15 Best Trees for Radiant Fall Colors 

Published July 7, 2022
Young Woman in Autumn Landscape

When summer temperatures cool down and the days begin to get shorter, that's when fall trees start to shine in all their glory. With tones ranging from various shades of gold, yellow, orange, red, purple, and even bronze, fall color trees are an amazing sight to behold. Discover 15 of the best trees for fall color so you can be on the lookout for their glorious display during your autumn adventures.

Ash Trees

Ash (Fraxinus) trees put on an amazing show during the autumn, during which time their leaves turn yellow. The leaves of white ash trees take things a step further than other trees in the ash family. After turning yellow, their leaves go on to take on a purply-red color. Ash trees reach 60-120 feet in height. They are hardy in USDA Zones 2- 9.

Road with Ash trees in the fall

Birch Trees

Birch (Betula) trees provide a vivid, varied palette of fall color. Their leaves turn various shades of red, yellow, orange, and bronze, which gives these gorgeous trees a warm, colorful autumn glow. Birch trees grow to reach between 40 and 70 feet tall. They are hardy in USDA Zones 2-6.

Birch trees in the fall

Chinese Pistache

The Chinese pistache (Pistacia chinensis) tree is a fantastic sight to behold during the fall once its leaves transition from their ordinary dark green to blazing shades of red and orange. These relatively short trees grow to reach between 25 and 35 feet in height. They are hardy in USDA Zones 6-9.

Vivid colors of the Chinese Pistache in Autumn

Eastern Ironwood

Eastern ironwood (Ostrya virginiana) trees are known by a few other common names, including hophornbeam, ironwood, and leverwood. During autumn, their leaves take on a dark yellow hue. These trees typically achieve a height between 25 and 35 feet tall. Eastern ironwood trees are hardy in USDA Zones 3-9.

Flowers of Ostrya virginiana

Eastern Redbud

Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) trees change colors a few times each year. Their leaves are red when they come out in spring, then they turn green over the summer. When fall arrives, they turn yellow. Eastern redbuds typically stand between 20 and 30 feet tall. They are hardy in USDA Zones 4-9.

Golden autumn leaves of Eastern Redbud tree

Flowering Dogwood

The leaves of flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) trees turn various shades of red when autumn arrives. But that's not all; they also display beautiful red berries (not edible) this time of year. Flowering dogwood trees grow to reach a height of between 20 and 40 feet tall. They are hardy in USDA Zones 5-8.

Flowering Dogwood Leaves and red berries in the fall

Ginkgo Trees

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) trees are also sometimes referred to as maidenhair trees. Their leaves turn an incredibly vibrant golden yellow hue when autumn arrives, making them one of the most absolutely beautiful fall trees. These stately trees grow to a height of between 25 and 50 feet tall. They are hardy in USDA Zones 3-9.

Fall Ginkgo Tree

Kentucky Coffeetree

The leaves of Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus) change multiple times throughout the year. When their leaves emerge in spring, they are pinkish-bronze. They turn to a bluish-green color in the summer and then transition to yellow in the fall. The trees grow within the range of 60 - 75 feet tall. These trees are hardy in USDA Zones 3-8.

Leaves with autumn colors of the Gymnocladus Dioicus tree

Maple Trees

There are several varieties of maple (Acerm) trees, each of which has leaves that change color in the fall. Maples are known for having leaves that transition to particularly vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. These trees can vary in height between 20 and 160 feet tall (based on type). Most maples stand between 60 and 90 feet tall. They are hardy in USDA Zones 4-9.

Red Maple in autumn

Crape Myrtle Trees

Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) trees are best known for their profuse blooms during the summer, but their colorful show doesn't stop when the temperatures turn cool. In the fall, their leaves turn various shades of orange, red, yellow, and gold. These trees typically stand between 15 and 25 feet tall. They are hardy in USDA Zones 7-10.

Autumn colour on a crepe myrtle tree

Oak Trees

There are many species of oak (Quercus) trees, all of which have leaves that change color in the fall. Coloring varies by type and includes the full spectrum of autumn leaf tones. Most oak tree species stand between 60 and 75 feet tall, but some can grow to 100+ feet, while others stay below 30 feet. Hardiness varies by species; overall oaks are hardy in USDA Zones 3-10, but it's important to verify that any species you want to plant is hardy in your area.

Oak trees in autumn

Persian Ironwood

The leaves of Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica) trees turn orange, red, and yellow during autumn. Their leaves are usually among the last ones to drop once winter arrives. Their height typically ranges from 20 to 40 feet. These trees are sometimes used as shrubs in landscapes. Persian ironwoods are hardy in USDA Zones 4-8.

Persian ironwood tree with autumnal leaves

Persimmon Tree

The leaves of persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) trees turn shades of orange and yellow when autumn arrives. These fruit trees usually grow to between 20 and 30 feet tall, but some can reach a height of 60 feet. Some varieties stay around 10 feet tall. Persimmon trees are hardy in USDA Zones 4-9.

Persimmon tree in autumn colors at sunrise

Sourwood Trees

Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboretum) trees provide a burst of color when autumn arrives. Their leaves change to varying shades of red, purple, orange, and yellow. These trees typically grow to between 25 and 30 feet in height. They are hardy in USDA Zones 5-9.

Sourwood tree in the fall

Tupelo Trees

Tupelo (Nyssa silvatica) trees, also referred to as sour gum trees, provide a tapestry of multi-tonal autumn color. Their leaves take on shades of yellow, orange, bright red, and purple. It's not unusual to see leaves of different colors on the same individual branches. Their height tends to vary between 30 and 50 feet. Tupelo trees are hardy in USDA Zones 4-9.

Autumn Tupelo Trees

Impressive Fall Color Trees

There's nothing quite as breathtaking as admiring beautiful trees in the fall, especially their jewel-tone leaf colors. Even though their changing leaves signal that winter will soon be here, their unique beauty is an amazing and impressive sight to behold.

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15 Best Trees for Radiant Fall Colors