Gardening doesn't end with summer's warmth! Your landscape still needs your attention even when the temperatures drop. So while you're dreaming of spring, don't forget an important part of garden maintenance even when the temperatures drop and plants are sleeping.
Usually, Mother Nature provides everything your garden needs. Once winter's snows arrive, that white blanket provides moisture and insulation. For gardeners in areas where the ground freezes all winter and can enjoy snow cover all winter - watering may not be necessary. However, it shouldn't be far from your mind either.
Sometimes there's no white Christmas, and plants are left gasping, even when dormant. Unexpected warm spells add to the troublesome temperamental nature of Ma Nature in the winter months!
Winter Watering - Why it's Important
When to Water
How to Water
Combating Frost Crack
Winter Watering - Why it's Important:
Dormant plants may not be growing above ground, but new root formation continues below throughout Autumn and even during mild winters. The fall is excellent for initiating new roots and getting your plants a jump start on spring.
Keeping up with watering in winter is important for:
Newly installed plant material their first year in the ground
Lighter, sandier soils
When growing in more arid climates
Experienced drought or dry conditions before winter
For Evergreens, remember these plants transpire water when temperatures are above freezing, losing moisture through the foliage, with no soil moisture to replace it with. So it's important for you to provide it to keep your plants healthy year-round!
Timing is Everything
Fall and winter watering should be done if the ground is dry and not frozen. Without moisture at the root zone, plants suffer. If it's been dry and unseasonably warm and you know a freeze is on the way… water!
Water plants any time in the winter when:
There's no snow cover
Temperatures are above freezing for a time
There's been no rainfall or snowfall for a week
Been less than 2" of rain or snow for a week or two
New plants that were installed that fall
Evergreen trees that constantly receive the brunt of the cold, dry northern winter winds
Your plants eventually use less water when dormant, so depending upon your soil type and these other factors above, watering may only be needed once a month.
Best Watering Practices
Hook up your hose and water at the root zone only, soaking it thoroughly. Simply run the hose open about half speed soaking the entire root system, letting the water soak in deep.
Often it's recommended to turn off the water once it has pooled, let it soak in, and then water until it pools once more, and then repeat a couple more times until the entire area is fully saturated but not waterlogged. You can find out more about proper watering practices and Finger Test watering in our Garden Blog.
Winter Windburn - The Arch-Nemesis of Evergreens
Windburn (aka: sunburn/winter burn) occurs on Evergreens and on Broadleaved Evergreens when they dry out in winter or are planted where they are exposed to cold drying wind. The effects may not show up immediately; it may take until spring for the discoloration to show up with brown or damaged foliage on one side of the plant.
Any tree or shrub that's high on a hilltop, exposed to constant wind (windbreaks and shelterbelts), or located in exposed areas with no protection is susceptible.
Making sure the soil is moist before it freezes in fall, not letting them go into winter dry, is the first step in averting damage. If your plants or your location are particularly susceptible, you can use an anti-desiccant - a spray that coats the foliage and keeps them from drying out - preventing windburn.
Frost Crack - The Arch-Nemesis of Deciduous Plants
Often affecting Hardwood trees, Frost Crack occurs when the inner and outer tissues in the trunk expand and contract at different rates when subjected to drastic temperatures changes.
After a sunny, unseasonably warm day and the temperatures drop to freezing at night, cracks are caused by moisture rapidly expanding within the tree's xylem and phloem, causing a split to occur the length of the trunk.
Frost Crack Affects Trees that Are:
Situated in open, exposed, isolated & in full sun exposures.
Tree planted in heavy clay & soggy soils
Been severely pruned
Improper fertilizer timing when late growth hasn't "hardened off"
Recovering from summer drought followed by excessive water in the fall
Prevent frost crack in deciduous trees by not overwatering and leaving tree roots in soggy soil before a significant freeze. Stop fertilizer in July so new growth has had time to be ready for the cold and don't prune too severely whenever possible.
There are tree trunk wraps available that are white or light-colored, reflecting the bright sun and help prevent frost crack from occurring. Do not use black drain tile or black or dark-colored trunk protectors as they heat up until the sun drops and creates cracking.
While Frost Crack doesn't spell instant death, it does mar your tree and can lead to future issues if not healed or treated by an Arborist. Insects and diseases can enter the tree's insides easily through these cracks if left untreated.
