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Sunday, October 20, 2013
Posted By: Lyle Courtice A.H. in Trees

With the onset of autumn we look toward putting the garden to rest for the winter months but while we labour a spectacular display of colour sits just above our heads. These would be trees with great fall colour.

What causes the leaves to change colour in the fall?

Trees for Fall Colour

Weather plays an important role and affects both the colour intensity and its duration. What we have had this year would be considered perfect conditions for a spectacular fall display: a hot dry summer followed by a cool rainy fall. As the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop colours start to emerge beneath their blankets of green. Warm sunny days and cool clear nights trigger one of nature's most spectacular displays. Trees begin their preparation for winter by shutting down photosynthesis in the leaves which reduces the green pigment revealing the colours underneath. In some trees, especially maples, sugars that are trapped in the leaves when photosynthesis stops are turned red by the autumn sunlight and cool nights.

Acer griseum - Paperbark Maple

 

Acer griseum - Paperbark Maple

Highly ornamental small tree with peeling cinnamon coloured bark and small trifoliate leaves of bluish-green. It is a perfect fit for today's smaller gardens. Fall colour can be variations of red, rust and brown. Full sun in well-drained soil. Height: 6-9m Spread: 3-6m Zone: 4

acer palmatum - Japanese Maple Fall Colour

Acer palmatum var. - Japanese Maple

Available in a bewildering variety of sizes, forms and colours they can be single or multistemmed small trees or low shrubs. They are quite happy in either full sun or light shade and tolerate most soil types as long as there is proper drainage (they hate wet "feet"). Fall colour ranges from yellow, orange, red and purple. Height/Spread: Varies Zone: 5

Amelanchier spp. - Serviceberry

Hardy, fast growing upright shrubs to small trees with light grey bark and rounded dark green leaves. White flowers in early spring are followed by edible purplish black berries. Fall colour can be brilliant red, purple-bronze and brick red to yellow. Height/Spread: Varies Zone: 3-4

Katsura Tree - Cercidiphyllum japonica

Cercidiphyllum japonicum - Katsura

Beautiful tree with a dense pyramidal habit in youth becoming more rounded (like the rest of us!) with age. Leaves open reddish-purple gradually changing to bluish-green. Fall colour is yellow to apricot with the added bonus of the sweet scent of candy floss gently wafting through the warm autumn air. Prefers a moist, well-draining soil; will stress and drop leaves during periods of drought. Height: 15-20m Spread: 12-15m Zone: 4

Cornus - Dogwood Fall Colour

Cornus spp. - Dogwood

C. florida, C. kousa and C. nuttallii all make small to medium low-branched trees with upright spreading habits that develop into a rounded crowns. White or pink flowers in spring. Foliage is green through the spring and summer seasons turning red and purples in fall and may last several weeks. All prefer partial shade in cool, moist soils. Height: 6-8m Spread: 6-8m Zone: 5-6

Ginkgo Fall Colour - Maidenhair Tree

Ginkgo biloba - Maidenhair Tree

Unique tree from China with an upright habit that develops into a broad pyramidal crown. Leaves are bright green and fan-shaped; brilliant golden yellow in fall. Full sun in well-drained soil. Height: 15m Spread: 10m Zone: 3

Sweetgum Tree - Liquidambar Fall Colour

Liquidambar styraciflua - Sweetgum

Fast growing tree with star-shaped, dark glossy green leaves and a neat pyramidal crown that becomes more rounded with age. Cork-like greyish brown deeply furrowed bark adds interest through the seasons and especially during the winter months. Fall colouring is fairly consistent and can vary depending on cultivar from yellow to apricot-orange and purple-red. Full sun. Height: 18m Spread: 12m Zone: 5

Japanese Stewartia Tree - Stewartia pseudocamellia

 

Stewartia spp.

