Good trees for urban gardens: Plant now for spectacular fall color

These Japanese maples are in a perfect spot for the neighbors to enjoy.

Fall has so much beauty that a walk in the neighborhood is a joy. It is also a great time to plant trees. If you are inspired to choose a new tree, you are in luck.

Japanese maples are very dependable for color. They do like having some filtered shade.
For the maples, find a spot with some dappled shade. They do not enjoy hot spots
Liriodendron tulipifera has beautiful yellow color. It gets quite tall so needs a large yard to really prosper. The front of Edmonds Elementary School has good specimens. The tulip-shaped leaves are attractive.
Liriodendron needs lots of room and protection from wind.
This young smoke tree, “Grace,” will become a striking small tree. It is a less well-known smoke tree than the common “Royal Purple” variety. “Grace’ will reach 25 feet tall.
“Grace,” like other smoke trees, wants a warm spot and does not need shade.
Remember that new trees like a large hole where you have added compost. They will benefit from a mulch of wood chips or bark. Keep any mulch 2 to 3 inches from the trunk.

Good tree-planting time continues through October and into the first part of November before frosts hit. Enjoyment of a beautiful tree will continue for many years.

— By Barbara Chase

Barbara Chase is a Master Gardener who serves on the City of Edmonds Citizens Tree Board.

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