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The Best Autumn Trees With Beautiful Colours [12 trees we recommend]

The Best Autumn Trees With Beautiful Colours

The Best Autumn Trees are great for gardens, creating structure and seasonal interest, with the following trees offering beautiful autumnal colour.  Position such trees well and they will make an ideal focal point, that they can be enjoyed now and for future generations.

We have a range of quality trees for suitable as specimens, screening or for small gardens; just ask our horticultural experts.

Here is a selection of our top trees for colourful displays in your autumn garden. When choosing a tree, consider the space you have available, planting a selection of trees, if space allows, can provide rich contrast and seasonal interest.

Trees offering great autumn colours

  1. Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple)Best Autumn Trees
  2. Acer rubrum (Red Maple)
  3. Amelanchier Ballerina (Serviceberry Ballerina)
  4. Betula utilis jacquemontii (West Himalayan Birch)
  5. Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura Tree)
  6. Euonymus europaeus (Spindle)
  7. Fagus sylvatica (Common beech)
  8. Ginkgo biloba (Maidenhair tree)
  9. Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweet Gum)
  10. Malus tschonoskii (Chonosuki crab)
  11. Nyssa sylvatica (Tupelo/Black Gum)
  12. Sorbus aucuparia Joseph Rock (Rowan Joseph Rock)

 

Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple)

Japanese Maples are prized for their gorgeous foliage, deeply lobed leaves, which emerge a vivid green and turn to shades of red, orange and yellow in autumn. Acer palmatum is an excellent choice for smaller gardens, as it grows to around 5m.

 

Acer rubrum (Red Maple)

These Red Maple trees are renowned for their spectacular scarlet autumn hues which emerge a pale yellow in spring gradually darkening to dark green in summer, turning bright red in autumn. The winter twigs have a red hue, as do its tiny spring flowers, providing additional interest.

 

Amelanchier Ballerina (Serviceberry Ballerina)

This tough, hardy small tree has masses of spring flowers. The bright green leaves turn brilliant red in the autumn, emerging in conjunction with rounded fruits which are initially red in summer before turning black in the autumn. Also known as June Berry or Serviceberry Ballerina

 

Betula utilis jacquemontii (West Himalayan Birch)

The bright white bark of this elegant himalayan birch tree peels each year, revealing the next layer of perfectly accentuated by lenticels lines. Its delicate, dark green foliage turn golden yellow in autumn.

 

Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura Tree)

This tree has pretty foliage that emerges bronze in spring before turning light green in the Summer. Autumn brings brilliant displays of orange yellow and red, accompanied by the smell of burnt sugar and candy floss which drifts gently in the breeze.

 

Euonymus europaeus (Spindle)

A small spreading tree, the Spindle has small yellow flowers, followed in autumn by 4-lobed red fruits which split to reveal orange seeds. The narrow leaves are dark green in summer turning yellow-green to reddish-purple in autumn.

 

Fagus sylvatica (Beech)

Beech tree’s small leaves are a fresh green when they emerge and become a stunning orange-copper and gold in autumn, which often hang on the tree throughout winter.

 

Ginkgo biloba (Maidenhair tree ‘Autumn Gold’)

The Maidenhair Tree has bright green fan-shaped leaves. In autumn time, these wonderfully shaped leaves turn a clear and bright yellow and work well planted in contrast with other species that will give red autumn colour.

 

Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweet Gum)

Liquidambar produces large, 5-7 lobed, star-shaped leaves which emerge bright green in the spring then changing to fabulous red, purple and gold colours throughout the autumn; Liquidambar is one of the very best trees for autumn colour and one of the last deciduous trees to drop its leaves.

 

Malus tschonoskii (Chonosuki crab)

In the spring the young leaves of this tree emerge almost white. They have many spectacular shades in Autumn, from purple and copper through orange to yellow. The winter buds are a remarkable brownish-red colour and glossy.

 

Nyssa sylvatica (Tupelo)

The Tupelo or black gum is a wonderful tree for autumn foliage with its green summer leaves turning fiery red/ and orange in autumn.

 

Sorbus aucuparia Joseph Rock (Rowan Joseph Rock)

This Mountain Ash has small, narrow dark green leaves that turn a flame red in the autumn time.  The creamy white flowers hang in clusters, appearing around May-June.  These are followed by interestingly creamy yellow berries, whose colour contrasts fantastically with the bright red autumn colour.