Last But Not Least:
When you are done watering, you will need to drain your hose and turn off the faucet in your basement to prevent costly damage. Never use your underground sprinklers or drip irrigation in winter. You also should have mulched your plants for the winter.
Just a small amount of forethought and effort ensures your tree and shrub's survivability during the toughest parts of the season. With some adequate moisture, you will be able to help your plants through the bleak winter months for a colorful spring!
Let NatureHills.com help you plan your garden, even in the bleak winter months, and help keep your landscape looking its best all year long!
Learn about the Top 5 Winter Interest Plants, so your winter garden is just as beautiful as the rest of the year!
The Thuja family has long been a beloved landscaping staple when it comes to creating structures within the garden. Arborvitaes create a classic look while offering functional peace of mind through organization and presentation.
Here at NatureHills.com we LOVE our Arborvitae varieties and know that they can add great value and beauty to your landscape. We know you’re going to love them too!
Whether you’re growing the Emerald Green Arborvitae, the Green Giant Arborvitae, or any of the many varieties that we sell, there are a few things that you should know about caring for it. These tips will help keep your Thuja tree or shrub happy and healthy for years to come!
We offer a WIDE variety of Arborvitaes to choose from and picking which one is right for you is not always an easy choice! Here are some things you’ll want to consider when choosing the right one for your landscape.
What To Ask Before Purchasing:
Where do you want it to go?
How big do you want it to get?
What type of maintenance do you want to provide?
Do you want seasonal foliage?
What type of environment am I providing for the plant?
Is it environmentally friendly for where I want to plant it?
Asking these questions will help you quickly determine whether this plant variety is the right choice for you. Another benefit to answering these questions is it can help narrow down which variety of Arborvitae you may want in your landscape.
What To Know Before Planting:
Great for Zones 3-7
Mature Growth is Expected at 10’-15’
Some Varieties Grow Quickly and Others Grow More Slowly
Full Sun Preference
Soil Preference: Acidic, Loamy, Moist, Rich, Sandy, Silty Loamy, Well Drained, Wet & Clay Soils
Choosing the Right One
It’s important to mention that the type of variety that you choose will influence how quickly the variety grows, both vertically and horizontally. Some varieties are bushier and other varieties are more narrow.
You may have noticed that we at NatureHills.com offer an extensive selection of Arborvitae trees and shrubs to choose from. When considering which variety is right for you there are a few things you’ll also need to consider before planting.
Some varieties have a fluffy look, while others have soft fanning, flattened branches, all are soft to the touch and wave in the breeze in an undulating pattern.
There are many varieties to choose from, but here are some quick facts about the most popular ones:
Green Giant Arborvitae: This fast-growing variety is great for a natural border, grows quickly, gets wide, and is deer resistant.
Emerald Green Arborvitae: This variety is a more formal variety that works great as a privacy screen, stays vertical, and grows more narrow. This variety is not deer resistant.
There are a lot more varieties to choose from here at NatureHills.com, but these two popular choices are an excellent way to start!
Once you get your trees established and they’ve had the chance to grow into their new homes, it’s time to start making sure you’re continuing to give quality care to these evergreens.
These plants do enjoy their moisture, especially before the wintertime. Be sure to give them lots of moisture and water before heading into the cooler months so that you have a healthy spring tree to look forward to.
They also need protection from drying Northern winter winds. Use an anti-desiccant spray in late fall to further protect them if in an area prone to windburn.
Otherwise, these plants are fairly low maintenance. Their soil should be well-draining, and consistently moist until the roots have established themselves.
Use the “finger test” to stick your finger in the soil near the roots to the second knuckle. If it’s moist, skip watering that day. If it’s dry, give it plenty of water.
Pest & Disease Care From the Plant Sentry™ Experts
While these trees and shrubs stand tall hovering over your garden, they,
like many other plant varieties, are at just as great of a risk as other plants when it comes to warding off insects and disease. In order to keep your trees at their healthiest, our Plant Sentry experts are weighing in to offer you expert advice on their care to keep your garden as happy and healthy as possible!
There are a few diseases that afflict this plant variety that you should be aware of:
Kabatina Twig Blight (Kabatina thujae): This disease causes the tips of one-year-old branches to die and turn a brown or gray ash color. These tips will remain on the plant for many months. You should prune and destroy the infected areas if found. The use of a fungicide can help protect the plant from blight.
