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You Can Grow It: Trees that provide spectacular fall color

Jim Duthie share some ideas for planting now, for next year’s fall color in your yard.

Autumn weather came early this year, and while we’ve had some spectacular fall colors, they’re just about gone. But if you missed out on having those bright fall colors in your yard, you can always plant for next year.

Garden master Jim Duthie shows us some of the most popular trees that you can plant to get those vivid fall colors in your home landscape. And now is a good time to buy and plant them.

Fall is spectacular in Idaho, with the bright colors of autumn shimmering on trees and shrubs – brilliant oranges, reds and golds lining the streets, and grabbing your attention in front yards everywhere.

It’s been a beautiful fall. The trees’ colors are changing, but the wind has been blowing those leaves off very quickly. But now’s a good time of year to plant some trees if you want some color in your yard next year. We’ll show you a few options that you can buy and plant now for next year’s fall color.

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We’re at the Zamzow’s Chinden store, and manager Chris Ownings is showing us some popular choices for fall color.

“One of my favorites is actually an Idaho native. This is an Amelanchier, more commonly known as a serviceberry. And they actually get a little edible berry on them. People make jams and jellies out of them. But they have a gorgeous orangish-red fall color.”

Serviceberry is a small tree that fits into any home landscape. It’s often grown as a multi-stemmed clump shrub, like this variety, which is called autumn brilliance. It produces these coppery red leaves in the fall.

If you’re looking for a slightly larger tree, consider the tupelo, known around here as a black gum.

“It’s not an Idaho native. This tree is actually native to coastal Oregon. But it does very well in our desert climate.”

“It starts out as a real fire-engine red, and then fades to this yellow-orange.”

It’s easy to take care of, it’s not messy, and it doesn’t require a lot of water.

“I like this particular tree because of its size. A lot of the newer homes have smaller front yards. This is only going to get 15 (feet) tall and about 8 (feet) wide. It still provides some shade, but it won’t overtake your landscape.”

Looking for a standout specimen tree that will really show off the fall color? Consider an autumn blaze maple. It thrives in all kinds of soil, and tolerates both wet and dry conditions. And it’s fast-growing, up to three feet per year, so it’s a great option for new homes to get some mature and colorful landscaping in less time.

Crabapples not only provide colorful fall foliage, but the reddish bark and colored berries add interest in the drab days of winter, as well as food for the birds.

“They are a beautiful tree and they’re very hardy. They do very well in Idaho.”

“Again, won’t overtake your yard. And kind of multi-purpose… provide shade, feed the wildlife, great fall color, and great spring color. They’re going to flower in the spring.”

You’ll find varieties that blossom either in pink or white. And in the fall, after the colorful leaves fall off, you’re left with either these lovely little red crabapples, or this variety, that produces bright gold colored crabapples.

Finally, if you have a little more room in your landscape, a linden is a popular choice.

“Probably my favorite tree in general is a linden. I love the shape of them, great pyramidal shape, a nice gold fall color. The bloom is very attractive to bees in the early summer.”

Fall is a good time to buy, while trees at most garden stores are on sale. And it’s a good time to plant, too.

“Fall’s actually the best time to plant. The trees are growing roots, but not stressed about upward growth, so they’ll be more established come spring time.”

A few options for some great fall color in your yard next year.

Fall is the best time to plant trees. And even with our recent cold weather, you’ve got time, at least until the ground freezes, as we get closer to winter. Local garden centers can help you choose the best varieties for your yard for size, care, and, of course, color from spring to fall.

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