While people think of winter as a time of bare deciduous trees, there are some which colour late and as a result, are still in leaf in June and July. If you want to enjoy autumn foliage for longer in your garden, consider including some of these late colouring varieties to create a mixture of trees which colour from March to July. To some extent the season can play a big part in whether trees colour early or late, as trees will colour earlier if they are stressed for water, however, here are some suggestions for deciduous trees which provide late autumn and early winter colour:

Ornamental Pears (Pyrus cultivars)

There are many varieties of these wonderful trees and at Sophie’s Patch there are three which are yet to start to colour. I love the more common Manchurian Pear which blooms in late winter however these are always early to colour and drop their leaves. Yet to turn in my garden are these four ornamental pears:

Pyrus ‘Chanticleer’

This ornamental pear is commonly grown in tight places as it has a very uniform upright nature with a very dense growth habit. Its flowers appear in early spring and its stunning autumn colour persists into the start of winter. I have a row of these trees in a narrow space on the eastern side of my home, where I want their height and shade but haven’t got much space for them to develop width wise. These trees are only just starting to colour in my garden.

Pyrus ‘Aristocrat’

This ornamental pear is broader spreading than ‘Chanticleer’ but not as wide as the Manchurian pear. It colours in late autumn, producing red and yellow tones, although it has not yet started to turn in my garden.

Pyrus ‘Dancer’

I have four of these trees in my garden and they have a lovely form, however rather than turning rich tones of red, scarlet and orange, they go golden, however they haven’t yet started to turn. They have attractive small pendulous leaves which start off silver grey in spring and mature to a rich green.

Pyrus ‘Winter Glow’

winter glow

This is the last of the pears to turn in my garden and often is still turning in late June into July. It doesn’t however give me the same show where the tree is ablaze with colour as some of these others do, as it seems to turn gradually rather than all at once.

False Quince (Cydonia sinensis syn. Pseudocydonia sinensis)

This unusual small tree or large shrub has large leathery green leaves which turn stunning shades in autumn, although mine have not yet started to turn. In milder climates it can even be semi-evergreen. As well as having attractive flowers in spring, autumn colour and edible quince-like fruits, it also has attractive flaky bark.

Liquidambar ‘Festeri’

For those with larger gardens, liquidambars are stunning trees, however, did you know that there are over 20 different named varieties available in Australia, although you may need to hunt to find them. Some are known to colour early however it is ‘Liquidambar’ Festeri which I think is worth looking out for. It colours very late, turning rich dark burgundy colours and holding its leaves into July. There are some specimens of this tree growing around Stirling and Hahndorf.

liquidamar