Vibrant red, yellow, and orange colors emerging in autumn foliage is an annual spectacle that creates picturesque landscapes. Capturing some of this beauty on your property means you can enjoy a slice of fall heaven before winter arrives.
Several natives have developed a reputation for their stunning color transformations. Incorporating some of these eight trees in your native nursery will help create a memorable fall display.
1. Black Gum
This medium to large-sized deciduous tree – sometimes referred to as black tupelo – is one of nature’s most colorful native trees. As the summer gives way to fall, dark green leaves transform into dazzling orange, yellow, and purple hues. In addition to its vivid colors, black gum trees also have a distinct bark that has been compared to alligator skin.
2. Nuttall Oak
With the ability to tolerate an array of soil conditions, the nuttall oak has become a popular choice for both urban and suburban growing environments. In the fall, the leaves of this tree fade from green to yellow and eventually red. In addition to its colorful transition, it also grows quicker than other oak species and has a mature height of up to 60 feet.
A medium-sized tree, sassafras produces three unique leaf structures: an oval, a “mitten,” and a tri-lobed shape. Throughout the year, the color of its leaves ranges from green to brown, going through periods of yellow, orange, and red. In addition to the visually-stimulating colors, sassafras also releases a pleasant aroma when its leaves are crushed.
4. Sugar Maple
Not only does the Sugar Maple make for a fantastic shade tree in the summer, but it’s also the source of maple syrup (tapped in February or March) and provides a visually-stunning display of colors in the fall. Its leaves are a soft yellow color in early spring and return to a bright yellow, rich orange, and red tone in the fall.
5. Scarlet Oak
The scarlet oak has a distinctly-brilliant red that takes over in the fall and lasts well into the winter. Those who have observed the scarlet oak annually can appreciate its striking contrast against a white, snowy backdrop. In addition to its color, its acorns serve as an important food source for songbirds, turkeys, squirrels, and dear.
The sourwood goes through a range of visual changes throughout the year. White, fragrant flowers emerge in early summer, giving way to rich green leaves during the later summer months. Once colder weather moves in, leaves turn yellow, red, and purple before falling off in the winter. At full maturity, it can reach 30 feet in height with a spread of roughly 20 feet. It grows best in areas that receive direct, unfiltered sunlight during the day.
7. Sweet Gum
Wildlife loves the American sweetgum. Small mammals like squirrels and chipmunks feast on its fruits and seeds. Its star-shaped leaves transform from green to yellow, orange, and purple during the fall. In the proper conditions (plenty of space and pollution-free environments), it can reach up to 75 feet in height.
8. Bald cypress
When given the right soil, Bald Cypress grows well when planted in various environments, including suburban yards and streets. Its short needles are yellow-green in early spring and soft green in summer months. In the fall, needles turn red, orange, and brown. Several species of wildlife enjoy its triangular seeds.
Your Native Plant Nursery Headquarters
Our goal is to help you provide your customers with an exceptional selection of natives. We have hundreds of shrubs, perennials, and grasses, as well as our revolutionary RPM oak trees. Get in touch with a Forrest Keeling representative today to see how we can help you grow your native nursery.