Trees for Autumn Colour

Our stock of trees displaying autumn colour put on a theatrical display that screams for attention as everything else in the garden starts to fade. From deep reds to brilliant yellows through to vibrant oranges providing instant hits or colour wherever you look.

At Nangle and Niesen we grow an extensive range of Maple Trees. The extraordinary variety of the Acer species and its cultivars cannot be matched for autumn Colour by any other tree genus.

Some wonderful examples include Acer campestre Elegant where the autumn foliage turns through a series of colours mainly oranges, yellows and browns before falling, and the young dark red leaves of Acer cappadocicum Rubrum which turn green and then back to red, gold and yellow in autumn. These superb autumn colours last for many weeks.

Maple trees have a range of growth habits from deciduous small shrubs to park and avenue trees. Features include colourful bark, ornamental fruit and varying leaves that turn splendid shades of fiery red in autumn especially among the North American and eastern Asian species. Most Maple trees are not demanding and take well to good nutritious soil.

Fagus sylvatica (Beech) has beautiful orangey leaves all year round, but these darken to a warm russet in autumn.

Liquidambar (Sweet Gum) is native to eastern United States and Mexico and is regarded as one of the best small trees for autumn colour. Relatively inconspicuous for the rest of the year, it’s maple-like leaves turn spectacular shades of orange and red in autumn, before falling. There are several cultivars to choose from – ‘Worplesdon’ is considered the hardiest.

Ginkgo biloba is an ancient tree native to China. Its unusual leaves turn a beautiful golden yellow when a warm autumn follows a warm summer. While it’s better suited to growing in a larger garden, it’s a great option for urban areas as it can withstand pollution well.

Feel free to browse through our stock, we are always happy to talk about our trees. Visits to the nursery are welcome by appointment and are a great way to experience our trees for yourself.


