Best fall (autumn) color trees and shrubs
This is an illustrated guide to the best species and varieties of trees and shrubs for fall color, arranged under genus and species in alphabetical order. For each variety it includes notes on identification, frequency in cultivation, location of photo, distribution in the wild and other notes. My name is John Richards. I believe that autumn-coloring trees and shrubs have an unrivalled impact on color and form in the garden and park and I have been collecting photographs of trees and shrubs in spectacular fall colour for more than a decade. As a botanist (Emeritus Professor at Newcastle, UK) I am interested in the correct names and classification of the plants portrayed. I am also concerned with their identification, those which have the most colourful autumn display, and those UK public gardens, arboreta and parks which have the best collections. This is essentially a collection of my photographs, labelled with what the owners considered to be the correct names and the location of the plant. It is organised alphabetically, by genus and then by species. You may be interested that I have another (nearly weekly) blog on the Alpine Garden Society website under 'Northumberland Diary'.
Tip: try clicking on each image and then scrolling to give high quality image and text reproduction.
Acers are maples and include the (English) sycamores. They range from shrubs to large trees and occur throughout the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere. They are deciduous, and most have very spectacular autumn colour, which is the main reason that they are popular in most collections of temperate trees. Many prefer a sheltered site and an acidic soil. In the spring they bear male and female flowers separately. Male flowers are often attractively coloured with conspicuous stamens. Female flowers already have the shape of the winged fruit (samara) that they will form later on. These are dispersed in the wind with a propeller action.
We come next to the best known of all the autumn-coloured maples, Acer palmatum. There are so many varieties of this grown, that it deserves its own page, which comes next.