Fall foliage

Thu. Sep. 7, 2017

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

Burning bush. And so it begins…

Forecasters, however, are predicting that this year there will be a prolonged color season for fall leaves.  There’ll be an earlier-than-typical peak fall, with higher elevations peaking first and warmer-than-average temperatures are expected from September to November.  I’m hoping for the best!  I love Fall.

Maple outside my door

I mentioned some Fall color plants to place in your landscape yesterday but there’s more!  I would suggest taking 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

For something a little different…  the French lilac.  The pic below is the shrub that angles around my front porch.  I didn’t plant it but I love it!  It flowers later than other lilacs and has a unique fall color.  The green shrub sticking out is a burning bush…  don’t have the heart to pull it out.  Besides, it’s eclectic!

French lilac – Fall 2017

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.

Thornless cockspur Hawthorn