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Trees With Multi-Season Color

Site adaptation, appropriate size, pest resistance, and other factors play a key role in which trees you should choose to plant. But a tree’s ornamental characteristics like flowers, fall color, and colorful fruit are also important in how it fits into a well-designed landscape. If you are looking for trees that provide multiple seasons of color, here are some good choices.

Serviceberry, Amelanchier sp.

Small American native tree best adapted to cold winter areas. White to pink spring flowers appear before the leaves, which turn fiery shades in fall. Edible fruit also produced, used to make jams and jellies, and loved by birds.

Redbud, Cercis sp.

Magenta, pinkish, or white flowers in spring and yellow or red fall color. Some varieties of eastern redbud, Cercis canadensis, have colorful foliage such as ‘Forest Pansy’ (purple) and ‘Silver Cloud’ (mottled white).

Fringe tree, Chionanthus sp.

Lacy white flowers in spring and bright yellow fall color.

Dogwood, Cornus sp.

Several species with beautiful spring white to pink flowers, bright red or yellow fall color, and showy red fruit. Besides the popular eastern dogwood, C. florida, also consider the later-blooming and large-fruited kousa dogwood (C. kousa) and the early blooming Cornelian cherry (C. mas), also with large red fruit.

Hawthorn, Crataegus sp.

Small deciduous tree with usually white flowers followed by bright orange to red fruit and glowing orange to red fall color. Some species susceptible to fire blight.

Persimmon, Dyospyros sp.

Large, orange to red, edible fruit hang on the branches long after the lustrous green leaves have turned glorious shades of orange to red before dropping.

Chinese flame tree, Koelreuteria bipinnata

Lovely shade tree with large clusters of yellow flowers in late summer followed by Japanese lantern-like, orange to red seed clusters that hang long into fall. Divided leaves turn yellow in fall.

Crapemyrtle, Lagerstroemia sp.

Intensely colorful, late-spring through summer flowers come in many shades including white, pink, red, and purple. Leaves turn bright yellow, orange, or red in autumn. Peeling bark reveals smooth, cinnamon-brown bark.

Crabapple, Malus sp.

Beautiful spring flowers in shades of white, pink, and red followed by showy pink, red, or yellow, edible fruit that hangs on the tree long into winter. Some varieties have colorful, reddish to purple foliage and/or yellow fall color. Choose disease-resistant varieties.

Sourwood, Oxydendrum arboreum

Prized eastern native with striking long, white clusters of fragrant flowers in spring followed by interesting seed capsules that dangle into winter. Leaves turn fiery shades of orange to scarlet or purplish in fall.

Information provided April 2015, courtesy of the Bayer Advanced Healthy Trees for Life initiative. Bayer®, the Bayer Cross® and Bayer Advanced™ are trademarks of Bayer.

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