Colorful Trees and Shrubs in Fall

Sugar maple and red oak are some of the most handsome trees in fall, exhibiting great displays of yellow and red color, adding great aesthetic value.  There are some others as well, not as well known or widely planted that can add diversity of genetics, color, shape, pest resistance and form to the landscape.

Pagoda dogwood is a great choice for a small to medium tree that can also be grown as a large, multi- stem shrub.  It provides glossy green leaves in summer, white flowers in spring and red leaves in fall.  Few pests bother pagoda dogwood.

Grey dogwood is another worthy of mention.  A large rounded shrub, it’s great for the border, backdrop or as a screening plant.  In most years, it provides a red wine colored accent to the landscape.

Yellow buckeye is a sturdy specimen with great architectural features and strong branch angles.  It features dull green leaves in summer, as well as large white plume shaped, upright clusters of flowers.  The flowers are displayed in late spring/early summer when few other trees are flowering, which is a welcome sight.  In fall, the colors that are exhibited range from a burnt yellow to an orange red, each of which are quite pleasing.

John Fech
Horticulture Extension Educator at Nebraska Extension
John Fech is a horticulturist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture. The author of 2 books and over 200 popular and trade journal articles, he focuses his time on teaching effective landscape maintenance techniques, water conservation, diagnosing turf and ornamental problems and encouraging effective bilingual communication in the green industry. He works extensively with the media to extend the message of landscape sustainability, making over 100 television and radio appearances each year.
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