Fall & winter interest
When choosing trees and shrubs for a home landscape, don't forget to plan for fall and winter, one of the prettier times of the year. The colors of fall can be extended with trees and shrubs that display exceptional color with leaves that withstand snowfall before dropping for the winter.
The Ohio buckeye, ginnala maple or mountain ash have beautiful red and orange leaves. Autumn purple ash lends a two-toned color scheme to a landscape with purple outer leaves and golden inner leaves. Fall oak leaves can be rich burgundy, gold or tan. Hackberry leaves turn a clear, yellow color and is an alternative to the more commonly planted cottonwoods. Native birch and green ash display yellowish-gold leaves.
When choosing shrubs for fall color, serviceberry and sumac leaves turn red and orange. For purplish tones, use various shrub dogwoods, and for yellowish-gold leaves, plant Nanking cherry.
For a stark winter look, try the craggy-branched Kentucky coffee tree, or the Ohio buckeye and oaks, which have a wonderful branching structure. Snowberries and coralberries keep colorful fruit throughout the winter. Serviceberries have grayish bark with a reddish cast that can add very unexpected color in the winter. Mountain mahogany has persistent seed heads that give a silvery look to the garden.
For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).
- Xeriscaping: Trees and Shrubs
- Trees and Shrubs for Mountain Areas
- Deciduous Shrubs
- Small Deciduous Trees
- Large Deciduous Trees
Do you have a question? Try Ask an Expert!
Updated Tuesday, July 22, 2014