With a very hot finish to summer across our region this year, it’s perhaps a bit early to be focusing on autumn leaf colours, but I wanted to highlight some of the best trees for autumn colour in our gardens.
Autumn leaf colour on deciduous trees in gardens in climates like ours can be one of the most spectacular displays for the whole year. I have listed my favourite autumn colour trees below, under two broad headingsgolden autumn colour and red autumn colour. The most eye catching of these can vary from year to year, depending on seasonal conditions.
Golden autumn leaves. The ancient maidenhair tree (Ginkgo) has very unusual shaped leaves that turn bright yellow in autumn. Golden ash trees were amongst the most spectacular autumn coloured trees across our region last year. Golden robinias, golden elms, veronese poplars and the beautiful tulip trees are others whose foliage will turn bright yellow over the coming months.
Red autumn leaves. When we think of bright red autumn foliage on trees, Japanese maples are probably the first that come to mind. I have a beautiful Acer japonicum vitifolium in my garden-a small tree with large, green highly divided leaves that turn brilliant red in autumn. Another Japanese maple with intense crimson autumn colour is Acer palmatum Osakazuki. Larger growing, excellent specimen trees (also suitable for lining driveways) are the Lipstick maples, including Autumn Blaze and October Glory. Liquidambers are another great specimen tree and their leaves can show a range of colours from gold to red to purple in autumn. Chinese pistachio trees were some of the most spectacular in autumn around the region a couple of years ago-with bright orange to red leaf colour. Claret ash, scarlet oak and ornamental pears are other large growing deciduous trees with strong red autumn colours.
A less well known, medium size deciduous tree with magnificent orange/red leaf colours in autumn is the Persian Witch Hazel (Parrotia persica).
Millthorpe Garden Nursery