Pestalotiopsis Tip Blight (Pestalotiopsis funerea): This disease causes the tips of the twigs to turn a light to dark brown color with black pimple-like fungus structures on the surface. To prevent this type of blight protect the shrubs and trees from winter damages, drought, and other stressful conditions. Like the Kabatina Blight, the use of a fungicide can help protect the plant from blight.
Phomopsis Twig Blight (Phomopsis juniperovora): This disease causes the tips of the branches to die, turn brown, or ash-gray. This discoloration will remain visible on the plant for many months after infection and can cause the larger branches to be girdled or infected. At the point of infiltration into the healthier wood, black, pimple-like fungal structures will grow. To remedy this infection you should prune and destroy the infected limbs. Like the other varieties of blight, applying a fungicide can offer protection against the blight.
The Arborvitae family can face a number of challenges when it comes to potential threats of pests. Most commonly the pests to keep an eye out for are bagworms, scale, leafminers, and spider mites. Regular treatment of your plants can help limit or eliminate pest problems that may aris
Fall is one of the most awaited seasons of the year and it’s easy to tell just when it has visited your town. No, not only do the plaid jackets and porch pumpkins give it away, but so do the natural yellows, oranges, reds and browns that grace shrubs and trees.
Families look forward to pulling out the dusty pumpkin pie recipe. Kids look forward to carving the scariest pumpkin on the block. And gardeners, well we look forward to our bushes transforming into an autumn dream.
Watching the fall shrub colors come alive each year keeps us wanting more and more shrubs in our yards! That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best shrubs for fall color. Now look forward to planting NEW shrubs this fall season!
Autumn Magic Black Chokeberry
American Cranberrybush Viburnum
Little Henry® Virginia Sweetspire
Which Fall Color Should You Grow & Why?
#ProPlantTips- Plant Your Shrubs In The Fall
Make a real last minute statement with one of North America’s most unique native shrubs, the Common Witch-Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana). The bright yellow ribbons appear in late October and can last till early December.
As the fall color comes on, this plant does a weird thing --- this is when it starts to bloom! You’ll be one of the last houses on the block to greet Halloween trick or treaters with fall color!
All along the stems, unique shaped leaves are draped up and down. They are even slightly fragrant. In full sun, they will do fine, but for the best results place them in part shade.
Gardeners love to use the Common Witch-Hazel as a focal point in their fall garden as their golden yellow color illuminates a yard.
And, when you’re outside roasting marshmallows around a fire pit and sippin’ on apple cider, the Common Witch-Hazel can be a real conversation starter.
Autumn Magic Black Chokeberry
You’ll find four seasons of incredible interest with an Autumn Magic Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa 'Autumn Magic') in your front or back yard. But its fall color foliage takes the first place finish.
Sure, the white flowers each spring or the glossy green foliage of summer are mesmerizing too. However, when autumn arrives, the Magic Black Chokeberry takes things to a new level.
Those green leaves slowly transform into a fiery red and purple ambience that lasts while fall transitions into winter. Plant several as driveway borders to greet visitors on those chilly nights.
Not only will you be providing joy to your guests, but the birds will love the Autumn Magic Black Chokeberry too! Deep purplish-red berries pop up during autumn as well and the birds are quick to gobble them up.
Did you know that these berries are a superfruit? They ripen in August and can be picked and used like blueberries in baked goods, juices and smoothies.
This dramatic shrub deserves to be showcased each fall season as its peak color comes through. Never be bored with this chokeberry shrub in your landscape!
American Cranberrybush Viburnum
The American Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) is a must-have classic. It provides both ornamental interest AND an edible harvest. Now that is the best of both worlds.
The showy flowers from spring give way to bright red berries that elegantly dangle from the bush come the fall season. Use this red fruit for homemade jams and jellies put out as appetizers for an annual neighborhood Halloween party.
You may even find a few local songbirds pay you a visit for a taste of the sweet berries!
But, the berries are not the only feature. Admire this viburnum’s purplish-red fall foliage as it borders the corner of your home. It’s vibrant, unique and powerful-- all things that make a statement outdoors.
Little Henry® Virginia Sweetspire
Looking for a small, but mighty shrub? Really boost the visual appeal without taking up too much space with a Little Henry® Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica 'Sprich').