  • "Acer campestre is a small to medium tree of rounded form. In autumn its leaves turn not just clear yellow, but also red and golden brown. Doing best in rich, well drained soils, Acer campestre is equally at home in virtually any soil type, and will readily tolerate drought, soil compaction and air pollution. A versatile, resilient and attractive species with a wide range of uses, it is available as multi-stem and single stem. Field maple also makes an excellent hedgerow plant as it is very wildlife friendly and it can cope well with rough pruning during the dormant season to keep the hedge to shape."
  • "Acer campestre Elsrijk is a cultivar of the Field Maple and is named after the park in Amstelveen, Holland where it was discovered in the 1950s. It differs from the species in that it has a more regular, oval habit. At Maturity one could mistake it for straight forward Acer campestre but one with a lovely compact shape. Acer campestre Elsrijk does best in rich, well drained soils, but does well in virtually any soil type, and will readily tolerate drought, soil compaction and air pollution. A medium sized tree which we particularly recommend for urban and street planting, its foliage turns a magnificent clear yellow in autumn."
  • "Acer campestre Elsrijk Pleached is a cultivar of the Field Maple and is named after the park in Amstelveen, Holland where it was discovered in the 1950s. It differs from the species in that it has a more regular, oval habit. Pleched. At Maturity one could mistake it for straight forward Acer campestre but one with a lovely compact shape. Acer campestre Elsrijk does best in rich, well drained soils, but does well in virtually any soil type, and will readily tolerate drought, soil compaction and air pollution. A medium sized tree which we particularly recommend for urban and street planting, its foliage turns a magnificent clear yellow in autumn."
  • "Acer cappadocicum Aureum is a smaller tree than its parent, Acer cappadocicum. This attractive tree flushes a bright yellow in the spring and retains this splendour through to the autumn. It prefers sheltered conditions and is not tolerant to urban pollution. It is particularly effective when planted against an evergreen backdrop as the foliage provides a vivid contrast. Best planted on sites offering good light levels but not in areas with reflected light bouncing off hard surfaces."
  • Acer cappadocicum Rubrum is a medium to large tree with a rounded habit. The young dark red leaves turn green and then back to red, gold and yellow in autumn. This superb autumn colour lasts for many weeks. Doing best on moist, well drained soils, it is adaptable and flourishes in either full sun or light shade. Acer cappadocicum Rubrum is grown best with a little shelter from strong winds. A good tree for avenues and verges as long as the soil doesn't become compacted.
  • "Acer freemanii Autumn Blaze is a cultivar of a naturally occurring hybrid of Acer rubrum and Acer saccharinum, named after Oliver Freeman, who made the crossing at the US National Arboretum in the 1930s. Acer freemanii Autumn Blaze is a vigorous, oval headed, large tree which has dark green, deeply indented leaves, which turn a rich flame red in Autumn. Acer rubrum is often specified for this effect but very rarely does well on UK soils as it is dependent on the trace element manganese which it can only access at low ph. It possesses the prettiness of rubrum but the toughness of saccharinum so it is a much safer bet."
  • "Acer griseum is a small tree, but a magnificent one. Originally from China, from an early age the bark peels to reveal cinnamon coloured under-bark and the trifoliate leaves have attractive reddish tints in autumn. Introduced by Ernest Wilson in 1901. Acer griseum does best in moist, well drained soil, and is not drought tolerant. Nutrient rich, wet soil can inhibit autumn colour."
  • "Acer palmatum or Japanese Maple was introduced from its native land to Ireland and the UK in the 1820s. A native of both China and Korea, this magnificent tree can outstrip size expectations if left alone in an area large enough to accommodate. Acer palmatum is a delightful, small tree for a sheltered position such as a courtyard or an urban garden. It has a rounded habit and its deeply lobed leaves turn shades of yellow, red and orange in autumn. They do best in rich, moist, but free draining, loamy soils. It is remarkably self reliant post establishment for seemingly such a dainty tree."
  • "Acer palmatum Atropurpureum, known as Purple Japanese Maple, is a stunning and reliable clone introduced in the late 1850s. Best grown as a low branched bush, it emerges with deeply cut dark purple foliage in spring that turns to crimson in the autumn before leaf fall. Acer palmatum Atropurpureum thrives best on fertile, free draining soils in sheltered positions away from desiccating winds and scorching sun. Dark leaved trees provide wonderful contrast within a garden as its colour draws our eyes from the onset. With this in mind it is always good to plant on the extremity of the garden to focus the view through the plants."
  • "Acer platanoides Emerald Queen has a brighter green colour and more regular habit than the species. It tends to keep a dominant central leader and a more regular habit. A superb cultivar and strongly recommended for street and urban plantings. Where uniformity is required, this is a far better choice than its parent , Acer platanoides. Doing well on most soil types, Acer platanoides Emerald Queen tolerates air pollution and resists drought. Although ascending when young, it usually gets as wide as it gets broad after about 25 years so it is only ideal for wide verges and areas large enough to accommodate it. It is by far the most popular of the Norway Maple clones."
  • "Acer platanoides Farlakes Green is a very hardy, Swedish clone of Norway Maple. This medium to large sized tree has large leaves which are deeply lobed and characteristic to the Maple Genus. The leaves are a crisp green, turning to yellow in the autumn time; it is often compared to the more common Norway Maple variety Acer platanoides Emerald Queen, however is thought to be hardier and less tall at maturity. Acer platanoides Farlakes Green is the Norway Maple of choice for those planting in Scandinavia, it is a useful selection for more exposed conditions and indeed for plantings in Ireland. Norway Maple are quite tolerant of air pollution and drought, making them a useful selection for urban planting. They will grow well on a broad range of soils and will not disappoint in getting well and quickly established post planting. Acer platanoides Farlakes Green is a good selection for avenue planting, where its penchant for uniformity and tough composition make it a great tree across a wide range of planting conditions."
