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  • Writer's pictureRaoul

You can have an autumn color show in your own yard

As trees don their autumn foliage colors, you will notice that some, especially maples, are brighter on one side than the other. This is largely because of varying light. Often the brightest colors develop on the side of the tree most exposed to afternoon sun. These leaves have a higher sugar content and will produce more brilliant pigments.

Another factor in fall color is the cool air, particularly at night. Often, the earliest color appears in low spots where temperatures that trap sugars in the leaves occur earlier.

You can select plants to ensure good autumn color and set them in a proper location.

A plant growing in a sunny spot may not be as bright if transplanted to a shady location. Some trees have fairly dependable fall colors. Among them are the red maples, Autumn Flame, October Glory, and Red Sunset. Water well if there isn't enough rainfall. Though red and orange displays are more spectacular, yellow is another favorite, especially when combined with red and orange.

Trees that offer good yellow color include poplar, ginko, birch, redbud, Norway maples, and hickory. The best reds are produced in red maples, sugar maples, sourwood, Bradford pear, red oak, Scarlet oak, and black gum. If color is important to you, it could be necessary to water trees in the fall. In dry years, leaves may turn brown almost as soon as they turn yellow. The result is poor yellow fall color. There you have it. If you plant a new tree this fall, think carefully of the color you most want in your yard. Then choose the right tree and plant it in the right location.

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