Autumn Rainbows Around Your Home

When you see the breathtaking fall foliage, it might inspire you to plant your own “rainbow of colors” in your home landscape.

Of course, your planting zone is important. See for a map of the U.S., showing zones 3 (far north) to 10 (deep south); you can give your zip code to find out exactly what zone you’re in.
Although your yard may limit some choices that seem too massive or that won’t grow well in your soil conditions, there is certainly a tree suitable for every home and color preference.

Following is a list of 12 trees, ranging in autumn colors from brilliant reds and oranges to bright yellows, blue-greens, copper browns and deep purple. By contrasting your choices with a few complementary evergreens, you can have a fall rainbow in your yard.

Information for each tree will include planting zones, size at maturity, amount of sun needed, soil condition preferences, and drought tolerance. General shapes and notable specifics – like flowers in fall or needs minimal attention or attracts birds – will also be given.

Trees that display red leaf colors in fall include red maple, dogwood, sweet gum, blackgum, white oak, red oak, pin oak, scarlet oak, sourwood, sumac and sassafras. Some varieties of red maple produce particularly-brilliant reds – like “Red Sunset” and “October Glory.” (Color choices by

Yellow foliage-producing trees include birch, hickory, white ash, aspen, elm, beech, yellow poplar, gingko, honey locust and willow. Sugar maples show orange-yellow colors and bald cypress – a deciduous conifer – displays a spectacular gold.

Red trees:

1. Autumn Blaze maple grows in zones 3-8. Begin with a 3 to 4 foot tree and it will grow 3 feet or more per year. This maple, unlike most, does not drop seed pods!

This is a hybrid of red and silver maples. It creates a minimal mess after leaf-drop.

Mature height = 40 to 50 feet; width = 30 to 40 feet. Sun = full or partial. Good drought tolerance; adaptable to different soil conditions.

The leaves turn into brilliant oranges and scarlet reds in the fall.


Posted in Seasonal Information.