Top 7 New England Trees for Fall Foliage & How to Care for Them Properly

Most fans of nature and trees would agree that the most colorful and captivating times of the year are the fall months. This is the time of year when the fresh foliage that grew during the spring and summer enjoys an intriguing and vibrant journey of transformation as trees prepare for the quickly approaching winter months. There are even quite a few New England trees that are perfect choices for planting if you want to enjoy this captivating transformation within your own landscape.

Below is a guide that identifies several New England trees that are perfect sources of beautiful fall foliage in addition to top tips that you should follow to properly care for these trees during this terrific yet turbulent time of year:

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    During the fall months, redbuds light up like heart-shaped lightbulbs activated by Mother Nature’s switch. After the first frost, the leaves transform these relatively small trees into tiny umbrellas. If you manage a small garden within your home landscaping, a redbud tree is an ideal choice due to its shade and size.


    Over time, sassafras forms an abundant collection of suckering thickets over time. This makes it a useful option for arborists and tree lovers that want to add a natural yet outlying aspect to their landscape. You can easily remove the suckers to preserve a single specimen, if necessary. When summer rolls around, the lobed leaf becomes even more distinct with a shade of dark glossy green. However, during the fall months, it turns into a rich scarlet with a touch of gold color for the entire season.

    -Witch Hazel

    The native form of this particular tree is known for turning and blooming simultaneously. During the middle of fall, the flowers begin to hang from the tree as if they were yellow strings underneath golden leaves. Other trees blossom during the spring and summer, but these trees blossom flowers in late winter – meaning that the fall is a perfect time to enjoy their beauty and growth.

    -Persian Parrotia

    The Persian Parrotia is actually related to the witch hazel tree and is even similar in its design thanks to the large oval leaves. Throughout the year, this woody tree either becomes a small tree with low branches and a single stem or thrives as a large multi-stemmed shrub. As with the other trees featured on this list, the fall season makes this relatively plain trees turn into magnificent masterpieces of nature. The exfoliating bark of the tree becomes mottled in green, gray, cream and brown colors as the foliage turns maroon, orange and yellow.


    You may have walked past a vast number of Zelkova trees throughout the year, especially since they are one of the most common New England trees growing in this part of the country. However, they come to a life and appear to transform completely during the fall months. The leaves start to burn in November, compelling bystanders to notice each of them when they walk along nearby streets.


    Serviceberry trees bear delicious fruits during the spring and summer months that taste like candy apples and look like blueberries. During the fall months, the leaves gradually smolder as their ribs appear to be etched in yellow with a naturally artistic fire-red background.

    -Scarlet Oak

    Most oak trees seem to maintain the standard colors of fall foliage. However, that is not the case with scarlet oak trees. This particular species of trees sets itself apart from the rest of the oak family with its brilliant red foliage. It is vital to remember that it is difficult to plant this type of tree due to the transplantation caused by its taproot.

    Top Tips for Proper Care of New England Trees

    To experience the beautiful fall foliage of the New England trees mentioned above, you must take the necessary steps to care for them properly. Many homeowners, landscapers and arborists know that tree care and maintenance is essential during the spring and summer months. However, since you are preparing the trees to survive the first frost and approaching winter season, it is even more vital to not allow these care tips to slip through the cracks:

    1. Understand the unique needs of each tree. Each New England tree may respond to the first frost and approaching cold season differently, which means your accommodations may vary. Educate yourself on the specific needs of each type of tree featured within your landscaping to ensure you stay on top of this aspect of quality tree care.
    2. Prepare the bed and soil for the season. In addition to preparing and caring for the actual tree itself, you must also care for the soil in which it grows. Whether you have a designated tree bed or grow a number of different trees within the same area, you must ensure that the soil is properly laid and nourished throughout the season.
    3. Focus on the drainage. Your drainage needs may vary, but you can still work with it to keep it strong from season to season. For instance, if you have weak (or not-so-perfect) drainage, you can quickly lose a bush planted in the fall by freezing waters affecting the roots during the winter months. Take the necessary steps to prepare the bed with great drainage and plant it correctly to avoid troublesome outcomes.

    Do Not Hesitate to Call the Professionals

    It is understandable why you may want to handle your landscaping needs on your own. In addition to the money you can save by doing so, it will allow you to get your hands dirty and feel as if you are directly involved with the successful growth and fall transformations of each tree.

    However, this also means that unsatisfactory results would rest on your shoulders as well. If you want to create the best results, it is highly recommended to at least consult the expertise of professional tree care specialists to ensure you are heading in the right direction. In addition, you will be able to learn a lot along the way and rest assured in knowing that your beautiful New England trees and fall foliage are receiving the best possible care, nourishment and maintenance.