Every year at this time, nature gives us a brilliantly colored gift. Many folks head north, called leaf peepers by the locals, to see autumn in all its glory. But you don’t have to travel to Vermont or New Hampshire to experience splendid fall foliage. You don’t even have to leave your property.
Maples are often the first fall foliage tree one thinks of. And it’s true; maples are responsible for much of the brilliant reds and oranges you see. Sugar maples grow in twenty-three states with red and silver maples not far behind.
“Sugar maples are beautifully multi-colored,” said Young’s Nurseries owner Dave Gindek. The leaves of this spectacular species of tree go from dark green in the spring to oranges, reds and yellows in the fall.
The green mountain variety is a popular member of the Acer species and also makes a great shade tree, even though it may take years to reach a sizeable height. At its maturity, the green mountain sugar maple can grow up to 60 feet with a 40-foot spread.
But sugar maples aren’t the only maple trees in Wilton. Japanese maples are very popular landscape trees because of their stout and red varieties.
“There is an entire book on Japanese maples alone,” said Gindek. “There are literally hundreds of varieties of them.”
There are dwarfs and groundcover Japanese maple trees and the spectrum reaches all the way to trees that grow over eight feet high with a 10 foot spread.
When choosing a maple tree to add to your landscape, keep in mind what season you want to see red foliage in. Japanese red maple trees may be brilliant in the summer, but not so much in the fall.
“Almost every plant turns a fall color, except red leaf type plants. Anything that is green will have some kind of a fall color to it.”
For that bang of color in your landscape, it doesn’t have to be a maple tree.
“Dogwoods get red. Birches get yellow. Scarlet oak turns a red-ish color,” suggested Gindek.
Gindek also suggested the burning bush, a shrub that adds a fiery red color to an autumn landscape.
Feel free to get ultra creative with burning bushes. Speckle it around a pool or tennis court or surround an intimate koi pond with its colorful zing. The design ideas you have with fall foliage trees are as numerous as the types of autumn trees and shrubs there are.