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Best Trees for Fall Color

Black gum fall color

When the topic of trees with amazing fall color comes up, maples are always at the forefront of the discussion. Whether a golden yellow sugar maple, a burgundy Firefall seedless maple, or a fire red Autumn Blaze, everyone knows that maples are showy.

We love maples as much as anyone, but we wanted to show some love to some of the other showstopping fall color trees we carry. 

Large Trees for Fall Color

Black Gum Black gum trees (Nyssa sylvatica) have some of the most vibrant fall color around. The glossy leaves are attractive all season, but the depth and brightness of the fall color is absolutely magnetic. Truly one of the best trees for fall color, the shiny leaves look almost too stunning to be real. This tree has a rounded form with open, airy branching. 

Black gum fall color
Black gum’s beautiful fall color

Northern Red Oak and Northern Pin Oak Excellent shade, long life, and good vigor- what’s not to love about an oak? In addition to these great qualities, red oaks and pin oaks color up just as intensely as many maples in fall for a breathtaking impact in the landscape. After the fall color show, many oaks hold their leaves well into winter, adding further interest. With proper care and planting, oaks are great growers!

Northern Red Oak
Northern Red Oak

Smaller Stature Trees with Great Fall Color

Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.) If you need fall color in a moderately sized tree, serviceberry answers the call. We particularly love ‘Autumn Brilliance’. This medium sized tree grows to about 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide. White flowers in spring are followed by delicious edible berries that are beloved by birds and humans alike. The fall color is a brilliant orange to red. This is an excellent wildlife and ornamental tree that tolerates some shade as well.  

Serviceberry in fall
Serviceberry fall color

Carpinus caroliniana This tree has a lot of common names including musclewood, American hornbeam, and blue beech. Musclewood is a particularly good one because of the sinewy trunk’s resemblance to flexed muscle. The brilliant orange to red foliage is extremely showy late in the season and the bluish grey bark adds extra interest. The rounded form is excellent for a natural look. At about 20-30 feet tall and wide at maturity, this tree tolerates some shade and is native to Minnesota.

Blue beech fall color
Musclewood has marvelous fall color

Still hankering for a maple? Check out our blog on the beautiful Firefall maple.