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Article by Caroline Knight | 8th October 2018

A Seasonal Riot of Colour

October’s awesome colours are a sight to behold.

There are so many things to love about the month of October, but probably the most dramatic spectacle is the colour of the trees. This autumn’s visual feast might be slightly less jaw-dropping than normal because many trees have shed their leaves early in order to conserve moisture throughout the dry summer period. But there’s no doubt that fireworks will still be on show!

Look out for these 10 top autumn trees:

1. Liriodendron tulipifera, the tulip tree. The foliage of this large and luscious beast turns butter-yellow in autumn, so it won’t give you vibrant oranges and reds but will provide shimmering, sunshine colours like no other. Calverley Grounds in Tunbridge Wells is a good place to spot some.
2. Liquidambar styraciflua, or sweet gum, brings the most amazing autumn tones, but many people mistake it for an acer. It is similar to a maple but look closely and you’ll see the leaves are a slightly different shape. In October and November, it turns red, burgundy and orange to outshine most others.
3. Fagus sylvatica, the common beech tree. Just because it is a well-known tree, it doesn’t mean it’s not amazing. The yellowing leaves turn coppery brown and light up the woods in autumn.
4. Acers, in all their different guises, are loved by most people because they come in so many different sizes. This means there’s one to fit most gardens and even patio containers. In autumn, Acers can steal the show. Some turn brilliant crimson, some fiery orange, others golden yellow.
5. Nyssa sylvatica, the tupelo tree. You might not be familiar with the species, but there’s no missing its orange glowing autumn colour. It’s a big tree, but one that’s well worth planting in a large garden provided you have slightly acidic soil.
6. Amelanchiers, the Juneberry or serviceberry. They really have something for every season, but autumn brings a vivid orange and red glow to their small leaves. There’s nothing understated about this brilliant tree.
7. Parrotia persica, the Persian ironwood. It colours amazingly well provided it’s planted in a slightly acid soil. They are big trees that turn vivid red and orange in autumn.
8. Cercidiphyllum japonicum, the katsura tree. The beautiful, heart-shaped leaves transform into a blazing yellow, orange
and scarlet show in autumn. What’s more, they emit a fragrance that can be compared
to burnt sugar.
9. Sorbus aucuparia, the native rowan tree. Yellow and orange autumn colours light up the space around these graceful trees in autumn. There are vibrant berries too, making this a great all-round tree which is so easy to grow and care for.
10. Ginkgo biloba, the maidenhair tree. These are tall and beautiful, with the most unusual double-lobed leaves. The foliage turns a spectacular yellow in autumn.

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