If you live in Tennessee and watch for the excitement of peak foliage color every autumn as we do, you probably already have a few favorite colorfully-gifted trees of your own. Although peak color has occurred a bit later in recent years due to dryer weather and warmer autumn temperatures, eventually the planet tilts, the days get shorter, and the trees get all the signals for color change.
The trees that already change their color later in the season won’t see much of a shift in warmer, dryer weather, which includes several of the varieties we’re sharing today. Since most of our favorites turn beautiful shades of red, we’ll start with the lighter golds and yellows and work our way up so you can choose your preferences and pair them accordingly.
Not only does this gorgeous tree turn into a series of colors in the fall (from vibrant yellow to orange, rich red, and purple), it also gives off a lovely fragrance. A fast-growing, drought-resistant tree, the Sassafras tree is used for many things. The wood is used in furniture-making, while the plant is used in creating soap fragrance, and oil from the bark is used as a flavoring.
Originally root beer was made from the bark and root of the Sassafras Tree, but this has changed since the FDA determined that safrole, its main component, to be a carcinogen. Now you’ll find Sassafras mainly available in soaps, potpourri, and other non-edible concoctions.
The Sweet Gum Tree can add a yellow, red, or purple tinge to your autumn landscape. Additionally, it can grow as tall as 150 feet high and makes a lovely shade tree. Also referred to as the American Gum Tree, the American Storax, Redgum, Star-Leaved Gum, among other names, the Sweet Gum is a popular hardwood used in furniture, floor, paper, and basket-making. It attracts mourning doves, finches, wild turkeys, squirrels, and chipmunks. The tree likely got its name from American pioneers, who used the thick resin underneath the bark as a chew.
If you like yellows and golds in the fall, either on their own or to complement your reds and violets, you’ve got to get a Hickory Tree. Aside from their glorious golden autumn color, their wood is often included in smoking wood for meat-smoking, wood-burning stove pellets, and BBQ grilling. It also makes outstanding furniture, and the trees are long-lasting — some varieties can even live as long as 300 years.
Autumn Blaze Maple
Although usually finishing off the year in blazing red, hence the name, this beauty often hits on the whole range of colors, including orange and yellow on its way there. A sturdy variety of trees, the Blaze Maple is a cross between the North American silver maple and the North American red maple and is hardy enough to survive most types of weather. It can grow up to 60 feet tall. Another fast-grower, the Blaze Maple, can grow up to three feet annually. It is found throughout the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
Flame Leaf Sumac
With a name like that, you’re sure to get a lively autumn color, and indeed, the Flame Leaf Sumac does not disappoint! From reds to oranges, yellows, and purples, you’ll get all the color you need with one or two of these. They’re more like large shrubs than trees and also go by other names like the Prairie Sumac, the Prairie Flame Leaf Sumac, Mountain Sumac, and Lance-Leaved Sumac.
Preferring to dwell in full sunlight, the Sourwood Tree begins to bloom in aromatic white flowers during the hottest part of the summer. Later on in autumn, it ranges in color from yellow to maroon. In winter, their seeds provide a food source for birds.
Also known as the Sorrel Tree, the Sourwood usually doesn’t grow taller than 60 feet high. The tree itself has many uses. For example, its leaves are used as a laxative, and its blooms are used for juice-making.
In the spring, these bloom in large white blossoms, and the fall the leaves turn various shades of red. The red berries that grow on it are attractive to several types of birds (however they’re toxic to humans), so you can be sure you’ll enjoy a variety of birdsongs if you have one of these in your yard!
Also called the ‘Cherokee Princess,’ the White-Flowering Dogwood is considered a Native American tree, growing to a maximum height of appx 30 feet tall.
If you are interested to get any of these trees, make sure to click here. You will find different options on the website and you can find any of the trees listed here and more.