Fall Trees & Shrubs

Below are some of our favorite trees and shrubs for gorgeous Fall color and interest in your garden.

Itea ‘Henry’s Garnet’ and ‘Little Henry’

Virginia Sweetspire will give you striking red fall color consistently every year. ‘Henry’s Garnet’ will mature to four feet while ‘Little Henry’ stays compact at two to three feet. During the summer lightly scented white flowers are found on both. Although it can tolerate partial shade, Itea prefers full sun and the fall color will be strongest in the sun. It is a very versatile shrub showing some deer resistance and tolerance of drought conditions once well-established.

Cotinus ‘Grace’

Commonly known as Smoketree, this plant can be grown as a large shrub or a small multi-stemmed tree. Small yellow flowers open in summer and then long stalks with fuzzy pink hairs emerge creating an illusion that the plant is surrounded by billows of pinkish-tan smoke. ‘Royal Purple’ has bluish-green foliage that turns yellow, orange, and purplish-red in the fall.

Vaccinium corymbosum (Blueberry)

Generally grown for its fruit, the Blueberry shrub is one of the best plants for fall color and has something to offer in every season. Following the white flowers in springtime, comes fruit of summer. In the fall, an explosion of scarlet red hues will delight. Most varieties will mature to five to six feet and they prefer full sun and acidic soils.

Cornus ‘Baileyi’

Red-Twig Dogwood is best known for its bright red stems in the winter-time, but it also exhibits reddish-purple foliage color in the fall. In spring white flowers appear which produce white to reddish-purple fruit in the fall, attracting birds. Full sun to partial shade is preferred; ‘Baileyi’ matures to six to eight feet tall. Pruning out older stems in early spring will stimulate younger stems which display the best red color.

Fothergilla ‘Mt. Airy’ and ‘Blue Shadow’

Dwarf Fothergilla is very showy in the spring as well as the fall. Fragrant bottle-brush like white flowers appear in spring, attracting bees and butterflies. The clean summer foliage becomes shades of yellow, orange and reddish-purple in the fall. Both varieties mature to four to six feet. ‘Blue Shadow’ features striking, glaucous, powdery blue leaves throughout the growing season before changing color in the fall.

Aronia ‘Brilliantissima’

Chokeberry is a shrub for many seasons with fall being the highlight. The fall coloration rivals Burning Bush with its brilliant red color. An abundance of glossy red fruits also adorn this shrub in the fall and into the winter. ‘Brilliantissima’ grows to a compact four to six foot height and prefers a sunny area.

Deutzia ‘Nikko’

Slender Deutzia is a graceful mounding shrub maturing to two feet and displaying panicles of tiny white flowers in the spring. The medium green leaves change to deep burgundy in the fall. Plant this gem in a sunny area and enjoy from spring into the fall!

Euonymus ‘Compactus’

Best known as Burning Bush, this shrub will amaze you with its strong fiery red fall color. Burning Bush is a large shrub that will grow to ten feet and six to eight feet across. Small red berries are produced which birds will devour. Full sun is needed for optimum fall color.

Hydrangea quercifolia

Oakleaf Hydrangea is a wonderful shrub for shady locations and will give you enjoyment in all seasons. Pyramidal panicles of white flowers are produced in the summer atop the oak-like foliage. Myriad varieties of this shrub abound and there are plenty of compact and regular-sized selections from which to choose. Fall coloration varies from yellow and orange to brilliant red and burgundy.