  • "Acer platanoides Globosum was introduced in the 1870s. This lollipop tree is top grafted onto a platanoides stem to form a dense mop headed tree. A very good choice as a street tree and for urban plantings. It does well on most soil types, tolerates air pollution and resists drought. The dense rounded formality of the crown makes this a delight for architects seeking contrast. Wonderful when in full foliage, it is best for an urban environment where small is beautiful."
  • "Acer rubrum (Canadian Maple) is a large tree with a rounded habit and is cultivated for its fabulous autumn colour. The dark green leaves, slightly purple underneath, turn a brilliant yellow and scarlet in autumn. Acer rubrum will tolerate air pollution and wet soils."
  • "Acer rubrum October Glory is a superb female clone producing a good oval crown at maturity with an autumn display that is hard to beat. An aptly named variety, it was patented in the States in 1961. Widely planted along with Red Sunset and regarded as one of the best selections. Its stunning display of vivid red and burgundy leaves in October/November is all the more memorable by the length of time they are held on the tree. This clone rivals Liquidambar for its brilliant autumn display and is a great tree for parks and gardens."
  • "Acer rubrum Red Sunset is also known as Franksred and was developed in the 1960s in America. Its vibrant leaf and broadly oval uniform habit makes this a most attractive form of Red Maple but its real show happens in the autumn when its green leaves turn a dramatic red. Acer rubrum types like fertile free drained soils with the presence of trace elements including manganese. They also like it on the acid side of neutral to get the best leaf colour. Best for large gardens and parkland."
  • "Denser than Acer freemanii Armstrong this very worthy clone has been superseded by cultivars such as Red Sunset but still remains a good option. It has good apical dominance retaining its leader though to maturity."
  • "Acer tataricum subsp. ginnala is a bushy deciduous shrub or small tree with deeply 3-lobed leaves which turn deep red in autumn; small cream flowers are followed by red fruit."
  • "Small but broad tree with a broad, virtually round crown. The leaves are 3-lobed, the middle lobe being significantly longer than the two side lobes. The leaves are bright green, turning yellowy orange to bright red in autumn. The fruits also turn bright red for several weeks as they ripen. This happens before the leaves change colour in autumn, so that the red fruits stand out attractively. Both the fruit and the autumn coloration benefit from a sunny location. A very hardy plant that flourishes on almost any soil type and is highly resistant to air pollution, drought and road salt."
  • "Amelanchier lamarckii (Service berry) is a stunning sight when in full bloom with its white flowers produced in plentiful racemes. It is a small, shrubby tree with emerging copper coloured leaves turning green by late spring before they mature to a rich red as autumn progresses. The rounded fruits, red in summer before turning black in autumn are edible. Amelanchier lamarckii is available in multi-stem form or as a single stem."
  • "Amelanchier Ballerina is a small tree that is naturalised over much of Western Europe and has the significant benefit of providing some interest at all points of the year. The profuse white flowers emerge in the spring, followed by foliage which is a coppery colour that turns to bright green by late spring. The autumn colour is brilliant red, emerging in conjunction with rounded fruits which are initially red in summer before turning black in the autumn. Although not the sweetest of tasting fruits, they are edible, adding to the attraction of this little tree as a superb addition to any garden planting scheme."
  • "Amelanchier arborea Robin Hill (Service berry) is a wonderful small tree which forms a dense oval habit and produces its masses of spring flowers that open pink and turn white. The young leaves emerge coppery red and then harden to green by late spring before they turn vivid red in autumn. A very good choice for street planting and residential areas, Amelanchier arborea Robin Hill provides plenty of interest with virtually no maintenance. Being such a small tree of ultimate size, it can be placed much closer to buildings than most trees which make it a fantastic choice for urban areas. It does best in moist, well drained, lime free soils."
  • "Betula albosinensis Fascination (Chinese Birch) is a refined clone with dark green leaves, which are large for a birch, appearing in April, along with the showy display of yellow catkins. It has outstanding stem colour-orange peeling to pink and cream and then purest white once the tree gets beyond 30cm girth. It is a medium sized tree, becoming oval as it matures and has stiffly ascending branches. Betula albosinensis Fascination is a great choice for parks and verges growing well on most soils."
  • "Betula Costata is a most attractive species of birch, whose bark has a complex and delicate beauty. The bark itself is primarily fawn coloured, with pale pinkish to orange hues. Atop these hues are a strong pattern of striations. The bark also peels to reveal further subtleties of colour beneath. The crown is fairly upright and oval in youth, Betula Costata increasingly broadens with age to a rounded or columnar shape. Bright green leaves with conspicuous veins; golden autumn tones. A shallow rooting tree."
  • "Betula ermanii Holland (Ermans Birch) was originally from North Asia and Japan and was first cultivated in the 1880s. It is one of the first trees to emerge with new leaf in the spring and one of the first to fall in autumn. An important feature is its ability to tolerate reflected heat and light very well making it a great urban tree that requires little maintenance. Betula ermanii Holland is an elegant and vigorous medium to large tree with bright green, often heart shaped and prominently veined leaves which appear very early in spring becoming clear yellow in autumn.It grows well on most soils."
