7 Great Trees for Fall Colour and Summer Shade

It’s that wondrous time of year when late summer starts knocking at early fall’s doorway. Take advantage by planting a tree in your front lawn which celebrates the mixing of those seasons. Here are some top picks from landscape experts across the U.S.

The Garden Route Company

Bloodgood Japanese maple. Sandy Ayers of The Garden Route Company at California loves the ruby-red tones of Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’, or Bloodgood Japanese maple.

USDA zones: 5 to 8 (find your zone)
Height: 15 to 25 feet
Color: deep red in spring and summer, turns scarlet in fall; deciduous
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Water requirement:moderate to regular

The Garden Route Company

Coral bark Japanese maple. While less dramatic compared to the Bloodgood, Acer palmatum ‘Sango Kaku’, or coral bark Japanese maple, is one of Ayers’ favorites because of the way it elevates shots of yellow right into a lawn.

USDA zones:4 to 9
Height: 20 feet
Color: Yellow-green leaves and coral bark in spring and summer; the leaves turn brighter yellow in fall; the bark turns a vibrant coral at winter; deciduous
Light requirement:Full sun to partial shade
Water requirement:moderate to routine

River birch. “River birch is one of my favorites,” says Terry Sims of The Garden Artist at Idaho. “During fall the leaves turn yellow, and it is a nice comparison to the reds. The exfoliating cinnamon- and cream-colored bark becomes notable as the tree loses its leaves.”

The birches revealed here are a part of a project designed by Windsor Companies.

USDA zones: 3 to 9
Height: 40 to 70 feet
Color: Green leaves in spring and summer; turns golden in fall; deciduous
Light requirement:Total sun
Water requirement:Will bear moderate flooding; drought resistant

LLC, the American Gardener

Forest pansy redbud. With four-season interest Cercis canadensis, or forest pansy redbud, provides a fantastic focal point in any lawn. “This is especially true from the front lawn,” notes Sims, “where land mass will be smaller.”

Redbuds, such as the one in this job by The American Gardener, are ranked for total sunlight but, according to Sims, favor afternoon shade.

USDA zones: 5 to 9
Height: 20 feet
Color: Blooms pink in early spring; turns purple in fall; deciduous
Light requirement:Total sun
Water requirement:Frequent

Milieu Design

Chanticleer pear. Pyrus calleryana, or chanticleer pear, is believed by many to be a fantastic street tree because of its tendency to not “litter” leaves. It develops at a pyramidal shape, so it’s easy to match in narrow locations. “For your front lawn, my favorite sort of allée [line of trees] is using the chanticleer pear,” says Sims. “It softens the expanse of a driveway to assist minimize hardscape and provides the visitor with direction to the front door.”

This allée of chanticleer pear trees is now a portion of a job by Milieu Design.

USDA zones: 5 to 8
Height: 24 to 35 feet
Color: dark green leaves in summer; turns fiery orange in fall; deciduous
Light condition: Total sun
Water requirement:Regular

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

Kwanzan cherry. This dual pink flowering tree is a favorite of Robert Welsch’s of Westover Landscape Design at New York because it makes a graceful, colorful display as well as a walkway or street.

USDA zones: 5 to 9
Height: 30 to 40 feet
Color: Green leaves in summer; turns copper in fall; deciduous
Light requirement:Entire sun
Water requirement:Frequent

Ginkgo Leaf Studio

Apple serviceberry. Amelanchier x grandiflora, or apple serviceberry is, as James Drzewiecki of Ginkgo Leaf Studio in Wisconsin describes, an ideal tree for smaller suburban yards. “It will not get so large that it casts a lot of shade over the entire lawn, such as large shade trees do, but it is large enough to maintain scale with the majority of average-sized houses,” he says. “Plus, the purple berries make a marvelous jam.”

USDA zones: 4 to 9
Height: 20 to 25 feet
Color: Green leaves in summer; turns orange-red in fall; deciduous
moderate requirement:Full to partial sun
Water requirement:Frequent

More: The Weepers and the Creepers: 10 Intriguing Trees for Your Garden

See related