21 Plants and Trees for Fall Color

With the heat of summer coming to an end, fall is the perfect time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. The cooler temperatures mean less watering and less stress on the plants, and the plants will have plenty of time to grow a strong root system before the ground freezes in winter, which means a healthier plant next year.

Each year around October/November, forests erupt with swaths of reds, oranges, yellows, purples and copper in a rich symphony backed by varying degrees of greens provided by pines, firs and hemlocks.

It’s easy to paint your own fall scene just outside your window! Below is a list of trees and shrubs that will provide the much needed bursts of color that can be enjoyed throughout this season.


  • Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)
  • Serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora)
  • Purple Leaf Plum (Prunus cerasifera)
  • Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia sp.)
  • Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus)
  • Sweetspire (Itea virginica)


  • Sugar Maple (Acer saccarum)
  • Katsura Tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum)
  • Chinese Pistachio (Pistachia chinensis)
  • Glossy Abelia (Abelia grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’)
  • Dwarf Fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii)


  • Gingko (Ginkgo biloba)
  • Sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
  • Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
  • Summer sweet (Clethra alnifolia)
  • Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris)
  • Witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana


  • Dogwood (Cornus florida)
  • Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboretum)
  • Twist and Shout Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Twist and Shout’)
  • Oak Leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)

Follow @NaveNewell on Twitter or LinkedIn for regular landscape design and planting tips.