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5 recommended tress for stunning autumn colour

Keats may have thought that autumn was ‘the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, but Ladybrook Nursery prefers to view autumn as the season of vibrant colour and verdant foliage. Nowhere is that better illustrated than in the trees we see at this time of year. Autumn may be setting in a little later this year because of the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been experiencing, but the glorious colours and hues of the autumn palette are finally starting to glow; and isn’t it just glorious. If you’d like to see that autumnal glow in your garden, then Ladybrook Nursery would like to recommend the following 5 spectacular trees:

Acer Shirasawanum Autumn Moon


Acer Shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’ is a slow-growing, deciduous tree with bright green leaves in spring, which develop into a pink halo in summer, and in autumn turn variegated peach, pink and orange-red. Plant in moist /well-drained soil. Provide shelter from cold winds and late frosts. Foliage colour is better in dappled shade rather than full sun.

Type: shrub/ small tree

Height: 3m

Foliage: green turning pink, peach and flame in autumn

Flower colour: red

Flowering: spring

Aspect: sun or partial shade

Cornus Florida Rubra


Commonly known as the flowering dogwood, Cornus Florida ‘Rubra’ is a stunning rounded to conical, deciduous tree or shrub with oval, sometimes twisted or curled, mid-green spring and summer leaves which turn red and purple in autumn. In late spring ‘Rubra’ produces yellow-tipped, green flowers surrounded by four pink, showy bracts. Plant in a moist /well-drained site in a sunny or partially shaded position.

Type: shrub or small tree

Height: 6m

Foliage: green turning purple-red in autumn

Flower colour: reddish-pink flower bracts

Flowering: May

Aspect: full sun to partial shade

Amalanchier lamarkii


Also known as the snowy mespilus or juneberry, Amelanchier lamarkii is a large erect deciduous shrub/ small tree of open habit, with bronze-tinged young leaves turning to beautiful shades of orange and red in autumn. It produces white flowers in short lax racemes as the leaves unfurl in early spring, followed by berries in June which turn dark purple/black.

Position: partial shade to full sun, though best autumn colour achieved if planted in full sun
Soil: fertile, moist, lime-free well-drained soil
Rate of growth: slow-growing, but can grow up to 8 to 12 metres in a 20 year period
Flowering period: Early spring, followed by dark purple berries in June. Dark red leaves for autumn colour
Hardiness: Fully hardy

Quercus Rubra


Commonly known as the red oak, Quercus Rubra is a fast-growing large deciduous tree with an open, spreading crown and broad leaves to 22cm in length. It produces inconspicuous greenish flowers in spring and early summer, followed by glorious red, red/brown foliage and acorns in autumn. Quercus Rubra grows best in moist/ well-drained deep fertile soils and prefers to be planted in full sun to partial shade.

Type: tree

Height: 12m

Foliage: deciduous green turning red in autumn

Aspect: full sun to partial shade

Crataegus Persimilis Prunifolia


Commonly known as the broad-leaved cockspur, Crataegus Persimilis Prunifolia is a small, broad-crowned deciduous tree with long thorns and glossy broad-oval leaves. Prunifolia’s leaves are bright green in the spring and summer. In autumn Prunifolia produces probably the finest display of rich orange and crimson autumn colours of any hawthorn. The splendid autumn colours are complemented by large clusters of shiny red fruit which last well into late autumn. Prunifolia prefers chalky soil, but will prosper in any fertile soil and prefers full sun or partial shade.

Type: tree

Height: 8m

Foliage: dark green turning red-orange in autumn

Flower colour: white followed by bright red berries

Flowering: spring

Aspect: full sun to partial shade

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