Whether you love summer or live for winter, just about everyone agrees that fall offers the best of both worlds! Warm enough for outdoor walks, bonfires, and apple picking, but crisp enough for cozy layers, it’s no wonder that fall has a special place in nearly every Edmontonians’ heart. However, this special season simply wouldn’t have the same charm without its signature colour palette!
If your landscape is a little lacking in fall colour, the right trees and shrubs can dramatically upgrade your home’s curb appeal from late September until the snow falls. These trees and shrubs are your best bet to add some of that gorgeous autumn glow to your landscape.
Trees with Yellow & Gold Fall Foliage
Most of the apple tree varieties hardy to the Edmonton region feature yellow fall foliage. Beyond their fall foliage, apples give you something to look forward to during three of the four seasons, including their blankets of stunning spring blossoms and loads of delicious, long-keeping fruit in late summer!
“Beyond their fall foliage, apples give you something to look forward to during three of the four seasons”
Gingko trees take on a lovely golden yellow colour in the fall, further accentuated by their pretty fan-shaped leaves. Reaching heights of up to 80 feet, gingkos make excellent shade trees.
Paper birch trees not only develop lovely yellow foliage in the fall, but also provide exquisite winter interest. The stark white, peeling bark is a classic symbol of winter, making for a seamless transition from one season to the next.
Trees with Orange & Bronze Fall Foliage
Mountain ash trees are among the finest for all-year interest. Their vibrant orange fall foliage is absolutely stunning, but they’re also beloved for their large clusters of red berries that remain on the tree until late winter. Their showy flower clusters draw the eye of passers-by in the spring, and the vivid berries attract birds throughout the rest of the year! There are several varieties of mountain ash with varying growth habits and heights.
Bur oak is an exceptionally hardy and long-lived shade tree with attractive lobed foliage. In the fall, the leaves take on a sophisticated orange-bronze hue. This tree produces an ample supply of acorns each year, ideal for those who enjoy watching the squirrels play!
Trees with Fall Foliage in Shades of Red and Purple
Maple trees are famous for their gorgeous red autumn show, but not many maple varieties are hardy enough to withstand the winters in Edmonton. Tatarian maple varieties are among the most cold-hardy and feature bright red samaras in late summer before the foliage takes on their signature “sunset” colours.
Flowering crabs have become some of the most popular ornamental trees in the last several years. Many varieties have particularly beautiful spring flowers that mature into tart crabapples, a favourite for jelly making. However, their fall foliage is just as notable, fading into sensational shades of red, wine, or purple, depending on the variety.
Chokecherries are another standout fruit tree that produces astringent berries favoured by birds. Like flowering crabs, chokecherries follow their spring blooms with attractive purple fruit and leaves that mature to a nearly-as-dark shade of burgundy.
Best Shrubs for Edmonton Autumns
Fill the gaps in your garden with these gorgeous shrubs, each featuring incredible multi-seasonal beauty!
Ninebarks are a highly versatile landscape shrub available in several varieties, each with outstanding fall colour from red to deep purple. Their peeling bark adds additional interest to the winter landscape. Some varieties (such as Diablo) retain autumn-like colours through the year, providing lovely contrast with other shrubs and trees.
Double Flowering Plum is a phenomenal plant for high-impact spring and fall appeal and minimal mess. In spring, the shrub is completely covered with fragrant, intense-pink flowers before the leaves break bud. Perfect for those who aren’t fond of the cleaning needs of fruit trees, the flowers of this shrub do not bear fruit. Dark green foliage replaces the spring blooms throughout the summer, and the shrub finishes the year with a spectacular orange autumn display!
Highbush blueberry is available in several varieties and is beloved for its delicious edible fruit and gorgeous fall colours! The autumn foliage of this shrub ranges in colour from rusty orange to crimson red.
Finally, spirea is a compact-but-gorgeous family of shrubs that is praised for its range of colours. In addition to great spring and summer colour—with flowers ranging from white to deep pink and leaves in virtually every shade of green—these shrubs are some of the best shrubs for fall colour. For our zone in Edmonton, a few great varieties include Goldflame, Tor (also known as Birchleaf), and Magic Carpet.
Fall is the perfect time to admire each of these specimens, but it’s also the ideal time to plant them! You can view our tree and shrub maintenance guide to learn more about caring for your new plantings. Need a hand getting them in the ground? Let us help—get in touch today!