10 favorites for fall color list 2012
As another fall is sneaking by us I'm thinking about the most impressive trees I have seen. Almost in order are:
Fraxinus americana - White ash. Don't plant one, EAB is doing to them what Chestnut blight did to the chestnuts, but boy is it a shame.
Acer saccharum - Sugar maple. Multi faceted natural color, good form and long lived.
Cornus florida - Native dogwood. A great long flower show in your choice of two colors and a month long fall color show with small red berries! If you have some protection from pure sun a great choice. Consider Cornus kousa if dogwood diseases are prevalent in your area.
Liquidambar styraciflua - Sweetgum. One of the few rivals to sugar maples for complex fall color in a large tree. Plant it where the spiny balls are not a problem and you will be rewarded.
Acer rubrum 'Franksred'(Red SunsetÃ¯Â¿Â½) - Red maple. Everyone has their own patented version of a red maple. This one gets my attention the most for some reason. The species is highly variable so a cultivar or at least selection in the fall is mandatory if fall color is a concern. The species tolerates wet sites.
Quercus coccinea - Scarlet oak. A good sized oak for most properties and not an extremely slow grower. While some patented maples in particular can be almost over the top in fall color the oaks maintain their dignity.
Quercus alba - White oak. Plant it if you have the room! Folks generations from now will notice.
Oxydendrum arboreum - Sourwood. Neon red with interesting form, flowers and fruit. A bit picky on soil type and maybe slower growing than most folks prefer?
Nyssa sylvatica - Black gum. Known under a different name in every zip code Nyssa is a polite medium sized tree with reliable red fall color. The red is mixed in with the green foliage at first. Has been a difficult transplant for me.
Metasequoia glyptostroboides - Dawn redwood. I think this is the only import on my list but in the epoch type time scale could be considered a native I suppose. Plant Taxodium distichum as a native alternative. Dawn redwood is a pleasing orange/peach color for me not found elsewhere. Can be limbed up or left growing "christmas tree" style depending on your tastes in trunks.
Lord, who did I miss, no Acer japonicums or a dozen other Asian maples which can look great in fall. I'm still deciding but hopeful on the tree forms of Amelanchier (serviceberry). My small one seems promising. I'm sure there are others maybe even in my yard I have forgotten.