What trees should I plant in my yard for the most colorful autumn in years to come?

I love driving around and seeing all the beautiful colors of fall! My backyard gets a lot of sun, and I’m looking to plant some trees to make a nice picnic area underneath. I’d love to create a beautiful autumnal scene in my backyard. Which trees yield the best autumn colors and would best suit the northern Midwest climate? 

  Topic Around the House/DIY/Gardening Subtopic Gardening Tags Autumn gardening fall trees
11 Months 1 Answer 960 views

Emma Aspinall

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Answers ( 1 )

  1. First of all, I cannot tell you what trees you should plant but I can provide information so you can research this for yourself. I've loved, planted, and photographed trees all my life. Some important things to consider when shopping for trees are:

    • climate
    • soil type and drainage
    • exposure to sun
    • space; do you have room for the mature tree or trees you are planning for
    • roots systems: are there sewers or bulding foundations nearby; check the recommendations of each tree when mature with regards to this
    • messiness: most trees drop some foliage and fruit, as well as blossoms and/or seeds.

    With regards to messiness, some trees like Manitoba maple and black walnut self-propagate like weeds meaning that seedlings grow up all over the place from dropped seed. Summacs, a most vibrant red bush in fall, are so invasive that in my part of Soutern Ontario one has to get permission from the neighbours to plant a bush. 

    What kind of trees would be good recommendations for your specific location? As you can see by my barebones list above, I don't have enough information to make a recommendation. Not to mention my severely limited knowledge of trees in your part of the continent. However, your local nurseries will know. Most nurseries these days have wbesites. Check out all the nurseries that ship to your area. Take all the time in the world because, short of your children's education, this will be the single greatest investment you have ever made in the future. Unlike a house or car, a tree that grows up not to be what you had wanted cannot be renovated or returned. Learn everything you can about each tree that interests you. Also look at the trees around you.

    Next fall when you go for a drive, keep an eye out for the trees you might like in your own backyard. When you see one you like, even if you are quite sure you don't want it, get out of the car and photograph it. To photograph a tree good enough to ID later, get pictures from various angles, as well as closeups of leaves, fruit (if present) and bark. Also note the location. Tips posted on a Facebook Tree Identification Group I'm with:

    1. Location: - Maybe the most important clue for helping us determine an ID.
      What part of the world? e.g. country, state, province, city, etc.
    2. Take clear pictures of features such as leaves, flowers, fruit, twigs including buds and leaf scars, bark, growth form.

    Your next job will be to ID the trees and narrow down what you really want in your own backyard, based on what works for your specific location and what is available at the nurseries. Before ordering the trees, talk to the nurseries to be sure they are right for your own backyard and its conditions. The people at the nursery will know. You may have to measure and remeasure your backyard, as well as get soil tests done. The nurseries will know what you have to do. If this seems like a lot of work, remind yourself that this is an investment in the deep future. Just so you won't be disappointed, find out how long it will take your chosen trees to grow into mature trees. 

    UTC 2021-02-08 10:18 PM 0 Comments

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