This dwarf ornamental shrub carries features starting in the summer and lasting through the fall.
Oranges and reds grace this shrub’s leaves each year. Place it in a front and center position so that you can watch the green foliage fade into a flaming leaf color display.
Or use it in containers! What could be better than a Little Henry® Virginia Sweetspire placed in a pot that’s painted as a pumpkin? Now we can really embrace the spooky season.
Obtain a pretty scarlet shade and few yellow hues with the Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra). This easy and hardy plant works hard in all garden backgrounds so that you don’t have to!
You’ll notice tiny red berries that are in large clusters, most often called drupes, that form upon this shrub. These acidic and tart tasting berries are most popularly used to form a berry tea called sumac-ade (almost like a lemonade).
Smooth Sumac is truly an autumn splendor, one of the first plants to show the red fall color.
They can be grown as a specimen or allowed to colonize in natural groupings. Wherever you choose to place it, this shrub will always put on a show!
Which Fall Color Should You Grow & Why?
Are you unsure of which autumn color is the right one for you and your landscape? Think about what that color symbolizes: it’s amazing the emotions a single color can bring! In fact, fall colors are nature’s way of stimulating our senses in every way.
Red: with its vast amount of shades stretching from burgundy to scarlet and purple to vermilion, red can be argued to be the main color of autumn. And the way it makes you feel only enhances its role as top fall color.
Make a statement in your garden as red is used as a symbol for power and magnificence. With it comes energy, life and strength. All emotions that we crave! So, if you’re looking for a warm, energized aura- red is your fall color.
Yellow: there is no denying the peacefulness that yellow brings. You may have spotted it in warm shades, such as amber or-- on the other hand, in bold hues, such as citrine and mustard. Nonetheless, yellow brings the joy of spring and summer to the fall season.
The color is associated with life and the sun. It represents knowledge and reason while creating a positive atmosphere. Use yellow shades to bring happiness to the outdoors!
Orange: since it is between the colors of red and yellow, orange inherits a lot of the main features from each. Therefore, for the perfect balance of energy and serenity-- grow orange.
In brighter shades, you’ll feel happiness, prosperity and energy. Then with the duller tones, a sense of calm and welcoming aspects take over.
Brown: last but certainly not least, brown builds its base on comfortability and reassurance. It makes us think of the earth, trunks of trees and the roots down below our feet. Brown connects us to security, vision and even willpower.
Mix it with the other fall colors to create the ideal ‘small corner of the woods’ sensation in your own backyard!
Now, when picking which of our top 5 shrubs to grow, you’ll have a better idea of what color you want to add! Read more about why leaves change color in the fall and our choices for the top 5 fall color trees in our blog here!
#ProPlantTips- Plant Your Shrubs In The Fall
It’s tempting to put off planting season until the warmer weather rolls around and we know that spring has been viewed as the best time to plant for quite some time. But, gardeners who capitalize on planting in the fall gain several benefits that spring can’t provide. Here’s just a few:
1. Establishes Strong Root Systems
With the balance between the still-warm soil and the lower, but not freezing air temperatures, shrubs can now form a strong root system. By the time spring and summer roll around, your new shrub will be ready for the stress of the heat and low amounts of water.
You’ve got a jump on the new season-- and now, so do your shrubs!
2. Fill In The Garden Gaps
Fall slows down the endless list of outdoor responsibilities and allows you to take a break. You can now consider the landscape at hand, take detailed notes and make educated decisions.
After a long growing season of showing gaps or weaknesses in garden layouts and schemes, use fall (and above shrubs) to fill in those empty spaces!
3. Pest Populations Are Low
It’s a well-known story. You buy a new plant in the spring, place it in the ground and pests/diseases kill it off. Newly established shrubs are highly vulnerable!
However, in the fall season, pest and disease populations are substantially lower. Not to mention, competition from the stubborn summer weeds is reduced. Take advantage of this and plant your shrubs before those pesky numbers rise again.
Don’t wait until spring to add a fall color shrub (or a few) to your garden! This fall activity always pairs nicely with the joys of apple picking and visits to the pumpkin patch.
With yellows, oranges, reds and browns in your own yard-- the fall season can finally be complete and you’ll know just when it arrives.
Blue and Purple colors are both resplendent and mysterious, with a beautiful depth of hue. Flowering perennials in these colors are very popular for so many reasons!