 

Semi-Mature Trees Common lime tree
Semi-Mature Trees at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

Semi-Mature Trees at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

There were very many beautiful gardens at this RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the BBC coverage showcased many of the designs. Monty Don, respected gardener and broadcaster chose his favourite Semi-Mature Trees from this year’s show; all of them spectacular specimens:

Morus nigra (Black Mulberry)

Centre to Paul Hervey-Brookes’s The Viking Cruises Wellness Garden is an aged mulberry tree, which designer Paul Hervey-Brookes has been nurturing for the last five years.

The Black Mulberry is a pretty, deciduous tree that is native to South Western Asia. It has very bright green leaves that are heart-shaped and have a serrated looking edge to them.  The bark is gnarly, giving even younger trees an old and historic appearance. As a mature tree, the Black Mulberry has a spreading, rounded shape to it which is almost domed, giving it a wide appeal architecturally.

The fruits emerge throughout the summertime, ripening towards the end of this period to be deep purple in colour and loganberry like in appearance. This tree will tolerate most soil conditions, preferring a lighter well-drained soil.
The Viking Cruises Wellness Garden is a space inspired by the spa and the idea of living well, both of which are intrinsic to the Nordic way of life. The garden is imagined to belong to a single person or couple and is a place in which to relax, feel at home with nature, unwind and recharge from the stresses of life. It is rich with traditional Nordic herbal and culinary plants, many of which are resurgent in Norway and Sweden.

Punica granatum (Pomegranate)

Sarah Price used Punica granatum (Pomegranate) for the M&G Garden

The M&G Garden is a romanticised haven designed for a warm, sunny climate. It expands on a timeless idea that a wall, a tree and a seat can create an intimate and beautiful place of repose. Using Mediterranean flora and raw materials dug directly out of the earth (clay, aggregate and pigment), the space celebrates the expressive language of colour, texture, light and shadow. The stand-out plants in the garden are a pair of beautifully gnarled old pomegranate trees.

Betula nigra (Black birch)

Trees take centre stage of Chris Beardshaw’s Morgan Stanley garden for NSPCC with a Betula nigra giving a genuine sense of maturity to the garden, allowing ground level planting to soften the rest of the space.

This tall tree forms a pyramidal shape, often having multiple trunks, with deeply ridged, dark brown bark. Younger trees have a uniquely flaky, orangey-red bark, which peels away from the tree without detaching. Foliage consists of soft, green rhombus-shaped leaves and yellow-green catkins are produced in April.

Designed to raise awareness of the work of the NSPCC, this garden’s design is a metaphor for the emotional transition that takes place in a child as they experience the positive impact of the NSPCC’s work

Tilia x europaea

Tom Stuart-Smith used a huge Tilia europaea in the Garfield Weston Foundation garden.

Tilia europaea is an impressive, fast growing tree which has a broad crown at maturity. It has fragrant yellow flowers that hang in cymes, whilst it’s lush green leaves turn a vivid yellow just before they fall in autumn. This is a tough tree, thriving on most soils, and is frost hardy. It is good for urban areas and is wind resistant.

Celebrating 60 years of the Garfield Weston Foundation, The Weston Garden is a private, enclosed and romantic space that emphasises the simplest and most enduring characteristics of a private garden

 

Prunus avium plena blossom
Top 10 Trees for Small Gardens

Trees for small gardens

Trees will enhance even the smallest of gardens and we have listed the top 10 trees that are suitable for small gardens.  Position such trees well and they will make an ideal focal point, or use them to screen out unwanted views; trees create structure and seasonal interest to any garden and landscape. A pleasure of planting semi-mature trees is that they can be enjoyed now and for succeeding generations.

When choosing trees for a small garden, it is worth considering just how much space you have and which seasons best suit your planting scheme. Trees can bring all sorts of focus to your garden whether it’s through their flowers, foliage, fruit or bark; creating colour and attention all year round whether through welcome shade, as  a wildlife magnet and even tasty harvests, if you are planting fruit trees.

Don’t let a small garden stop you from enjoying all the benefits of trees. We have many spectacular specimen trees for sale that will grace your garden, in all shapes and sizes, evergreen and deciduous. It is important that any trees chosen are right for their surroundings, in terms of proportion as well as for their decorative value.

