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Trees for Fall Color

It’s only been a few days since autumn officially started. But we’re already seeing some spectacular fall color along our roadways in Iowa. Maybe you’ve noticed some of the same colors and plants that we have: Deep reds in the thickets of sumac, brilliant yellows from our native ashes, rich purples from our red-osier dogwoods, and occasional oranges from our treasured sugar maples.

Unfortunately, in their native forms the plants mentioned above are often unsuitable for the home landscape. But don’t worry! There are plenty of cultivated trees that are beautiful in autumn and won’t overwhelm you with maintenance issues. Here are some of our favorites.

Red Sunset Maple

(Acer rubrum ‘Franksred’)

Red Sunset Maple in fall

Are you searching for a tree that will consistently produce brilliant red leaves each fall? You could try an Autumn Blaze Maple. But Red Sunset Maples will stay much smaller, and you’ll have fewer issues with surface roots. This tree one is of our best-sellers for good reason!

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry

(Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’)

Beautiful orange fall foliage on this serviceberry

Don’t have the room for a full-sized tree? You may want to consider planting a clump-form Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry. The fall color is typically bright orange. In addition, the flowers in spring and delicious berries in summer make this plant a treasure throughout the year.

Heritage River Birch

(Betula nigra ‘Heritage’)

When people of think of river birch, they mostly think of the beautiful bark in winter. But don’t forget about the bright yellow foliage in autumn. This tree is especially useful for planting in wet areas.

Cleveland Select Pear

(Pyrus calleryana ‘Glen’s Form’)

Like river birch, the ornamental pear has also been “type-cast” so to speak. Although the beautiful white flowers are a treat in spring, some people might argue that the fall foliage is even more stunning. Depending on the year, you might see yellow, orange, red, or purple leaves in fall. Some years you’ll see all of those colors at the same time!

Regardless of the size of your yard, there are plenty of plants you can choose from to get a pop of color in the fall. Be sure to stop by the nursery and see for yourself.