Fall foliage

Fri. Sep. 6, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Fall foliage

Weather plays a large role in what our Fall colors look like.  In particular, we get more vibrant reds when we have warm, sunny autumn days and cool nights.  Yellows and oranges tend to stay pretty consistent from year to year but all colors will be duller if we have a warm wet period during the Fall.  

My current situation…

This is a maple that’s in distress. It will be cut down next year. Below is a picture of part of the problem…

Immediately to the other side of my sidewalk is this red maple that hasn’t turned at all yet…

Red maple 9-2-19

For the best color we need a warm wet Spring, a drought free summer and a Fall with warm sunny days and cool nights (we shall see).   Here’s a Fall foliage prediction map by smokymountains.com for 2019.

Foliage prediction map – for 9-21-19

You’ll also find out plenty more information from your State’s Department of Natural Resources!  This LINK, from NOAA, takes you to Minnesota and Wisconsin’s fall color updates.

Of course, if we have a severe frost early, the leaves die and that’s that!

September is the most important month and for the best color we need sunshine!  I’m hoping for the best!

Red osier dogwood in Fall
Red twigged Red Osier Dogwood in Fall

I love Fall.  I mentioned some Fall color plants to place in your landscape yesterday but there’s more!

Take a stroll through your local garden nurseries, see what’s going on there and ask questions.  Some options could include Serviceberry aka Juneberry.  It’s a great native shrub with fabulous fall colors that range from orange to red.  The wildlife, including us, find the fruit pretty darn good too.

Serviceberry fall color

Lindens and Kentucky Coffee trees have all around great looks with a pretty yellow fall color.

Kentucky coffee tree – Fall color

Consider the Hawthorn, a  top notch small landscape accent shrub with a superb branching habit, a blanket of white flowers in spring, red berries and brilliant color in fall, sort of like a tomatoey orangey gold!   ‘Crusader’ is thornless too!  It grows 25 feet wide and 25 feet tall, is great for under powerlines and you can underplant it.  It’s canopy clearance is typically about 3 feet from the ground.

Hawthorn ‘Crusader’ fall color
French lilac October 2017 by Teri Knight
Red Chokeberry in the Fall