall. The contrast of the yellow of the leaves with the red branches, makes a spectacular composition, almost surreal.
Cercidiphyllum japonicum, known as the Katsura tree, is a deciduous tree that can reach 20m in height and 15m in width. It is a vigorous species, which grows quickly and prefers places with full sun.
The leaves of this tree are bronze in color when young, turning green and then, in autumn, appearing in shades of yellow, orange and red. Fallen leaves, when stepped on, give off an aroma similar to toffee.
The Acer campestre is a large deciduous tree that can grow up to 25m in height.
Field maple leaves are red when young, green at the end of summer to become later, yellow and red in the fall.
Acer griseum, known as Paperbark maple, is a small deciduous tree that can grow up to 10m in height and 10m in width. Its main characteristic is the bark, which varies from orange to mahogany red and peels laterally.
The dark green leaves turn scarlet in autumn. The unusual and highly ornamental bark gives this spectacular tree a valuable role in winter in small gardens.
Crataegus persimilis ‘Prunifolia’ is a small tree that can be grown in full sun or partial shade and enjoys moist but well-drained soils.
It is cultivated mainly for the beauty of its dark green leaves that turn orange and red in autumn. In early summer, it produces dense heads of white flowers, that are followed by bunches of bright-red berries.
This deciduous tree is a small tree or large shrub that can reach 5m in height and 6m in width. Rhus typhina is especially appreciated in autumn, because the deeply divided leaves transform their color to orange and red.
The fruits grow on female plants in dense, crimson-red clusters.
Liquidambar are deciduous and conical shaped trees. They can reach 25m in height and 12m in width.
These trees are often mistaken for maples because of their very similar star-shaped leaves and wonderful autumn colors.
At this time of year the leaves acquire intense colors from orange, yellow, red and purple. In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful trees in autumn.
We invite you to let us know your favorite in the comments. Is any tree that should be in this list?