Trees with autumn colour.

If you want to paint a picture with landscape plants then the ‘big brush’ on the palette has to be ornamental trees with autumn colour. If you are not sure how big a brush this is then imagine a good sized golden ash and you will be looking at a plant with between 150,000 and 200,000 leaves. This is a splash of colour a third of the size of a suburban house. This is a seriously big brush!


Painting with the light of the autumn sun and colour of autumn trees. This avenue of seed grown Chinese Pistachios shows a full range of autumn colours.

Autumn is the time when deciduous trees change from being cool and shady refuges from the heat and creators of micro-climates for understory plants and shady summer picnics, to being awe inspiring beacons of colour that capture the weaker autumn sunshine.

The cool winter climate and larger country properties and gardens of country Victoria provide the chance to create beautiful ‘treescapes’ with splashes of autumn colour that can be seen kilometres away. Gardens become more than just our own outdoor worlds and become part of what creates the natural landscape of the whole area.


We tend to group trees together and label them as either having red or yellow autumn colour but if you have a good look now while the autumn trees are at their best you will see that the colour range is quite broad. Lemon yellows, burnt golden yellow. and oranges through to brilliant red and clarets.

Autumn trees are not only about colour but also about outline, shape and texture. Creating contrasting combinations are similar to creating other vibrant exciting gardens but this time on a grand scale and with relatively little maintenance.


The fine compound leaf of Gleditsia ‘Sunburst’ and larger compound leaf of Golden Ash. The Ash has a broad rounded crown and the Gleditsia a rounded but more open and irregular and untidy branch arrangement. Together they look too similar to contrast effectively. Find a nice upright red autumn foliage tree to contrast with these instead.


Even a single tree can be just beautiful to sit under and enjoy the sunlight streaming through the canopy.


With such a gorgeous orange I can almost taste the colour of this Chinese Pistachio. Perhaps I’ve seen too many boiled sweets but the translucent and glass-like effect is just mouth-watering!