Autumn Colour

Five of the Best Trees for Autumn Colour

Autumn is most definitely here, whether that's in meteorological terms, astronomical terms or phenological. The nights are getting significantly cooler and the day time temperatures are beginning to drop. So what better way to celebrate this fantastic season than to look at five of the best trees for autumnal colour.

Acer rubrum


Acer rubrum (Red Maple) produces arguably one of the most spectacular autumn foliage displays. Classed as a medium tree, growing 12m +, it makes a sublime specimen in any large garden or park. Large palmate glossy green leaves in the spring and summer, combined with the red winter stems on the previous years growth, gives Acer rubrum the ability to transcend the seasons, providing year round interest. 

Cercidiphyllum japonicum


Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura Tree) is one of the largest deciduous trees in Asia, growing to an unbelievable 45m! In the UK it rarely grows more than 15m. Its leaves taken on many colours during the year, starting pink in the spring, turning to green in the summer and then turning yellow, orange and red in the autumn. This spectacular autumn foliage also takes on a scent of burning sugar which only increases the appeal of this stunning tree!

Liquidambar 'Lane Roberts'


Liquidambar 'Lane Roberts' (Sweet Gum Lane Roberts) is a native of the eastern Unite States. It is classed as a small to medium tree, growing between 7-12m. It has a more pyramidal shape than many other Liquidambars and can therefore be incorporated into smaller gardens.
Stunning red and burgundy foliage adorns this tree throughout autumn making it a seasonal highlight. It grows well in clay and acidic soils and performs very poorly in chalky soils.

Parrotia persica


Parrotia persica (Persian Ironwood) is a large spreading tree native to Iran. It produces a stunning autumnal display beginning with golden yellow leaves that become orange and then red as autumn progresses. In late winter and early spring it produces red witch-hazel like flowers. It is best grown as a multi-stem tree as it has a height and spread of around 10m. 

Prunus sargentii


Prunus sargentii (Sargent's Cherry) is one of the earliest trees to produce autumn colour, often displaying fiery oranges and reds as early mid September. It is classed as a small tree, growing to a maximum of 10m, so is perfect for small gardens and urban spaces. In mid-late spring, rosy-pink flowers adorn its branches. Prunus sargentii is one of the finest cherries commercially grown. 

September 2015