Fall Color Settling In Slowly
It’s been a warm fall. The days have been a bit warmer than normal. More important, the nights have not been nearly as cold, generally about 10 to 20 degrees (F) warmer than average.
Weather is only one factor affecting fall color, I believe the shortening days are a bigger one. But I’ve got to think that this warm fall is one reason why it seems that more leaves are staying green late into the season.
So here it is the first weekend of November, and we are finally getting a decent amount of foliage color in our garden. Even so, some of the fall color stars still seem to be behind schedule.
As usual, Serviceberry ‘Autumn Brilliance’ (Amelanchier x grandiflora) is a seasonal star. The little oval leaves seem to glow like red and orange jewels. I have six of these shrubs and sometimes I think I would fill the whole back garden with them if allowed.
The Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) leaves are falling, but are first turning a nice golden yellow. Spicebush blooms in early spring with tiny yellow flowers. The number of buds I can see now indicates a good display next April.
Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) and Wild Black Currant (Ribes americanum) also have nice yellow autumn foliage. Wild Black Currant is one of my favorite native small shrubs.
In the middle of our back garden is a big old Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum). This tree’s greedy roots can be a real pain. However, it gives a pleasant dappled shade and the fall leaves are attractive.
Among the plants that seem behind schedule for fall color are my new Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida), just now finishing its second season in the back garden.
Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) is also tardy. This shrub normally has deep red and maroon leaves in fall. It is just now starting to show color. I also have Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium), and it is not showing any color at all (except for green).
How has your autumn color been coming along this year?