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Top trees for autumn interest:

Autumn is not only a great time to plant your tree(s) - the more the better - it’s an incredibly beautiful time of the year. Evergreen trees continue being their own beautiful, sturdy, structural beings and deciduous trees start to take on their own gorgeous russet autumnal colours. It doesn’t get much better than crisp, clear blue skies with green, brown, orange and yellow leaves dancing in the breeze, gently falling from their branches to the ground. Who doesn’t love the crunch of crisp leaves on their wanders?

If you’re thinking about planting your first tree or planting further trees in your garden, consider what they can add through all of the seasons. Spring, do they have blossom? Summer, I mean summer generally means glorious greens, greens, greens for any tree (unless it's not a green leaf tree...). Autumn, as you well know brings those beautifully fresh mornings and ever so cosy evenings, with the full glory of the autumn trees looking magnificent. And winter, last but not least - evergreen trees will look good all winter long, with their green coats firmly in tact. Deciduous trees however, will loose their leaves and this is where carefully selecting them for their trunk and branch structure is really key.

Anyway I digress, below are my top five (small to medium) trees for autumn interest - providing glorious colour and gorgeous structure from autumn into winter:

1) Rhus typhina (Stag’s horn sumach) - I’ve actually just planted three young trees, donated by my parents, in my own garden. The delicate leaves turn the most incredible ombre red, orange through to yellow and flutter gently in the breeze. If you can find yourself a handsome multi-stem specimen, you’re really on to a winner.

2) Snowy mespilius (Amelanchier lamarckii) - a true stalwart in the world of garden design. It looks so good all year round! Spring blossom, small fruits for the birds, lush summer greens and beautiful autumn colour before shedding its leaves for winter. Find a sublime specimen, preferably multi-stem in nature and get it in the ground now, you'll thank me later.

3) Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum) - this is a great small tree with many varieties on offer - a versatile tree which also does very well in a pot, so if you’re looking for a stunning specimen for a feature pot then this tree could perfect for you.

4) Beech (Fagus sylvatica) - this one doesn’t fit so well into the small-medium category if grown as a natural tree. If you haven’t seen it growing as a large magnificent tree, then it’s a good excuse to get outside to a deciduous woodland or parkland and see it in all its glory, especially in autumn with its burnt orange leaves. It’s a perfect tree for creating those ever so satisfyingly crunchy leaf lined pathways, however a beech hedge if trimmed in late summer will usually keep its leaves through winter. An option which can be classed as a small-medium tree would be to grow these beautiful trees in a pleached form, a raised square crown above a straight clear stem, giving a formality to your garden whilst also providing screening or helping to create rooms within your space.

5) Dogwood (Cornus kousa) - Another all year round beauty, especially if you find a specimen with a beautiful stem and branch framework for winter interest, still looking good once the leaves have dropped. A relatively small tree with gorgeous white bracts and flowers in early summer and as this article might suggest, the most stunning autumn colours!

Why don’t you see whether any of these are suitable for planting in your garden this month?

*Always check the trees requirements against your soil type and the aspect for planting!

Anyway, who else is ready for that warm spiced latte... do let me know what you plant in your garden below!


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