People tell me all the time, “I want a large tree that has great fall color!” So today, I want to talk about my opinion of some of the prettiest fall color. Remember, I live in Nashville, TN so I can only refer to the trees that grow around here.
First, why do trees have fall color? The fall color exists on the trees that are deciduous. Deciduous means they lose their leaves for the winter when they go dormant. When the trees begin to go dormant, the sap (which is the blood for a plant) begins to drain to the base of the tree to help protect the root system. As the sap goes away, the leaves dry up. They no longer have the blood running through them to keep them healthy and green. So the result is a colorful leaf as it is dying. I guess it would be like one of us turning blue with no oxygen!! Lol, sorry, I thought it was funny.
Back to the trees with color. The families of trees with the best color would be first, Maples, second would be Oaks, and third would be Tulip Poplars. I can’t think of any of family of tree that has pretty fall color specifically.
Inside the Maple family, you have Sugar, Norway, Red, Red Sunset, Autumn Blaze, Autumn Flame, October Glory and several other varieties. The Sugar and Norway Maples are your old fashion ‘original’ Maples that will give you the original orange, yellow, red, and brown combination of color. The Red family of Maples will give you that deep dark red color with some variation between the varieties. The October Glory will give you predominately orange color leaves.
In the Oak family of trees, you will get Red, White, Pin, Shumard, and a whole slew of other varieties. The Red and Shumard Oak in my opinion will give you the best fall color. It will be predominately red in nature. Many of the other oaks go from green to brown pretty quickly.
The Tulip Poplar is not really known for fall color, but if weather conditions are ideal, you will get some orangy yellow color as it goes brown and spreads those huge leaves all over the neighborhood.
I hope this gives you a quick overview on which trees are giving you the fall color right now. Any other questions or comments, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.