Highly desirable small to medium growing tree that forms a pyramidal to oval crown. Bark is sinuous and smooth with patches of soft grey-green over orange-brown. Single petaled white flowers June into July; very elegant. Leaves are dark green through the growing season becoming yellow, red or purplish-red in fall. Sun to partial shade in well-drained soils. Height: 8-12m Spread: 7-10m Zone: 5

Japanese Snowbell Tree - Syrax japonica

Styrax japonicus - Japanese Snowbell

Small to medium growing tree with wide spreading horizontal branches that form a broad-rounded crown. Hanging clusters of fragrant, dainty bell-shaped white flowers; May into June. Leaves are medium to dark green in summer and change to yellow or shades of red in fall. Full sun to light shade in well draining soils. Height: 7-8m Spread: 8m Zone: 5

Some other great trees for fall colour:

  • Betula - Birch
  • Carpinus- Hornbeam
  • Cercis - Eastern Redbud
  • Euonymus
  • Fagus - Beech
  • Fraxinus - Ash
  • Nyssa
  • Oxydendrum - Sourwood
  • Parrotia - Persian Ironwood
  • Pyrus - Flowering Pear
  • Quercus - Oak

Saturday, April 16, 2011
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Trees

Kwanzan Flowering CherryIn honor of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival which runs from March 26 until April 22, I thought I’d remind you of one of the trees that we in the Lower Mainland tend to take for granted – the flowering cherry. 

This tree literally explodes onto the scene with delicate blossoms of whites and varying shades of pink. 

When it does, Vancouverites breathe a sigh of relief – spring is indeed here. 

April showers are followed shortly by ‘Pink Snow’ as the blossoms gently break apart and are carried by the breeze to dot the landscape with blossom confetti.  For a short time, it is pure magic.  It was this absolutely breathtaking beauty that lead to the eventual crash in popularity. 

For a time, the flowering cherry was the municipal street tree of choice.  It was planted everywhere.  It was the ‘bellybutton’ of trees -  everyone had one.   Crowed close to driveways and imprisoned by sidewalks they heaved the concrete when they stretched out their roots.  Hacked into obnoxious ‘lollypop’ shapes by inexperienced pruners, overcrowed and underfed, swimming in poorly drained garden beds they developed a myriad of problems.  

Municipalities began ripping them out and replacing them to stave off furthflowering cherry treeer headaches.  People began avoiding them. 

A classic case of the right tree in the wrong place!!

The flowering cherry in the right place is a spectacular tree. 

Give this beauty the room to stretch out, a well drained planting site and an open and airy spot and you will be graciously rewarded. 

To help avoid many cherry problems, rake and bag the leaves in the fall and have your tree pruned by a professional Arborist. 

Rule number one of tree care…it’s better to not prune at all than to prune incorrectly!  

With the cherry, the roots are part of the beauty of the tree.  To see drifts of blue flowered Brunnera and sunshine yellow daffodils nestled into the folds of the powerful looking roots in one of my favorite sections of VanDusen gardens in something I always try to see in the spring. 

After a long wet winter and in between the rain showers you owe it to yourself to drink in as much of this west coast sight as you can – it only lasts for a short time.  If you have the spot, you might like to try one of your own. 

Some of our favourites include:


Kwanzan Flowering Cherry

Kwanzan Flowering Cherry


Mt Fuji Flowering Cherry

Mt Fuji Flowering Cherry


Akebono Flowering Cherry

Akebono Flowering Cherry


Amanogawa Columnar Flowering Cherry

Amanogawa Columnar Flowering Cherry

This year, if you are lucky enough to get to gaze up into the canopy of a Japanese flowering cherry tree, give thanks to our neighbours to the west who gifted us these beauties in the early 30’s .  Our original cherry trees were given to us by the mayors of Kobe and Yokohama to honor those Japanese Canadian soldiers who served in WW1.  

I am grateful for these lovely trees. 

I have been thinking our neighbours in Japan a lot these past weeks and my heart is with you as you try to heal and rebuild.   I shall leave you with a Haiku:

my glasses fog up

I slowly sip my hot tea

rain  pelts the window





This Post Was Written By:

Laurelle O.

Art's Nursery Ltd.


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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

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