  • "Betula nigra, also known as the River Birch or Red Birch is one of the very best trees for wet soils. This tree was originally found along river banks in the South East United States and is signified by its unique, shaggy and flaking cinnamon coloured bark. Once heard likened to “peeling skin”, the bark of this tree is truly remarkable and gives the stem an almost soft and fluffy like appearance. Betula nigra is an impressive and statuesque tree at maturity, producing a broadly pyramidal form as it ages. The foliage, like most Birch, is diamond shaped and a soft green colour. This tree performs exceptionally well in wet soil, yet has also been planted successfully in urban conditions."
  • "The crown is fairly upright and oval in youth, Betula Costata increasingly broadens with age to a rounded or columnar shape. Bright green leaves with conspicuous veins; golden autumn tones. A shallow rooting tree. It is a very good for parks and woodlands, but not suitable for areas where soil becomes compacted. It will grow well on most other soils and is available as both a single stemmed tree and as a multi-stem."
  • "Betula pendula Youngii (Young's Weeping Birch) is a small to medium weeping birch which has no defined central leader and therefore eventually forms an attractive dome shape. The thin branches of Betula pendula Youngii eventually reach the ground and the serrated, triangular leaves show good autumn colour. It develops a smooth white bark and it is an attractive specimen tree for lawns. It grows well on most soils and has been a great favourite for many years."
  • "Betula utilis Jacquemontii is a native of the western Himalayas, it makes a medium tree with ascending branches, and is also spectacular when grown as a multi-stem. Its oval, dark green leaves turn golden yellow in autumn. Excellent for urban plantings, it grows well on most soils. It can be very effectively placed against a dark background in a garden as the white stems bounce back in contract."
  • "Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam) is wonderful in a parkland setting, growing in groups and is ideal for pleaching. It is a large tree with with a characteristic grey fluted trunk and ovate, ribbed and serrated leaves which turn a lovely clear yellow in autumn. It grows well on most soils, including clay and chalk. It is a useful tree for poor planting conditions and will do well as a street tree and in urban settings."
  • "Carpinus betulus Fastigiata is a medium sized tree of pyramidal habit. Slender in its youth it can often be seen growing in restricted areas despite the fact that it develops middle aged spread reaching up to 10m wide. It is better growing in an open parkland setting and it is very effective if left feathered to the base, producing gold and orange autumn colours. It grows well on most soils, including clay and chalk. It is well suited to poor planting conditions."
  • "Carpinus betulus Fastigiata Frans Fontaine is a far better proposition for planting in restricted areas than Carpinus betulus Fastigiata. It retains its columnar habit, being only 3m wide after 25 years. It tolerates pollution and soil compaction, making it an excellent street tree. It grows well on most soils, including clay and chalk. It is a tree well suited for urban settings and for poor planting conditions."
  • "Carpinus betulus Lucas (European Hornbeam) is notable for its narrow, columnar shape. Its green leaves with a sharp-toothed edge turn a bright yellow in the autumn and remain through the winter, adding some winter interest. In early spring, attractive yellow or green catkins form. It will grow in any soil type but Carpinus betulus Lucas does not do well in a very acid soil. It does best in a moist but well-drained situation. Once established it is reasonably drought-tolerant. It can be planted in sun, partial or full shade. Able to resist wind, it will do well in either an exposed or sheltered location, and because it is tolerant of pollution, the European Hornbeam is well-suited to use in an urban landscape. Carpinus betulus Lucas is also well-suited to container planting on a patio or rooftop terrace, grown either in a row to form a screen, or as a specimen plant for its tall, columnar shape. Because of the European Hornbeams resistance to pollution, and its narrow form, it is a good choice for an urban roadside planting."
  • "Castanea sativa (Sweet Chestnut) is a versatile and beautiful, fast growing, large tree, which is particularly attractive in early summer when laden with its male and female catkins. It's long, glossy leaves turn gold and bronze before falling in autumn. Castanea sativa is a splendid tree for grouping and especially outstanding planted as an avenue. It does best on reasonably dry, light soils, and is moderately lime tolerant."
  • Cercidiphyllum japonicum is a beautiful tree which can grow to more than 30m in its native Japan and China, however in Ireland plants rarely reach more than 15m. It has a rounded conical crown and attractive heart shaped leaves in opposite pairs. Katsura is a plant which gives interest all year round, with its constantly changing colour displays. In spring, its leaves flush out pinkish-bronze, gradually turning to a lush green in summer. Autumn brings brilliant displays of orange yellow and red and in our opinion the best quality is the accompanying smell of burnt sugar and candy floss which drifts gently in the breeze. Neither the flowers or fruits are particularly significant. Best grown in a rich, fertile soil avoiding sites which are windy or with hot afternoon sun as the leaves can scorch. May not colour as well in autumn on alkaline soils.
  • "Known commonly as Chinese Redbud, this hardy plant is fine on free draining soils but is not recommended in exposed areas. Dark pink buds litter the branch and stem network in the late spring to erupt into flower by May. Cercis Chinensis Avondale certainly is a show stopper and great for south facing gardens."
  • "Cornus controversa is a particularly stunning ornamental specimen tree that develops a layered type structure, similar to the tiers of a wedding cake. This interesting tree has elliptically shaped deep green foliage and broad clusters of creamy white flowers which emerge after the foliage in May."

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