October is about fall color | VailDaily.com

October is about fall color

Sunset Aspen Valley
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Do you have to look across the street to see the yellow, orange and rust colors that proclaim it’s fall?

If your yard is missing fall color, take note of what you like in the neighbor’s yard or in the local park and add fall-coloring plants to your shopping list for next spring, and consider selections like the ones below.

These plants have been developed to thrive in whatever the Colorado climate might throw at them — and they flourish with little to no water once they’re established.

Remember, 2013 began with serious drought in the forecast and that threat will always loom over us. Every time we add a new plant, we can make a smart and sustainable choice to buy plants that add color and beauty while saving water.

Here are options that can add colorful fall interest to any Eagle County yard:

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Flame Amur Maple (Acer ginnala ‘Flame’)

Size: 10-15 feet tall by 10-15 feet wide.

Conditions: Extremely drought and heat tolerant; full sun to full shade.

Care: Trim limbs to single stem to create tree form.

Why grow it: Grown as a small tree, the flame amur maple will provide fragrant white blooms in the spring and stunning scarlet leaves in the fall. Hardy to zone 2.

Peking Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster acutifolius)

Size: 6-8 feet tall by 3-5 feet wide.

Conditions: Once established, needs very little water; full sun to part sun.

Care: Prune in winter after leaf drop.

Why grow it: Peking cotoneaster planted in a row can create a fast growing and dense privacy hedge. Young leaves are dark green in color. As the late summer temperature begin to cool, small red berries will form and the leaves will transition to a brilliant red. Eventually the red leaves fade to yellow and drop. Hardy to zone 3.

Western Sand Cherry (Prunus besseyi)

Size: 3-6 feet tall by 3-6 feet wide.

Conditions: Fairly drought-tolerant once established; full sun.

Care: Needs to be cross-pollinated, so plant in pairs!

Why grow it: Dark purple mature fruit is attractive to birds and can be used to make jellies. Silvery-green leaves turn yellow in the fall. Hardy to zone 3.

Stonecrop ‘Autumn Joy’ (Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’)

Size: 12-36 feet tall by 12-24 feet wide.

Conditions: Prefers moist soil, but will tolerate dry conditions.

Care: Can be pruned to 8-inch size, but that may delay flowering.

Why grow it: This late blooming, succulent perennial will provide color from late summer into late fall. The blooms start out pink and mature to copper. The vibrant color of the bloom will attract the last of the summer hummingbirds. Hardy to zone 3.

Becky Garber is a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, of which Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company, is a member. You may contact them at 970-468-0340.

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