best trees for fall color in the hamptons

The Five Best Trees for Fall Color in the Hamptons

Do you want fall color in your Hamptons landscape? These trees have color! All are strong growers here on the end of Long Island and will do well if planted in either fall or spring.

Black Tupelo

black tupelo foliage in fall

Nyssa sylvatica

Known as “beetlebung” on Martha’s Vineyard and with a scientific name that refers to a Greek water nymph and it’s woodland habitat, this tree is nothing short of magical. In fall, the glossy leaves turn purple and then a bright scarlet color. Black Tupelo trees occasionally have multiple color leaves on the same branch. Described as “fiery” and “brilliant,” the autumn foliage on the black tupelo is sure to turn heads. It’s a wonderful shade tree that can grow up to 50 feet tall.

Sugar Maple

sugar maple foliage in fall

Acer saccharum

What could be more iconic than a maple tree in fall? Sugar maple tree leaves gradually turn shades of magenta, red, orange, or yellow – occasionally you can find all those colors on the same tree. Sugar maples are the variety of maple from which maple syrup is derived, but that’s not the only thing sweet about this tree. A symbol of New England, maple trees grow tall and wide (up to 75 feet tall and 40 feet wide), making quite the impression.

Scarlet Oak

scarlet oak foliage in fall

Quercus coccinea

As the name implies, the leaves of a scarlet oak turn a bright, deep red in the fall months. Other types of oak trees, such as the pin oak, generally turn brown or bronze, so the scarlet oak really stands out. One cultivar of scarlet oak, called “Splendens,” has earned the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit, so you know that this tree has class. The tree is rounder in shape and can reach 70-100 feet tall. Keep in mind that oak trees have acorns, so expect those to drop on the lawn around September or October.

Katsura Tree

katsura tree foliage in fall

Cercidiphyllum japonicium

This tree is not only impressive to the eyes, but to the nose as well. As the heart-shaped leaves change to yellow, pink, and red, they also release a scent that has been described as similar to brown sugar or cotton candy. It is a multi-stemmed ornamental tree from Japan and can reach up to 148 feet, but the katsura tree remains shorter than that when cultivated. Be aware that it can be very sensitive in drought conditions, dropping its leaves if it doesn’t get enough water, so it’s best planted where it can be reached by your irrigation system.


smoketree foliage in fall

Cotinus coggygria

Also known as a smoke bush, the smoketree gets its name from the fluffy light gray/pink flowers that appear in spring. Popular as a garden shrub, the leaves in fall turn a deep, wine-like red. So you’ll not only see a burst of color in the fall, but also the bonus of a truly unusual flower display in spring. A smoketree will grow only to 10 to 15 feet tall so is a good choice for filling in gaps in the landscape.

In Summary

Any of these trees are a good choice for your Hamptons property and will light up the landscape with dazzling colors each fall.

We offer tree planting services to ensure that your new trees will thrive and provide years of enjoyment.