Here is a selection of the top 10 trees for smaller garden, also consider the space you have available. Trees with a weeping form rarely increase much in height; similarly a columnar tree, will not spread too much further.  If you only have room for one tree, look for one with more than one season of interest such as fruit or autumn colour following on from spring flowers.

Top 10 Trees for smaller gardens

  1. Acer palmatum Japanese maples
  2. Amelanchier (Snowy mespilus)
  3. Arbutus unedo (Strawberry tree)
  4. Betula utilis jacquemontii (Himalayan birch)
  5. Catalpa bignonioides Nana (Dwarf Indian bean tree)
  6. Cercis siliquastrum (Judas tree)
  7. Eriobotrya japonica (Loquat)
  8. Magnolias
  9. Malus / Flowering Crab Apples
  10. Prunus serrulata / Flowering Cherry
Trees specimen and semi mature
Top Quality Containerised Trees

Top Quality Containerised Trees

Available for Planting Now


Comprehensive Range

Practicality Brown’s tree nursery specialises in large trees, both evergreen and deciduous. With a combination of home grown and outsourced specimen and semi mature trees, we offer a broad range which includes many native UK species; trees that are suitable all occasions.

Containerised Trees

We have an excellent selection of beautiful trees that are available in containers and are ready to plant now, ahead of the traditional root ball season. These trees are in girth sizes 20cm to 65cm, up to 8m high.

All our acclimatised containerised stock has been carefully tended to at our nursery to ensure it is ready for delivery in perfect condition. We continually monitor conditions to ensure that trees are in the peak condition for planting, paying close attention to bio security and plant health management.

See our stock list for the trees we currently have in stock at our nursery; all are available for delivery now.

From delicate Acers (Maples), fully feathered Magnolia grandiflora to pleached Quercus palustris (Pin Oaks) and classic English Yew, there is something on the list for everyone.

Magnolia grandiflora fully feathered

Magnolia grandiflora

Image of a Yew Taxus baccata 1.5m element

Yew Taxus baccata 1.5m elements

Quercus palustris Specimen tree

Pleached Pin Oak

The trees detailed on this list are those we currently have in stock at our nursery; the heights and girths reflect actual sizes of these individual trees. The availability can daily, so please call to confirm availability of particular stock.  All prices shown are ex vat and exclude delivery, please use our enquiry form to request a detailed quotation.

 

A 30% discount will be applied to ex vat orders of trees worth a total of £2500 or more.

The discount applies to the tree stock value of the order only, not to delivery and planting etc.

Prices correct as at August 2017. E&OE.

 

We would be delighted to see you at our nursery in Iver, Buckinghamshire; please make an appointment to ensure one of our team are available to show you around.  We are located near to M4, M25 and M40 junctions, about 6 miles from Heathrow Airport and 15 miles from London and just 1 mile from Iver Station, with trains from London Paddington.

We look forward to welcoming you onto our nursery soon.

Root-balled Trees and Transplanting

Bare root trees

Autumn heralds wonderful colours and falling leaves but for growers the cooler soils signify the ideal time to start transplanting trees and shrubs. Specimen trees, typically too large for containers, are systematically transplanted by skilled growers and root-balled with a compact root system, which enables trees to be re-located without stress or shock. This process continues into the winter when the trees are fully dormant making it perfect to transplant them.

Practicality Brown’s preferred growers throughout UK and Europe are now preparing and shipping  those trees selected and reserved during the summer, either to our nursery in Iver or direct to site to satisfy clients requirements.

These trees have their root system carefully enclosed and held in place with wire-wrapped hessian, which ensures the soil remains in contact with the roots throughout lifting, transportation and planting operations. Our root-ball trees have been prepared by being ‘undercut’ i.e. root pruned or transplanted several times (every 3 years for Deciduous and 4 years for Evergreen) to encourage the development of a fibrous root system.

The root ball season is now open; please call us to discuss your requirements. We can advise on preparation, planting and aftercare too.

Unusual Specimen Tree Sourcing

Our client in Wiltshire was looking for an unusual specimen tree to take pride of place in his beautiful cottage garden. We sourced and planted a beautiful Chinese beech tree (Fagus enleriana) which is a rare and graceful medium size tree with slender, sea-green foliage hanging from horizontal branches. The tree weight was 1.6 ton so we used a telescopic telehandler machine to safely unload and Read more