California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Fall Color in California

California Fall Color

Fall Color in California, emphatically yes! There are plants that turn in the Fall. It has been a regular complaint that we do not actually have seasons here in California. While I agree that they are not as sharply demarcated at the coast as those of some other regions, we can still get a spectacular fall display if you look in the right places or plant the right plants. And we can enjoy it while we are wearing shorts and tee shirts flipping burgers on the BBQ. The Eastern Sierras can sate any need for color.

One often thinks of trees when the subject of Fall Color is mentioned. We list our favorites below. There are a number of shrubs with great foliage and berries. And one should not forget that the rosehips can be spectacular if they are left on the bush. In addition to feeding the birds this helps the roses go dormant They do much better with their winter's rest.

While we don't get much snow here (like none in my garden) picking up leaves can be made much easier by using a lightweight snow shovel. I use it as if it were a giant dust pan with a long handle. Then I sweep or rake the debris into the shovel for a quick cleanup. When there are massive amounts of leaves I use the snow shovel and a rake as large extensions of my arms and clamp the leaves while lifting them into the waste can. Many of the deciduous fruit trees have great color. My apples and apricots look great with a carpet of fallen yellow leaves.

Fall Color List

Acer buergerianum * Trident Maple
Acer negundo californicum * California Box Elder, Boxelder
Acer saccharinum * Silver Maple
Apple - Anna Apple
Apricot - Blenheim Royal Apricot
Bergenia Bressingham Ruby
Cercis canadensis Forest Pansy * Eastern Redbud
Cercis occidentalis * Western Redbud
Ceratostigma willmottianum * Chinese Plumbago
Cotinus coggygria * Smoke Tree
Crocosmia lucifer
Cornus nuttallii * Mountain Dogwood
Cornus sericea * Red Osier Dogwood
Diosporos virginiana * American Persimmon
Fraxinus dipetala * California Ash
Gingko biloba * Maidenhair Tree
Hakenechloa aureola * Golden Japanese Forest Grass
Heteromeles arbutifolia * Toyon
Hydrangea 'oak leaf'
Hydrangea serrata * Lace Hydrangea
Juglans californica * California Walnut
Koelreuteria paniculata * Golden Rain Tree
Lagerstroemia Natchez * Natchez Crape Myrtle
Liquidamber styraciflua 'Burgandy' * American Gum
Lonicera involucrata * Twinberry
Parthenocissus tricuspidata * Boston Ivy, Japanese Creeper
Peach May Pride
Pistacia chinensis * Chinese Pistache
Platanus racemosa * Sycamore
Populus fremontii * Fremont Cottonwood
Punicia granatum * Pomegranate 'Wonderful'
Pyrus 'asian pear' var. '20th Century'
Pyrus calleryana * Bradford Pear
Quercus douglasii * Blue Oak
Qeurcus garryana * Oregon Oak
Quercus kelloggii * California Black Oak
Quercus lobata * Valley Oak
Ribes aureum * Golden Currant
Robinia pseudoacacia Purple Robe * Purple Robe Black Locust
Rose Hips
Schizostylis coccinea * Kaffir Lily
Tagetes lemonii * Bush Marigold
Vitis californica * California Wild Grape
Ziziphus jujuba * Chinese Jujube, Chinese Date