Deciduous trees and shrubs drop their leaves each fall. Watching nature’s color display this October, we’ve chosen a few deciduous trees and shrubs for consideration for fall planting or spring planning. They are The Growing Place Choice Plants because they are attractive, strong performers that require less maintenance when planted in the right place.


Maples are known for their fall color display

Maple (Acer), freemanii, Hedge, Sugar, ‘Crimson King’, ‘Crimson Sunset’, ‘Norwegian Sunset’, ‘Redpointe’, ‘State Street’ – All maple leaves are distinctly shaped liked a hand with spread out fingers. Maples are widely recognized by their fall color displays ranging from harvest yellow to bright orange to scarlet red. Most grow in full sun to part shade in average soil. View varieties in our online Plant Search for size, shape, and habit.

Crabapples offer all-season interest

Crabapple (Malus) – We choose varieties that are disease resistant with persistent fruit that stays on for winter interest. The dense branches flower in spring before producing fruit that attracts birds to the garden. Different varieties provide leaf colors from bright yellow to orange-red. Crabapples can be used as a pollinator for fruiting apple trees when bloom times overlap. Choose a prominent spot for this ornamental beauty.

Fan-shaped Ginkgo leaves are easy to spot

Ginkgo (Ginkgo) – Tree & Shrub Manager Eric Gunderson says “Ginkgo trees are the best because they have no pest or disease problems and date back to the age of dinosaurs.” The unique fan-shaped leaves turn a rich golden yellow in fall. The Ginkgo is a durable tree for tough landscape situations.


Chokeberry fall leaf hues are mesmerizing

Chokeberry (Aronia) – Another multi-interest plant, the Chokeberry produces small flowers in spring, then berries before displaying an intense red-orange autumn color. Planted in full sun to part shade, you’ll attract birds for winter interest with this wet tolerant shrub.

Fothergilla illuminates in fall

Fothergilla (Fothergilla) – The neat, upright habit of Fothergilla showcases fragrant, white, bottle-brush-shaped flowers in spring before leaves turn yellow to orange-red in fall. Sunlight, temps, and rainfall always play a role in leaf colors. The branches bring a zig-zag effect for winter interest.

Dogwood branches stay red for winter interest

Dogwood Red Twig (Cornus), ‘Bailey’, ‘Bergeson’s Compact’, ‘Cardinal’, ‘Golden Glory’ – Adaptable and vigorous, Dogwoods flower in spring. They attract birds and add winter interest with their brightly colored stems. Leaves can be bright red-orange to red-purple. Prune stems in late winter or early spring to maintain colorful vigor in stems.

Visit the friendly, knowledgeable staff in our Tree & Shrub Department at either of our locations, Naperville or Aurora for assistance in picking out the best plants for your place. When planning for spring, utilize the online Plant Search at, or ask our Landscape Design team for assistance by filling out the form online. We simplify the process so you can get your plants in the ground and enjoy them for years to come.