Posts tagged #Fall Colour

How Neon Are The Sumacs?

As kids, we used to rate the fall colour by how ‘neon’ the sumacs were that year – had they turned gleaming tangerine, shocking orange, or was it vibrant cherry?  And in a well rated year, we would have a spectacular mix of all three!  Sumacs have opposing leaves on sculptural branches, with a frond-like, lush green, tropical aura through spring and summer.  They also bear fuzzy, burgundy fruit bundles in upright clumps come September, but are refuted for their captivating fall colour.  Sumacs are not for a small garden.  They are a suckering shrub (new shrubs shoot up from roots of the original shrub) with a vigorous spreading habit.  In a cottage, country or larger property this can be of benefit if you are looking for a colony of large shrubs, with multi season interest.  This year I would rate the sumacs at a 9 out of 10 by the way - where I live, the fall colour is now at its magnificent peak, with a hearty contribution from the sumacs! Technical stuff – Sumac, large deciduous shrub hardy to Zone 2, height and spread of 10’-20’+, prefers well drained, average soil and full sun (will tolerate part sun but lesser fall colour), aggressive spreader.


Posted on October 17, 2014 and filed under Shrubs.

Afire In Scarlet and Crimson

This is the time when Burning Bush earns its common name. The upright branches are afire in scarlet, crimson, even pushing into brilliant, fuchsia pink.  In its prime, Burning Bush can rival any tree for the hottest fall colour.  Burning Bush, or Euonymus Alatus, also called Winged Euonymus (because of wing shaped ridges on its branches), is an easy to grow, deciduous shrub that quietly provides a medium green backdrop through spring and summer.   Then in the fall, those quiet leaves turn fierce for a fiery red show.  There are insignificant white summer blooms that turn into red berries, often hidden in the foliage.  Burning Bush does have some downfalls: the spectacular colour is not dependable with best results in a full sun, not too dry a location, it grows large for a shrub, and it’s considered tasty by deer and rabbits.  The rabbits have pruned my shrubs a few times, but they bounce back fine.  Burning Bush is tolerant of pruning or shearing, so that can be a solution to its size.  The question will be – do you have the space and patience for this shrub, to make the 2-3 weeks of stellar fall colour worthwhile?

Technical stuff – Burning Bush/Euonymus Alatus, deciduous shrub hardy to Zone 5, height of 8’ – 20’ depending on variety, full sun, non-descript summer blooms turning into small red berries, refuted for brilliant fall leaf colour.  Note that in parts of the US this shrub is considered invasive.


Posted on October 11, 2014 and filed under Shrubs.