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Beautiful trees and shrubs in the fall

Euonymus alatus
Photo: Espace pour la vie(Gilles Murray)
Euonymus alatus

Mid-October ushers in a colourful show, as the days get shorter and the temperatures cooler. The peaceful green leaves turn to brilliant shades of red, orange and gold, putting on a wonderful display year after year.

To take advantage of this show, be sure to include some trees and shrubs in your garden that have colourful fall foliage.

Along with the bright hues of their foliage, many shrubs produce fruit in many vivid colours: viburnums, cotoneasters, hollies, sumacs and shrub roses all add contrasting notes and attract birds for a little longer.

Species of trees, shrubs and climbers that turn red, orange and purple


  • Acer ginnala (Amur maple)
  • Acer rubrum (Red maple)
  • Acer sacharinum (Silver maple)
  • Acer saccharum (Sugar maple)
  • Aesculus glabra (Horse chestnut)
  • Amelanchier spp. (Serviceberry)
  • Carpinus caroliniana (American hornbeam)
  • Crataegus crus-galli (Cockspur hawthorn)
  • Fraxinus americana (American ash)
  • Prunus spp. (Ornamental fruit trees)
  • Quercus alba (White oak)
  • Quercus rubra (Northern red oak)
  • Sorbus aucuparia (Mountain ash)

Shrubs and climbers

  • Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry)
  • Aronia melanocarpa (Black chokeberry)
  • Cornus alba and Cornus sericea (Redtwig dogwood and red osier dogwood)
  • Cotinus coggygria (Smoke tree)
  • Cotoneaster acutifolia (Peking cotoneaster)
  • Enkianthus campanulatus (Redvein enkianthus)
  • Euonymus alata (Burning bush)
  • Parthenocissus tricuspidata (Boston ivy)
  • Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
  • Rhododendron 'P.J.M.' (Rhododendron)
  • Rhus typhina (Staghorn sumac)
  • Viburnum spp. (Viburnum)

Species of trees and shrubs with yellow and gold fall colours


  • Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
  • Betula spp. (Birch)
  • Carya spp. (Hickory)
  • Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura tree)
  • Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
  • Fraxinus nigra (Black ash)
  • Fraxinus pennsylvanica (Red ash)
  • Ginkgo biloba (Maidenhair tree)
  • Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis (Honeylocust)
  • Juglans spp. (Walnut)
  • Larix laricina (Tamarack)
  • Magnolia spp. (Magnolia)
  • Morus alba (White mulberry)
  • Populus spp. (Poplar)
  • Tilia spp. (Linden)
  • Ulmus spp. (Elm)

Shrubs and climbers

  • Clethra alnifolia (Sweet pepperbush)
  • Hamamelis virginiana (Witch hazel)
  • Hypericum spp. (St. John’s wort)
  • Kerria japonica (Japanese yellow rose)
  • Myrica pennsylvanica (Northern bayberry)


Based on an article by René Giguère and Robert Mineau in Quatre-Temps magazine, Vol. 23, No.3.

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