Fall is in the air. Days are getting shorter, temperatures are cooling off and all the colorful shrubs and trees will change to patches of red, yellow and orange hues.
Fall is a great time to purchase and plant shrubs and trees, so if you are looking to replace some plants or add new ones, look for varieties of plants with great color. It will bring many years of joy to come.
Homeowners can plant all types of shrubs and trees in their landscapes to not only provide cooling summer shade, but to have colorful fall foliage as well.
Many shrubs with fall color are great to plant in Northeast Georgia. Some of the popular shrubs that turn reddish purple to scarlet crimson reds include blueberry, chokeberry and oakleaf hydrangeas. Blackhaw and mapleleaf viburnums turn vibrant colors, ranging from red bronze to grape-juice purple. Virginia sweetspire has a beautiful reddish-purple leaf. Yellow leaf foliage includes shrubs such as fothergilla, common witch hazel and bottlebrush buckeye. Sumacs are unrivaled in their gold, red and maroon fall colors.
Burning bush is another colorful shrub that some may find invasive, but has brilliant red foliage.
To add colorful fall foliage from a tree, homeowners can plant large fast-growing trees such as red and sugar maples, Chinese pistache, sourwood, pin and scarlet oak trees and Japanese stewartia.
The butter-yellow Gingko (don’t purchase the female) is another showy tree, but it grows slowly.
Smaller trees include serviceberry, crape myrtle, dogwood, flowering cherry and a variety of Japanese ornamental maple trees.
Another striking fall tree is the bald cypress. The tree turns to a honey-suede color in the fall and loses its needles for the winter.
Consider the colorful vine Virginia creeper to plant. It has a beautiful red color in the fall and will climb but not hurt the trees.
Wanda Cannon serves as Master Gardener coordinator and horticulture assistant for the UGA Cooperative Extension office in Hall County. Contact her at 770-535-8293 or email@example.com. Her column appears biweekly and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.