Saturday, 20 November 2010 02:00

Fall Colors

Every season has its attractions to a photographer, but fall usually is one of our favorites.  The reds, golds and yellows displayed in nature attest to the creative side of God for our pleasure.  Many of you live in absolutely stunning areas where fall color is rampant and even the travel industry thrives catering to the "leaf peepers".

And a lot of us live in a more subdued environment where we are tickled when we can plant a variety that gives us an additional season of enjoyment.

Here are a few of the items we grow that provides the color palette we like to enjoy:

Reds & Oranges

Chinese Pistache

My neighborhood has a lot of Chinese Pistache - both the seedling (with seeds) and the seedless Keith Davies.  Here are some shots from last Saturday's walk around the block.

Seedling Chinese Pistache - Great Oranges and Reds - but colors will vary since each tree came from seed.

Seedling Chinese Pistache

Look close and you can see the red seeds among the foliage.  Pretty but slippery on the cement sidewalks which is why I like the Keith Davies.


Most people only think of the orange-red fruit of the persimmons which  ripen in the fall and provide their own fall ornamental value along with good eating. 

Giant Fuyu Persimmon Fruit showing their fall ornamental colors.

Many persimmons also have colorful fall foliage:

Saijo Persimmon November foliage


Maru Persimmon and Fall Foliage


Forest Pansy Redbud

This November photo shows the new growth still vibrantly red.  Older foliage is turning a non-spectacular yellow.


Trident Maple (Acer buergeranum)    Our environment, like many of yours, is not conducive to successfully growing many of the great maples seen in the acidic soils of the east.  I like the Trident Maple because it is a tough tree that handles our slightly alkaline soils and high summer temperatures.  It provides good fall color as well.

Seed bed full of Trident Maple (Acer buergeranum) seedlings showing red fall color.

 Autumn Fantasy Maple

Red foliage of Autumn Fantasy® Maple.  This maple is a Red/Silver Maple cross that also can handle less acidic soils.  I like it along with Autumn Blaze® for our climate.  This season the Autumn Fantasy® Maples colored up very well.  Some years it colors slowly so reds are mixed with greens.  Autumn Blaze® tends to color up more consistently at one time in my opinion.


Golds & Yellows

European White Birch



There are several plantings of Clump European White Birth (Betula pendula alba) in my neighborhood which provide attractive golden fall color.

Golden Desert Ash




All summer long the Golden Desert Ash has a nice golden color which is especially showy against a green backdrop.  In the fall, the golds turn even more golden.


Basically all the Populus family has attractive golden-yellow fall colors and there is not enough room to show them all here.  I want to feature the Silver Leafed Poplars that have attractive green/silver summer foliage that turns into a stunning golden show in the fall.


Silver Leaf Poplar - Silver-green summer foliage
Silver Leaf Poplar - Golden fall color beginning to emerge.



Autumn Purple Ash

(Ignore the shape - this is a tree we butcher yearly to get budwood - use your imagination)


Autumn Purple Ash has attractive fall colors in the burgundy-purple ranges.  This tree is an excellent shade tree in the summer and should have wider use.


And this was a brief photo walk around the block and a brief stop in the budwood orchard.  What colors do you want to add to your landscape to enjoy for many years to come?

 Ron Ludekens 11-20-2010


Published in Ron's PhotoBlog