Autumn in the Ozarks as well as in any residential garden across Arkansas includes shades of yellow, orange, red and brown. By using tree species that consistently turn red-orange, a fantastic display can be created, especially if the dark green of occasional pine trees mix in to contrast all the fiery leaves. Plant native and exotic trees in sunny locations to ensure their foliage attains the most vivid tones in autumn.
Many species of maple trees turn gold, red or orange in fall. While the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is well-loved, one species of maple reliably creates an orange-red color: the threeflower maple (Acer triflorum). Other maples that may develop variable fall color to include tones of yellow mixed in with orange and red include Amur maple (Acer ginnala) and the many varieties of Japanese maple (Acer palmatum). To ensure the shade of orange-red most desired on a tree, select them at the nursery in autumn when you can attest to the vibrancy, shade and uniformity of their fall foliage before purchasing and planting.
While many oaks mature in fall color to deep reds and eventually brown, they develop scarlet and orange-red colors about midway through the season. Four oak species to note are the pin oak (Quercus palustris), red oak (Querus rubra), white oak (Quercus alba) and scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea).
Select a black tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) when displaying its fall foliage color before purchasing, as there are subtle color variations among individual plants. While always attaining a rich, amazingly vibrant shade of scarlet-red, a clustered grove of black tupelo trees reveals the slight color variations possible.
If you have a hot, dry soil location needing a tree with dynamic fall foliage, consider the Chinese pistachio (Pistacia chinensis). Its leaves carry a fine, almost feathery texture.
Slow growing but good for infertile acidic soils in Arkansas, sourwood (Oxydendron arboreum) bears horizontal drooping branches. While the tan seed clusters persist well into autumn, they contrast the reddened foliage beautifully.
With an added bonus of white flowers early in spring and tasty fruits by late spring, serviceberries make nice smaller-sized trees if you lack the room needed for an oak or maple. There exist four species from which to choose: Juneberry or downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea), shadblow serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis), apple serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora) and the Allegheny serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis). All these species and any cultivars typically develop intense orange-red to blood red foliage in fall.