What Maple Tree Turns Yellow in the Fall? Pick Right.

Maple trees are renowned for their vibrant foliage, making them a popular choice for adding stunning fall colors to landscapes. If you’re looking to create a beautiful autumn display in your yard, it’s essential to select the right maple tree species that turns yellow in the fall.

Deciduous trees, including maple trees, undergo a remarkable transformation during the fall season. As the temperatures drop and daylight hours shorten, the chlorophyll in the leaves breaks down, revealing the true colors of autumn. Among these colors, yellow stands out as a classic and captivating hue.

When it comes to finding a yellow maple tree for your landscape, there are various options to consider. Different maple tree varieties offer unique characteristics, ensuring a dazzling fall color display. Let’s explore the top choices for maple trees that turn yellow in the fall:

Key Takeaways:

  • Maple trees are known for their vibrant fall foliage and are excellent for adding stunning colors to your landscape.
  • There are several maple tree species that turn yellow in the fall, allowing you to create a beautiful autumn display.
  • Japanese maple trees, such as Acer palmatum, offer elegant form and colorful foliage, making them perfect for small yards.
  • The coral bark maple (Acer palmatum ‘Sangokaku’) stands out with its reddish-pink bark and vibrant yellow fall foliage.
  • Red maples (Acer rubrum) provide a fiery display of red leaves in autumn and are popular as shade trees.

Japanese Maple Trees – Elegant and Colorful

When it comes to adding elegance and vibrant colors to your landscape, Japanese maple trees (Acer palmatum) are an excellent choice. These stunning trees are known for their unique and eye-catching foliage, making them a popular option for fall foliage displays. With hundreds of varieties to choose from, there is a Japanese maple tree that suits every taste and style.

Japanese maple trees are prized for their finely serrated leaves, which come in various shades of green and red. Their delicate and intricate leaf structures add a touch of elegance to any garden. Whether you prefer the vibrant red leaves of the ‘Bloodgood’ variety or the soft green foliage of the ‘Viridis’ cultivar, Japanese maple trees are sure to make a statement in your landscape.

One of the many advantages of Japanese maple trees is their compact size. They remain small and manageable, making them suitable for smaller yards or even bonsai cultivation. Their ability to fit into tight spaces ensures that even if you have limited space, you can still enjoy the beauty of a Japanese maple tree. These trees thrive in full sun to part shade conditions and are hardy in zones 5-8, making them suitable for a wide range of climates.

Embrace the elegance and vibrant colors of Japanese maple trees in your landscape. From their unique foliage to their compact size, these trees offer a combination of beauty and practicality. Whether you’re looking to create a stunning fall display or add a focal point to your garden, Japanese maple trees are sure to impress.

Table: Japanese Maple Tree Varieties

VarietyLeaf ColorSizeHardiness Zones
‘Bloodgood’Deep red10-15 feet5-8
‘Viridis’Soft green10-15 feet5-8
‘Emperor I’Burgundy-red15-20 feet5-8
‘Sango Kaku’Bright coral-red15-20 feet5-8

Coral Bark Maple – Year-round Color

The Coral Bark Maple (Acer palmatum ‘Sangokaku’) is a stunning maple tree variety that offers year-round interest with its vibrant bark and foliage. This medium-sized tree features reddish-pink bark that adds a splash of color to any landscape, especially during the winter months when it stands out against the snowy backdrop. In addition to its eye-catching bark, the Coral Bark Maple also boasts pale green leaves that turn a bright yellow in the fall, further enhancing its appeal.

This beautiful maple tree thrives in a variety of climates. It prefers full sun to part shade, making it suitable for a range of garden conditions. It can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and is hardy in zones 5-8. Whether you live in a colder or warmer climate, the Coral Bark Maple can bring its year-round beauty to your garden.

The Coral Bark Maple is a versatile tree that can be used in various landscaping designs. Its smaller size allows it to fit into tighter spaces, making it suitable for both large yards and smaller gardens. Whether planted as a focal point, a border tree, or even in a container, this maple tree variety brings a touch of elegance and color to any setting.

Coral Bark Maple

Characteristics of the Coral Bark Maple:

  • Scientific name: Acer palmatum ‘Sangokaku’
  • Common name: Coral Bark Maple
  • Bark color: Reddish-pink
  • Leaf color: Pale green, turning bright yellow in fall
  • Preferred sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Hardiness zones: 5-8

With its year-round color and stunning foliage, the Coral Bark Maple is a standout choice for adding visual interest to your landscape. Whether you’re looking for a tree that provides vibrant hues in the fall or one that brings beauty to your garden throughout the year, the Coral Bark Maple delivers on both fronts.

