There is no doubt trees add so much to the landscaping. They shade your house and yard, add texture, and provide wildlife with food and shelter. The fall, when the trees turn from their summer shades of green to flaming hues of red, yellow, and orange, is when we most appreciate our broad leaf trees.
According the American folklore, Jack Frost is responsible for autumn’s fall colors. In truth, it is not a mythical figure changing the leaves’ colors. Fall color occurs when the shorter days trigger the leaves to stop producing chlorophyll — the green colored pigment in leaves that produces the plant’s food. With the absence of chlorophyll, other pigments such as carotin and anthocyanin can be seen.
Carotin is responsible for the yellows and oranges. If you would like to add some trees with yellow to orange fall foliage to your landscape, consider planting sugar maple, birch, linden, honey locust, ash, beech, or ginko trees.
The anthocyanin is responsible for red and purple hues. The red pigment is stimulated by cool nights, below 45 degrees, and warm, sunny days. Trees that typically produce red foliage include oaks, red maple, hawthorns, serviceberries, and dogwoods.
Fall color is just one characteristic to keep in mind when you select trees for your yard. Other important considerations include mature size, hardiness, and resistance to insects and diseases. Your local nursery or Cornell Cooperative Extension office are good places to identify species that grow well in your climate.
When planting a tree always remember to select a location with plenty of room and sun for the tree you have selected. Also, try to match the right tree to your soil and drainage. Finally, when planting the tree follow proper tree planting methods and always give newly-planted trees long, slow waters for the first few years.
Anne Lenox Barlow is a professional horticulturist who enjoys gardening with her family in Plattsburgh. She also chronicles her gardening experiences at her blog www.northcountrygarden.wordpress.com. She can be reached at email@example.com.