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Garden Planning: Our Colorful Tips and Tricks

Blair Brown — Jul 17, 2019

Already over the summer heat and looking forward to the fall season? If so, you've come to the right place. We love summer weather but planning for the next season is always on our radar.And with our tips for preparing, garden planning is effortless.

Today, Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez is here to discuss the perfect gardening ideas to upgrade your landscape for autumn and beyond.

If you love fall color as much as I do, you’re probably looking for the perfect trees that will help bring vibrant autumn foliage to your home landscape. And inviting those beautiful reds, oranges, yellows, and purples in the fall means getting the right trees for your yard to help Mother Nature paint those fall colors around your yard.

Of course, planting the types of trees that will help deliver those amazing fall hues to your home varies, depending on where you live.

Choosing Trees for Your Climate

One of the keys to planting the right trees for fall color is checking the USDA Hardiness Map. Pinpointing your location on this interactive map will help you find out what hardiness zone you’re in and will help you narrow down the list of trees that will grow best in your location. However, your yard may have tiny microclimates that are not reflected on the larger USDA Hardiness Map, and this may mean you can grow some plants that aren’t specifically suited for your region’s hardiness zone but might be adaptable to specific locations in your yard.

And, of course, you can shop for a wide selection of trees that are adapted to your USDA Hardiness Zone simply by typing your zip code into the growing zone setting on Fast Growing Trees.

Garden Planning for Fall

When to Plant Your Trees

One thing I learned the hard way is knowing when to plant trees in the yard to optimize their transition into fall, giving them the best chance to show off all of their pretty colors in the autumn. Of course, the best time to plant a tree depends on the species itself. In many cases, the spring is the best time to plant a tree, because it will have a chance to become established during the peak growing seasons of spring and summer.

However, summer is a good time for garden planning and even planting, provided you focus on adequate watering, mulching and fertilizing. And as long as you don't plant during the hottest times of the day and wait for a lull in high temperatures, you're good to go.

Also, keep in mind that it may take a couple of years for the tree to really become adapted to the landscape. No matter what, patience is always key, especially when it comes to enjoying the fruits of your landscaping labor.

Colorful Garden Tips

Color Tips

Planting the best trees in your yard for fall color is a bit like painting a beautiful landscape scene on a canvas. A little orange here, a touch of yellow there…some purple in the corner. I could go on and on! You’ve got to research each tree and find out what colors its foliage typically takes on in the fall so you get your favorites. Here’s a list of some of the most popular trees for fall color:


A hybrid of two famous trees, the red and silver maples, the Autumn Blaze Red Maple captures brilliant color, dense branching, and an amazing growth rate.

The October Glory's leaves drop later in the autumn season than other trees, so you have more time to enjoy the show of red foliage while other trees are bare.

From its crimson red color to its hardy strength, the Emperor Japanese Maple Tree lives up to its name as the leader in rich color.


Rising to large heights, the Sugar Maple expands its grace in the most blazing hues imaginable.

A hybrid of the Silver and Red Maples, the Celebration Maple features energetic growth in a colorful, dazzling silhouette.

Blooms and eye-catching color merge, making the Tulip Poplar Tree one of the most vibrant selections available.


Following the blankets of sweet flowers in spring, the eye-catching ruby red leaves of the Thundercloud first appear in summer as a welcome change.

Not only do you get springtime interest from the Cloud 9, but you also get remarkable reddish-purple foliage in fall.

A season-to-season standout, the Brandywine is well-named for its foliage that turns reddish-orange and deep purple in fall.

Bear in mind, Mother Nature isn’t always easy to predict! She does her own thing with fall color depending on weather conditions and other factors. Some trees will showcase a variety of colors, even if their name suggests otherwise. For example, the American Red Maple, a staple of fall foliage landscapes, sometimes shows off shades of orange or gold under particular weather conditions. Personally, I like trees that offer a diversity of color.

Remember, during the transition from summer into fall, cool nights and sunny days are optimal for dazzling autumn foliage. And no matter what you choose, you'll have a painterly look that will elevate your garden. Check out more of our staples here!

Blair Brown

Blair is the Content Marketing Manager at FastGrowingTrees.com, and though she's not your traditional gardener, the planting world is definitely growing on her (pun intended!). She's enjoyed digging into plant care and maintenance and growing her plant collection, especially with exotic indoor varieties.

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