Red Maple – Fiery Red Fall Foliage

The red maple (Acer rubrum) is one of the most spectacular maple tree varieties when it comes to fall foliage. With its oval crown and bright green leaves, this native North American tree puts on a fiery display of red in the autumn. As the temperatures cool down, the leaves turn vibrant shades of crimson, creating a stunning visual spectacle in your yard.

The red maple is known for its adaptability, thriving in a wide range of conditions. It can tolerate full sun to part shade, making it a versatile choice for different landscape settings. Whether you have a sunny backyard or a shady corner, the red maple will thrive and add a pop of color to your outdoor space.

This tree variety is hardy in zones 3-9, meaning it can withstand a range of climates. From the chilly winters of the northern states to the mild temperatures of the southern regions, the red maple can thrive and continue to provide a vibrant fall display year after year.

red maple

Comparing Red Maple Varieties

There are several popular red maple varieties that you can consider for your landscape:

  • ‘Red Sunset’: This variety is known for its brilliant red foliage and reliable fall color.
  • ‘October Glory’: As the name suggests, this variety provides a glorious display of red leaves in the autumn.
  • ‘Red Supersonic’: With its rapid growth rate, this variety quickly establishes itself as a majestic shade tree with vibrant red foliage.

When selecting a red maple variety for your landscape, consider the specific characteristics of each and choose the one that best suits your preferences and needs. Whether you want a tree with intense red foliage or one that grows quickly, there is a red maple variety out there that will fulfill your landscaping vision.

Tree VarietyFoliage ColorGrowth Rate
‘Red Sunset’Brilliant RedMedium
‘October Glory’Glorious RedMedium
‘Red Supersonic’Vibrant RedRapid

Table: Comparison of different red maple varieties in terms of foliage color and growth rate.


When it comes to selecting a maple tree that turns yellow in the fall, there are several options to consider. Japanese maple trees offer unique foliage and compact size, making them suitable for small landscapes. These elegant trees, such as the Acer palmatum variety, display beautifully serrated green or red leaves that add a touch of elegance to any yard. With their preference for full sun to part shade and hardiness in zones 5-8, Japanese maple trees are a popular choice for those looking to create a stunning fall color display.

Coral bark maple is another great option for adding year-round interest to your landscape. With its reddish-pink bark and pale green leaves that turn bright yellow in the fall, this medium-sized tree stands out in any season. It thrives in full sun to part shade and is suitable for zones 5-8. The vibrant colors of its foliage and bark make the Acer palmatum ‘Sangokaku’ variety a favorite among garden enthusiasts.

If you’re looking for a fiery display of red leaves in autumn, red maple trees are the way to go. The Acer rubrum species is known for its oval crown of bright green leaves that turn a brilliant red during the fall season. Varieties like ‘Red Sunset’, ‘October Glory’, and ‘Red Supersonic’ are popular choices for their stunning color display. Red maples prefer full sun to part shade and are adaptable to zones 3-9, making them a versatile option for many areas.

Each of these maple tree varieties has its own unique characteristics, so choose the one that fits your landscape’s needs and enjoy the vibrant fall colors they bring. Whether you opt for the elegance of Japanese maple trees, the year-round interest of coral bark maple, or the fiery red foliage of red maple trees, you can’t go wrong with any of these choices.


What maple tree turns yellow in the fall?

There are several options for maple trees that turn yellow in the fall. Some popular choices are Japanese maple trees, Coral Bark maple, and Red maple trees.

What are some other fall colors that maple trees can display?

In addition to yellow, maple trees can also exhibit shades of red, orange, and even purple in the fall.

Do all maple tree species change color in the fall?

Yes, maple trees are deciduous, which means they shed their leaves in the fall and change color before doing so.

Are maple trees suitable for small yards?

Yes, Japanese maple trees are known for their compact size and can fit into tight spaces, making them suitable for small yards or even bonsai cultivation.

What are the preferred growing conditions for maple trees?

Most maple tree varieties prefer full sun to part shade and have different hardiness zones depending on the species.

How fast do maple trees grow?

Maple trees, such as the Red maple, generally grow at a moderate rate, allowing them to establish themselves relatively quickly.

Can I grow maple trees in all regions?

The suitability of growing maple trees depends on the specific species and their hardiness zones. Some varieties are more adaptable than others.

Can I plant multiple types of maple trees in my yard for a diverse fall display?

Absolutely! Planting different varieties of maple trees can create a vibrant and diverse fall color display in your yard.

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