Cool and calming, soothing tones, they can be used in a very relaxing collection by themselves. Blue flowers represent hope and connection to the natural world. They also act as a perfect backdrop for contrasting yellow and orange, or pink and white blooms!
Blue Flowers...Nature's Rarest Color!
Here at NatureHills.com, we've made a name for ourselves with our gorgeous blue-flowering plants! Chinese Blue Wisteria tree, Chaste trees, Blue Chiffon Rose of Sharon, Bluestem Grass, and Blue Girl Hybrid Tea Rose - all are some of our top-selling plants!
No wonder, as true blue flowers are the rarest of all flower colors. In fact, only a few plants worldwide pull off that feat. We included purple flowering perennials in blue tones. That's because these complementary partners flow together in an impressive river of color. Create a magnificent showpiece to rest and relax in with help from our exquisite online catalog of naturally blue-flowering perennials.
Think in terms of layers for a lush look. Fill the space with small trees, shrubs, and perennials, placing smaller plants to the south side of taller ones. Low-growing blue or purple blooms can be found in our Groundcover section. They fill in to soften and polish the edges of your plantings.
High Contrast Blue and Purple Flowers Make a Dynamic Presentation
Placing several contrasting bloom colors in a certain area will definitely create outstanding focal points of interest. Pick your favorite color combination...dark green leaves, soft pinks, and blues make a dreamy impression!
Red-hot scarlet or orange-colored flowers are a compelling companion while pairing with yellow creates a vivid impact. Or, chill things down with icy white-flowering plants.
Try a Daisy May Shasta Daisy and Purple Rooster Bee Balm in a grouping. Mix and match to create happy beauty that you'll amaze over every time you see it! Create a lively and colorful landscape by finding that perfect plant pairing. It's so gratifying to follow your passions, isn't it?
Add early season flowering blue or purple perennials. Then finish with late bloomers for visual interest all season long. Plan to overlap the season of blooms with three or four different varieties. When one perennial blooming period is exhausted, you can have another ready to take its place in the spotlight.
Go beyond the garden bed and pot these up in containers, planters or even hanging baskets! You’ll enjoy armloads of cut flowers for your vase
s and floral arrangements too!
A Sample Planting for Blooms All Season
Install landscaping garden plants that look great all year with good plant choices. Start with trees and shrubs...then add flowering perennials that bloom through the season.
Here is a sample garden design plan guideline of choices that would produce a season filled with blue or purple flowers:
Start with tiny Bulbs like Siberian Squill and Hyacinth that are very easy to plant in the fall. These satisfying bloomers start early in spring and will continue for weeks.
Add spiky texture like Globe Thistles or Sea Holly and purple Allium.
Dramatic dark purple Caesar's Brother Iris kicks in with its architectural blade-like leaves. Try them near the blue-green foliage of Adam's Needle Yucca as a striking garden feature.
The Blues Little Bluestem Grass would be another stunning option. Or use Blue Rug Carpet Juniper Groundcover for ready-steady steely blue tones all year long.
Soften your early summer with vertical accents like Blue False Indigo Baptisia. These native subshrubs add a bold form and very attractive features.
Don't forget a Blue Chiffon Rose of Sharon tree form for a pretty focal point! Blue Diddley Chaste trees have blue-toned blooms, and can easily anchor a patio planting bed.
Finish up the mid to late season with a collection of Asters. The local butterfly population will thank you for the late-season nectar resource!
Certain extraordinary flowering perennials have extended blooming periods. Consider using these plants as your workhorse or mainstay! Create an eye-catching display with these majestic colors. You'll never grow tired of elegant blue or purple blooms! That's a good thing, as these durable perennials will come back for you year after year.
Top 3 Blue and Purple Flower Choices for Heat and Humidity
May Night Salvia takes center stage with a long season of bloom. Just snip the first spent flower spikes of the season.
Long-blooming Rozanne Geranium with purple petals fills in for a carefree, pretty summer! Azure Rush Geranium is another lovely choice.
Native Bee Balm is a vigorous, nectar-rich grower that belongs in Pollinator Gardens for bees and butterflies. They can also be grown in deep outdoor containers to stop it's spread.
Top 3 Blue and Purple Flower Choices for Dry Heat
Give fragrant Grosso Lavender sharply-drained soil for incredible performance, or keep it for years in containers.
