Change in Season Brings New Fall Colours
Prince George, B.C. – Landscapes change as quickly as the season changes. The shorter days and cooler temperatures brings new fall colours of reds, golds, oranges, and yellows, to deciduous trees and shrubs, as they have their last colour burst before the leaves drop.
For some varieties of trees and shrubs the show continues after the foliage falls, as the colourful berries are revealed. The berries can remain on the tree/shrub for weeks, depending on how quickly the birds find them.
Viburnums are known for their attractive berries, colourful fall foliage, and spring flowers. A well-known viburnum is the high brush cranberry that have bright red berries that cling on the branches well into the winter months. Mountain Ash have beautiful fall colour and many varieties also have the clusters of colourful fruit that hang on, over the winter months.
Two other bushes that stand out during the fall/winter months are the ‘Snowberry’ which has small white berries, or the Pink snowberry which has bright purple/pink berries, that hang on the bare branches, like tiny jewels.
Flowering crab apples ae another tree that gives three seasons of colour, as they bloom in spring, have attractive summer and fall foliage, and produce decorative small apples that the birds enjoy.
Hardy roses can add year-round interest to the landscape. They bloom throughout the spring and summer, and in later summer leave some of the finished flowers on the plant to form rose hips. These rose hips will ripen and stay on the plant throughout the winter months.
A group of trees that stand out for their fall colour are the maples. Other trees such as the ‘Linden’ and ‘Larch’ have nice golden yellow fall foliage. ‘Bur Oaks’ large dark green lobed leaves change to amber in the fall, while the ‘Red Oak’ and ‘Northern Pin Oak’ turn red.
A deciduous shrub that will soon be standing out is the ‘Winged Burning Bush,’ named because of its brilliant red fall colour. Then after the bright red foliage falls off, the corky winged branches are revealed to add winter interest to the landscape, especially when they catch the snow within the ridges. Other colourful fall shrubs include Azalea, Barberry, Elder, Sumac, Spirea, and Dogwood which also has colourful stems for winter interest.
Don’t forget about some of the perennials such as day lilies, that turn bright yellow or the many different varieties of Heucheras that have amazing colourful foliage throughout the year until they are covered with snow. Added floral colour can be added to the landscape by planting some late blooming perennials such as Stonecrop, Rudbeckia, Echinacea, False Sunflower and Liatris.
Ornamental grasses are gaining in popularity because of their easy care and long lasting looks. Some grasses such as Blue Oat Grass and Blue Fescue, remain throughout the seasons while other have interesting seed heads that remain for long periods of time.
For year round colour, plant a few evergreens. There are a number of different varieties, types, foliage colour, and sizes to choose from. These do not change throughout the season, but are certainly appreciated after seeing weeks of white snow over the winter months!