maple for bright colored fall trees and shrubs
Photo: Bruce Hands/Getty Images
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(Acer spp.)

No list of fall foliage plants would be complete without maple trees. Sugar maple (A. saccharum) is the quintessential stalwart in New England, where hillsides of them turn gorgeous shades of red, orange, and yellow. Sugar maples grow up to 75 feet tall and 40 feet wide. If your yard can't handle that, consider other kinds of maples that also have strikingly colorful leaves in fall, including vine maple (A. circinatum), native to the Northwest, and the smaller Japanese maple (A. palmatum). Avoid invasive types, including Amur (A. ginnala) and Norway (A. platanoides) maples.

Full sun to partial shade; regular water; Zones 3-9
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