You can't beat Sapphire Surf Bluebeard for the sheer abundance of blooms in the second half of the season!
Water-wise Dwarf Lily of the Nile gives you so much but is easy to grow and drought tolerant.
Top 3 Cold-Hardy Blue and Purple Flower Choices
You'll never get tired of the compliments from bold native Blazing Star Kobold Gayfeather!
These powdery blue flowers of Blue Glitter Sea Holly make an incredible feature in containers and borders.
Get lovely spring blooms and electric orange fall color with fine-textured Amsonia.
Top 3 Blue and Purple Flowering Perennials for Shade
Partial shade lover Rapido Blue Carpathian Bellflower has blue petalled flower power that won't stop.
You'll love our large collection of Hosta. Add three, four or more varieties in a coordinated shade display for little care.
Exquisite Maggie Daley Astilbe gives your daily dose of dynamic feathery flowers in pretty purple hues.
Saturated Blue or Purple Flowers For a Serene Landscape
Let Nature Hills help you turn your garden design into a thoughtful composition! A landscape filled with wistful blue and regal purple will grow into a joy to share with your loved ones. You'll appreciate our large online inventory, but please move quickly to order your favorites. Everyone loves blue and purple flowers, after all!
NatureHills.com grows healthy, well-rooted perennials that you can count on to return for years to come!
Check out these great videos on Blue Perennial Selection and Purple Perennial Selection!
You can feel it in the newly established crisp air and see it on porches in every neighborhood-- the fall season has arrived. From pumpkins galore aesthetically placed on steps to picking your very own apples for a homemade cider recipe, fall is full of passed down traditions.
However, the Jack-O-Lanterns and the visits to pumpkin patches aren’t the only things that let us know fall is here. It’s the burnt oranges, coffee-like browns and crimson reds upon the foliage of trees that are most admired come autumn.
We are sure that you are not the only one to stop mid-walk to gaze at the striking red tree that compliments a yard. And we speak for ourselves when we say the mellow yellows always have us stopping and staring for a minute..or five.
Seeing the colors come alive each fall never fails to make us want to plant a few fall color trees in every available yard space we have! Are you the same?
If so, keep reading to fully embrace the fall season by adding the very best calming, yet colorful fall colored trees this season!
Princeton Sentry Ginkgo
Shumard Oak Tree
Why Do Leaves Change Colors In The Fall?
#ProPlantTips Benefits Of Planting Trees In Autumn
If you’re looking for the cliche fall color foliage, you have hit the motherload. The Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides 'Quaking') is a fast-growing native tree that is known for its heart-shaped leaves that flutter with ease in the wind.
In fact, some call it a ‘trembling aspen’ because of the soothing sound the leaves create when swaying in a light breeze. National forests and state parks adore them, which is most likely where you have spotted a few-- or a hundred.
In the fall, its already unique leaves will slowly change to an incredibly bright yellow the engulfs the top clear down to the bottom.
Without a doubt, this tree in your yard will make a big statement for all to see. Better yet, you’ll have this head turner and show stopper for years to come!
Imagine spending an autumn afternoon resting in a comfortable hammock stationed between two backyard Quaking Aspen trees. The above views will never get tiring, but the slight leaf rustle will drift you to sleep. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Princeton Sentry Ginkgo
Say hello to the king of fall foliage, the Princeton Sentry Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba 'Princeton Sentry'). With a mix of golds, oranges and yellows in fall this ginkgo tree is a must have!
Although vibrant in the autumn, the Princeton Sentry Ginkgo tree is most known for the two-lobed fan shaped leaves. They hold an almost leathery texture and are guilty of making people passing by reach out to feel them.
As the season progresses, brilliant yellows shimmer in full sun take over the tree. Enjoy the show for several weeks until a golden blanket surrounds the base of the tree. We highly suggest raking the leaves up in a pile for a classic jumping session.
Place this ginkgo as a showcase specimen in front of your decorated home. Or maybe as a shade tree in your backyard. It will even look good established along your neighborhood street to greet those passing by.
Ask yourself truly, does it feel like fall without a nearby ginkgo tree?
Get every fall color with a Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) in your yard! Imagine having lovely yellow, orange and red displaying at the same time each year.
