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Planting trees in your yard can offer a multitude of benefits. In addition to improving your property value, offering much-needed habitat for wildlife, and generally contributing to the local ecosystem, planting trees—or better yet, finding colorful trees to plant—can add visual interest to your backyard all year round! 

And early fall just so happens to be one of the best times to plant trees. All you need is a little bit of planning and research into expert resources like this one. Try some of these top picks to brighten up your yard and landscape.



Maple Trees

Maple trees are a definite front-runner in the ‘colorful trees to plant’ category! They are generally easy, fast-growing trees that are pretty much guaranteed to give you a brilliant display of fall colors each year if planted and cared for properly. Their beautiful canopies provide shelter and shade in the heat of the summer, and then once the fall hits, these colorful trees light up in yellows, oranges, reds, and even purples. They also vary greatly in size, so there’s lots of variety to choose from—here are a few of our favorites. 

Autumn Fantasy (Acer freemanii): This is a tough, fast-growing, colorful shade tree we would love for you to plant in your yard this fall! It is a cross between a red and silver maple, bringing together the best of both parent’s qualities. They grow quicker than your average maple, are quite drought-tolerant—and light up in a brilliant fall display of ruby red. 

Full Moon Maple (Acer shirasawanum): Plant this colorful specimen and you’ll be graced with foliage ranging from yellow to burnt orange and fall foliage in gold and red. ‘Full Moon’ maple is fantastic for smaller yards thanks to its relatively compact growth habit, reaching approximately 15 feet high with a similar spread at maturity.



Viridis Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Viridis’): Also known as the weeping Japanese maple, this colorful tree has a whimsy and architectural quality that is undeniable. The varying shades of its wispy, green foliage cascade from arching branches before transforming into bright, golden yellows, oranges, and dark red hues later in the season. Best planted in the fall.

Other Colorful Trees to Plant



Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata): You can find this beautiful, fragrant cultivar as either a multi-stemmed shrub or a single-trunked tree—both are gorgeous. Japanese tree lilac will explode with white blooms for a short few weeks in early summer, offering both visual interest and the most delectable fragrance to your yard and garden.

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry (Amelanchier grandiflora): This small tree will grace your yard with beautiful white blossoms in the spring, brightly-colored edible fruit in the summer and then its green foliage transitions to vibrant shades of reds and orange in the fall. The smooth, silver-toned bark of ‘Autumn Brilliance’ continues to shine even in the winter season.


Tricolor Beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Tricolor’): An eye-catching, deciduous, colorful tree that wins over many hearts and minds with its unique appearance. Low branches covered in smooth, gray bark and variegated foliage give it almost a rose-colored appearance from a distance. Tricolor beech trees are slow growers, to begin with, but can eventually reach a maturity of up to 40 feet tall. 

Early fall is one of the best times to plant your new colorful trees! Often other gardening and landscaping tasks are starting to wind down a little, and it’s an ideal time for the trees as well. Warm soil mixed with cooler air stimulates root growth, which can help your tree establish itself ahead of the winter freeze. 

Remember to water your tree deeply a few times a week to start, mulch around the base of your new tree to help it retain moisture, and leave plenty of space for its roots and canopy to stretch out once it grows. To find these and many other colorful trees to plant for all-season color, stop by our Quad Cities metro area garden center to see what we have in stock! 

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