11 Trees & Shrubs to Add Color to Your Fall Landscape

We have so many shrubs and trees we love for fall color - both due to their foliage as well as berries! Our list includes what makes it special to us as well as growing details to know if it's a fit for your location.


1) Sweet Gum - Liquidambar styraciflua

This native shade tree is a wildlife haven! It also displays a mix of red, orange, yellow, and purple foliage - all at once!

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5-9

  • Height: 60-75'

  • Spread: 40-50'

  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

  • Soil Needs: Tolerant of a wide range of conditions: Acidic, clay, drought, loamy, moist, sandy, well drained and wet - Can handle it all!

2) 'Brandywine' Red Maple - Acer rubrum 'Brandywine'

'Brandywine' is a cross between 'October Glory' and 'Autumn Flame' resulting in a more intense and consistent scarlet fall foliage than any other variety! This variety is also smaller than most maples and makes a great choice for those needing a shade tree on the small side. Painters Greenhouse will also offer 'Autumn Blaze', 'Sun Valley', and 'October Glory' Red Maples during Fall Season - all produce an outstanding display of color, but the below information covers 'Brandywine' only.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4-8

  • Height: 35-50'

  • Spread: 25-40'

  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

  • Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained, acidic soil

3) Sourwood - Oxydendrum arboreum

A medium-sized, native tree with a lot to offer in summer and throughout fall: fragrant summer flowers (bees love them, and they are the reason for delicious Sourwood honey), and stunning scarlet fall foliage!

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5-9

  • Height: 25-30'

  • Spread: 20'

  • Sun Exposure: Full sun

  • Soil Needs: Grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. Sourwoods prefer normal moisture, but has some drought tolerance

4) Northern Red Oak - Quercus rubra

A stately, native tree with foliage that undergoes stages of color from orange to russett-red to bright red.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3-8

  • Height: 60-75'

  • Spread: 45'

  • Sun Exposure: Full sun is ideal, she get at least 6 hrs of direct sunlight each day

  • Soil Needs: Grows in acidic loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. Prefers normal moisture, but will tolerant some drought once established

Bald Cypress - Taxodium distichum (photo: arborday.org)

5) Bald Cypress - Taxodium distichum

This native, deciduous conifer's foliage turns a fiery cinnamon/orange color in the fall!

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4-10

  • Height: 50-70'

  • Spread: 25'

  • Sun Exposure: Full sun

  • Soil Needs: Bald Cypress is very adaptable and can handle wet or dry conditions, while also withstanding flooding.


6) American Witchhazel - Hamamelis virginiana

A native shrub (or small tree) with fantastic fall color and blooms! Leaves are yellow to yellow-orange in fall and fragrant blooms adorn the shrub October through December. A great fall specimen!

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3-8=Height: 15-30'

  • Spread: 15-25'

  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade - prefers a minimum of 4 hrs direct sunlight

  • Soil Needs: A fairly tolerant plant - grows well in acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam and well-drained soils - handles a variety of moisture conditions

7) Fragrant Sumac - Rhus aromatica

A great native low-lying shrub for open woodlands and along woodland edges. Leaves turn a bright orange and red foliage in fall. If female, the shrub can have bright red berries in the fall.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2-8

  • Height: 5-12'

  • Spread: 4-6'

  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

  • Soil Needs: Can tolerate both moist and dry soils

8) American Beautyberry - Callicarpa americana

Produces bright magenta berries in fall and lasting into winter. A very low-maintenance and easy to grow native shrub - berries attract over 40 different bird species!

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5-10

  • Height: 6-10'

  • Spread: 6-10'

  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade - prefers a minimum of 4 hrs direct sunlight

  • Soil Needs: Grows well in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silt loam and well-drained soils. Drought-tolerant.

Himalayan Honeysuckle - Leycesteria formosa
Himalayan Honeysuckle - Leycesteria formosa (photo: Sara Surabian)

9) Himalayan Honeysuckle - Leycesteria formosa

Red and purple berries and bracts pop amongst burgundy-tinged chartreuse foliage. Other great features are blooms that attract butterflies and hummingbirds and fall berries are edible!

  • USDA Growing Zones: 7-10

  • Height: 6'

  • Spread: 6'

  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade preferred, but can be tolerate full shade

  • Soil Needs: Can handle a wide range of soil from dry to well-draining, moist soil

10) Bluebeard - Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Blue Mist'

Stunning powder-blue and periwinkle blooms all along the stems attract butterflies and bees. This long-bloomer will continue until the first frost! Another great feature about this shrub is the aromatic foliage, which also helps deter deer browsing!

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5-8

  • Height: 2-3'

  • Spread: 2-3'

  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

  • Soil Needs: Prefers well-drained soil with average to medium moisture. Drought tolerant once established.

11) 'Limelight' Panicle Hydrangea - Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'

There are several varieties of Panicle Hydrangea available this Fall Season, but 'Limelight' is one of our favorites! Blooms open to a pale chartreuse-green and age to white. By the time fall comes the blooms age further to a rich antique pink and will eventually dry on the shrub.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3-9

  • Height: 6-8'

  • Spread: 6-8'

  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

  • Soil Needs: Prefers moist, well-drained soil

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