Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bright Fall Color for a Grey Day

The maples have finally decided to turn.  Now I'm noticing freemanii-type maples in parkways, lawns, and parks. With their strong pyramidal shape and bright blue-red leaves, they pretty much leap off the grass and wave hello. Marmo and Autumn Blaze are two very very common cultivars.  We like these maples. They are easy to grow, they tolerate wet soils, they are pretty pest free and they grow like the proverbial weed. However, in light of elm and ash overplanting, I think they may also be too popular. Diversity makes the world a much more interesting place, don't you think?

Hill's oak makes a lovely crimson addition to the autumn landscape and grows surprisingly fast. The birds and squirrels will thank you for the acorns, too.

How can you not love a ginkgo? They are just beginning to turn. The pristine gold of a ginkgo is fleeting, so I try to really take a moment to savor those geisha fan leaves. Once temperatures fall below freezing, these trees will drop all their leaves in a night. For me, it's like a lady shedding her party dress to puddle around her feet.

I'm plotting how I can add more trees to my typical suburban-size yard. There's a spruce on the lot line that's fated for the chainsaw next March. I'm vacillating between conifers to replace it.  Hmmmm. There's still a patch of lawn in the far back. Do I really need a sunny perennial bed?


  1. Love the fall colors. Driving through the Appalachians last weekend was one of the highlights of the year. The fall colors of the trees were spectacular!

  2. Just back from a roadtrip to Peoria today and enjoyed the vivid colors of the maples bringing some interest to the miles of cornfields! We too are contemplating what trees we might add to our suburban plot - hubby wants a big shade tree to keep the house cool, while I want a "pretty, flowering tree" to grace our front yard....hmmmm, any possibility of compromise here??? :)

  3. I think you could compromise! What about a small flowering tree that can handle part shade like a redbud, serviceberry, or magnolia? Then he can have a big shade tree too. See if you can sway him to an oak. They support so much wildlife and we've lost so many to construction.