The Dazzling Display of Red Leaved Trees in Spring

Range of trees with fiery red to deep purple coloured foliage. The bright color of these trees makes them great as feature trees that stand out or to add contrast to planting plans. Some of the brightly colored Japanese Maples change color with the seasons. Other Flowering Cherry trees have dark purple leaves that bloom with beautiful spring flowers. 61 Items View.

When spring arrives, it brings with it a sense of renewal and vibrancy. The bare trees start to bud, flowers begin to bloom, and the landscape transforms from dull greys and browns into a sea of verdant greens. But some trees take on an especially eye-catching appearance in spring – displaying leaves in brilliant shades of red

Red leaved trees provide a dramatic pop of color to wake up our senses after a long winter. Their fiery foliage stands out against backdrops of fresh light greens cheery pastel flower blooms and clear blue skies. These blazing spring trees bring warmth and excitement to gardens, parks, and neighborhoods.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the common red leaved trees that put on a show in spring and discuss why their leaves take on such vibrant red hues when their green counterparts are just waking up from winter dormancy.

What Causes Red Foliage in Spring?

The red color we see in the spring is made up of pigments called anthocyanins. These pigments come from an abundance of sugar that moves into the new leaves to give them energy to grow. The sugar gets converted into the red pigments or anthocyanins.

Anthocyanins act as a “sunscreen” to protect the delicate new growth from sun damage. Young leaves are more prone to sun scald because their cell walls haven’t fully developed yet. The red pigments soak up excess light energy and defend the leaves until their structure matures.

Cool weather conditions also promote red color development. The contrast of cold nights and warm days triggers anthocyanin production. As temperatures warm up towards summer, the leaves turn greener.

5 Striking Red Leaved Trees for Spring

Here are some of the most popular red foliage trees that make a statement in spring:

1. Redbud

Redbud trees are among the first to wake up in early spring. Native across eastern and central North America, redbuds dazzle with ruby red leaves emerging along twisted branches. The colorful leaves provide the perfect backdrop for the profusion of bright pink flowers these trees bloom in spring. Some weeping redbud cultivars have cascading branches smothered in red leaves for an even more dramatic look.

2. Japanese Maple

The delicate foliage of Japanese maples comes in a kaleidoscope of colors and leaf shapes. Many varieties sport leaves vibrantly colored in red-orange hues when the growth first flushes out in spring. The lacy leaves may start out fully red before turning green with red margins or spots in summer. Species like ‘Bloodgood’ and ‘Beni Kawa’ are popular choices for brilliant red spring foliage.

3. Flowering Dogwood

Flowering dogwood is beloved for its showy white or pink flower bracts in spring. But the emerging leaves also provide a pop of color. New growth comes out tinged in red or bronze, creating beautiful contrast against the tree’s bursting blooms. The color fades to green in summer. Look for cultivars like ‘Cherokee Chief’ and ‘Cloud 9’ for especially red-hued spring foliage.

4. Smoke Tree

Smoke trees earn their common name from the wispy flower plumes they develop that resemble puffs of smoke. But before the flowers appear, finely cut leaves emerge in shades from bright red to deep burgundy. Varieties such as ‘Gingerbread’ and ‘Royal Purple’ showcase brilliant red spring leaves that turn darker toward summer.

5. Norwegian Maple

The large, hardy Norway maple usually leafs out later than other trees, so its red leaves are a sure sign of spring’s progression. The five-lobed leaves appear as vivid red before maturing to lustrous deep green. Look for selections like ‘Crimson King’ and ‘Royal Red’ to get maximum red color in spring.

Caring for Red Leaved Trees

To keep your red foliage spring trees looking their best:

  • Plant in full sun for the most intense leaf colors. Morning sun with afternoon shade works for varieties prone to leaf scorch.

  • Prune in late winter before buds swell to shape the tree and remove any dead branches. Avoid heavy pruning that removes a lot of leaf surface.

  • Water regularly, especially for younger trees. Red leaves are more prone to drought stress.

  • Apply a slow release fertilizer when growth starts in spring to ensure ample nutrients for lush growth.

  • Some trees like Japanese maple are prone to leaf scorch. Provide shade or omit pruning to prevent damage.

With proper selection, care, and placement, red leaved trees can become star attractions during the spring season. Their vibrant colors enliven landscapes and serve as hopeful reminders that winter’s chill is in the past. Each year as their bright leaves unfurl anew, we can look forward to longer days, warmer weather, and the promise of an active, lively outdoor season ahead.

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FAQ

What kind of tree has red leaves in the spring?

The forest pansy is a small tree renowned for its dramatic foliage. It’s interesting in that its leaves start off red in spring rather than turning red in autumn.

What is the red leaf tree called?

Red maple
Genus:
Acer
Section:
Acer sect. Rubra
Species:
A. rubrum
Binomial name

What kind of tree has burgundy leaves?

Japanese Maples The tree typically grows 15 to 25 feet tall, although some varieties are more dwarf. Some Japanese maple varieties that sport purple leaves include ‘Atropurpureum,’ ‘Burgundy Lace,’ ‘Ever Red,’ ‘Garnet,’ ‘Sherwood Flame,’ and ‘Tamukeyama.

What maple tree has red leaves in spring?

Even the foliage of red maple is colorful in the spring. The first leaves are crimson as they unfurl, gradually turning green as they enlarge. This early red color comes from pigments called anthocyanins, which may protect developing leaves from high light intensities while their photosynthetic capacity matures.

What trees have red leaves in spring?

Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is a deciduous tree native to eastern North America. It is also known for its red leaves in spring. Red maple (Acer rubrum) is a deciduous tree native to eastern North America. It is another tree that is known for its red leaves in spring. Why do these trees have red leaves in spring?

Why do maple trees have red leaves in the spring?

Maple trees are known for their beautiful red leaves in the fall, but they can also have red leaves in the spring. The red color is caused by a pigment called anthocyanin, which is produced in the leaves in response to cold weather. Oaks are another type of tree that can have red leaves in the spring.

Which trees have red leaves all year round?

Acers are reliably at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to the best trees with red leaves all year round. Other types of trees with a constant show of red leaves include Cercis canadensis ‘Forest pansy’ and Cotinus ‘Grace’.

Why do trees turn red in the spring?

The red color is caused by a pigment called anthocyanin, which is produced in the leaves in response to cold weather. Oaks are another type of tree that can have red leaves in the spring. The red color is often caused by a fungus called anthracnose, which can infect the leaves and cause them to turn red.

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