The Sugar Maple gives us one of the most remarkable shows of color, so don’t be alarmed if your neighbors are constantly asking where you got this tree.
This small tree also keeps a rounded form that quickly grows on a straight base. It is cute and compact for even the smallest of landscapes.
In addition, the Sugar Maple produces some of the sweetest tasting sap that is less cloudy and higher quality than other comparable maple trees. During the spring, easily drain off some of the sap and boil it down for homemade syrup that can be shared with family and friends.
Grow a row of them for a plentiful harvest of sap each spring and a calming show of colors during autumn!
Shumard Oak Tree
The Shumard Oak Tree (Quercus shumardii) is one of the best trees for fall color. Maybe the light yellows and brownish-oranges are not your forte. Instead, opt for the deep crimson hues of this oak tree!
From start to finish, your front yard will be graced with a fiery red color that leads the pack. We suggest surrounding the bottom of the trunk with a variety of pumpkins to really embrace the season. Not to mention, it will be a hit decoration come Halloween night.
With this tree in the landscape, you’re not only adding to the spirit of autumn, but you’re also adding value to your property. The Shumard Oak Tree is highly valued for its quality timber and abundant wildlife food production.
Enjoy the years of shade, vibrant color and additional value with this oak tree!
The Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa) has plenty of tricks up its sleeve and fall color is among one of its best. Once the season approaches, the reddish purple color takes the leaves by surprise.
This, sometimes referred to as the Japanese Dogwood, is a prime choice for smaller landscapes, courtyard areas or nearby blank patios. But they also make for superb screening plants too that line larger properties.
Nonetheless, wherever and however you decide to style your Kousa Dogwood Tree, the foliage color will flourish every autumn!
Why Do Leaves Change Colors In The Fall?
Without knowing what persuades leaves to alter their shades every year, how can one truly appreciate the fall tree colors? Welcome to our Nature Hills crash course on leaves that turn a different color:
As we know, during the fall, the length of daylight changes which in turn causes temperatures to change. Because of this, the leaves stop making food as they do during the summer and spring.
Now, the vibrant peak color of green starts to fade as the chlorophyll slowly breaks down. This allows for the yellows and light oranges to shine through.
What about the reds and purples you may ask? For some trees, at the same time the green is fading, other chemical changes could occur.
They form additional colors by developing red anthocyanin pigments. Therefore, using those pigments and depending on the tree, purples and reds of sumacs are formed or maples get a brilliant orange.
In short, the different shades and colors we see during autumn are due to the mixing of varying amounts of chlorophyll and other pigments present in the leaf.
Other things like light, water supply and temperature play a role in the duration of the new color. Low temperatures tend to favor reds. And rainy days will further increase the color intensity overall.
So, the next time someone asks why the leaves in the fall are different colors, you can use our handy-dandy crash course and sound like a true botanist!
#ProPlantTips Benefits Of Planting Trees In Autumn
For many, spring has become the default planting season when it comes to gardening. And while spring is still a great time to plant, fall may be more ideal when it comes to adding trees to your landscape. And here is why:
Extra Time To Establish
When you establish a new tree during fall, it gives the new sapling an extra growing season before undergoing the extreme stress and heat of summer. In addition, the cooler temperatures combined with rain fall allows for the tree to properly and effectively establish its roots.
Now, it can adjust to the heat or drought of the summer more easily!
Hibernation & Dormancy
You may feel that the young tree is not strong enough to make it through winter and that the cold weather will have an impact on the tree’s overall growth.
However, trees go dormant during the winter which allows them to conserve energy and slow down their metabolism. This will only help your tree grow stronger during the winter.
Fewer Pests & Diseases
Young trees are far more prone to pests and diseases. But, during the fall season, the numbers of pests and diseases are often lower because of the cooler weather. This means less stress being placed on the vulnerable tree!
With a less likely chance of your new tree getting eaten or bothered during the fall, it is a smarter choice to plant now.
Want to read additional benefits, how-to’s and more about planting during the fall? Explore our #ProPlantTips blog for fall and winter planting.
Start adding a couple of fall colored trees to your landscape for the next season and maybe your house will be the new talk of the town!
Not only look forward to apple cider and pumpkins, but also await the joys of soft yellows, burnt oranges, deep reds and unique purples that naturally visit your landscape.
Maybe a new tradition of planting a tree or two will catch grasp in your family-- who knows!