Now is the THE time to plant for next years best fall color. Planting in the fall season is advantageous because the dry hot days of summer have passed and the cooler rainy season aids in the establishment of new plantings. Furthermore, shopping for fall color interest is best done when the plants are fully in the fall peak of color.
Number one for best fall color is the American Sweetgum, also known as Liquidambar Styraciflua.
Known for it's amazing fall color ranging from bright reds to orange, yellow and bright pink the American Sweetgum is often seen as a street tree as it has an optimal fastigiate or upright growth pattern making it ideal for smaller yards and planted in rows along sidewalks.
Second on the list is Ginko Biloba also known as the Maidenhair tree. The Ginko has unusual leaves that have a strong bright golden yellow color in fall and make a striking contrast when paired with evergreens or other fall colors. Used most often as a specimen tree.
Number 3 is the Burning Bush or Euonymus Alata Compacta. A smaller shrub with a compact dense form makes this plant makes as excellent border or specimen plant. The fall color on the shrub is simply spectacular! very bright red to fuschia pink this shrub is a stand out for fall interest.
The fourth fall best fall plant is, the Maple also known as Acer. This group of plants includes a wide variety of trees. The most colorful being the compact shorter in stature Japanese maples. Pictured below are the 'Bloodgood' variety and the 'Coral Bark' variety. These two plants are both Acer japonicum varietals, however, they vary greatly in color, form and size. While both trees are relatively small and slow growing, making them excellent specimens for smaller yards as well as around pond areas and tight spaces, the 'Blood Good' variety has a dark red/purple leaf during the summer months with bright red new growth and a fuschia red with orange veining in the fall. The Coral Bark conversely has bright green summer and new growth with red bark, thus the name 'Coral bark'. This tree is smaller in stature and has a variety of fall colored leaves ranging int he bright yellow to Gold and orange range.
And last but certainly not least in my TOP 5 BEST Fall Color in the small bush or shrub known as Heavenly Bamboo, Nandina or formally as 'Nandina Domestica'. This Plant is often seen as a hedge planting or cluster planting here in the NW. With it's delicate bamboo like leaves and clusters of bright red berries this planting makes for an interesting specimen plant or even better when planted in clusters. there are many different varietals of this plant from ground cover light plantings to taller hedge making plantings. With interest year round this plant is an excellent choice for your NW Landscape!