Fall Color: It’s not just for New England!


Squirrel enjoying fall color. [H. Guenther]

Fall is the most wonderful time of the year (in my humble opinion). Every year the colors are a little bit different. Read read about the how’s and why’s of fall color in blog

Plant Trees in Fall!

Now is a great time to plant trees and shrubs that produce gorgeous fall colors.  My website has been updated to contain information on how to plant trees, visit Landscape Gardening: Planting a Tree. There you’ll learn that most trees don’t need staking, unless you plant them in a very windy area (for windy areas, stake trees for one year). If a tree can’t make it without a stake when it’s young, chances are it won’t support itself later in life.

Recommended Trees

Here are some of my favorite trees and shrubs. Remember, even though a color is listed, the plant may not always turn that color every year. It all depends on the temperature. Underlined plants have links to more details written earlier in a blog dedicated to that plant. In the future I plan to write about each kind of tree. Please feel free to leave a comment if there is one you are particularly interested in, and I’ll try and get to it next.

SMALL TREES (to 30′ high)

  • Birch (Betula species) gold
  • Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) red, purple, orange, gold
  • Japanese Maple (Acer japonicum) red, purple, orange, gold
  • Chinese Pistache (Pistacia chinensis) red, purple, orange, gold
  • Washington Thorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum) red, purple, orange, gold
  • Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis) gold



  • London Plane Tree (Platanus x acerifolia) gold
  • Sycamore (Platanus racemosa) gold
  • Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) gold
  • Oak (Quercus species) Red Oak-red, purple, orange, gold. Valley Oak-mostly gold
  • Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica) red, purple, orange, gold 
  • Photinia (Photinia villosa) red, purple
  • Pomegranate (Punica granatum) gold
  • Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster) red, purple, orange, gold 
  • Hydrangea (Hydrangea species) gold
  • Grape (Uva species) gold
  • Virgina Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) red, purple, orange gold  
  • Wisteria (Wisteria species) gold

Plants highlighted in green are California Natives.




  1. In the best of worlds, no staking is good, but there are more problems out there than the wind. There are first of all thoughtless people, both young and old, who pull, tear, and bend our trees. Sturdy stakes, two or three will add protection in yards, parkways and playgrounds. Trunk guards at the base will prevent overzealous grounds keepers with out of control mowers and power weed trimmers from deadly damage.

    • Thanks for your comment Gordon! It always great to hear from experts in the field. I had no idea Lodi had such an amazing organization. It’s a beautiful town, it makes sense folks like you are working behind the scenes on tree projects. 😉

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