Autumn Colors and Maple Trees

Autumn colors are upon many parts of the United States right now. Undoubtedly, leaf peeping is a highlight of the season. Delighted onlookers sometimes travel for miles to take in the incredible autumn colors visible from some of America’s most well-known major thoroughfares, such as Virginia’s Blue Ridge Parkway or Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains.

Although the glorious colors of autumn vary by region and overall climate, it is possible to bring autumn’s glory to your own backyard. Specific species of trees are known for their colorful displays during autumn. Maple trees are one such species. Adding several variations of maple trees to your landscape can mean a season of merriment come autumn.

Amur maples are perhaps one of the most vibrantly colored among maples and all trees. With appropriate climate conditions, which include exposure to full sunlight throughout the better part of the year coupled with a crisp climate at the onset of autumn, Amur maples will display themselves in a most brilliant shade of red.

Sugar maples are another species that results in a beautiful autumn display. Requiring full to partial exposure to sunlight throughout the majority of the year, variations in fall color include yellow, orange and red.

It is the sugar maple species that is also famous for the production of maple syrup. For the adventurous homeowner, the addition of sugar maples to the landscape can result in the collection of maple sap to make into maple syrup for consumption, thereby making the value of such a tree doubly advantageous.

If you live in Austin, Texas, consult an Austin tree trimming professional to assist you with how best to grow and maintain a sugar maple on your landscape. A knowledgeable professional may also be able to assist you in the process of gathering maple sap to be made into maple syrup. If not, he or she could likely provide you with resources or other points of contact who can assist you in such a unique endeavor.

Norway maple trees can be planted, and adapt well, in areas that are typically more arid. This is beneficial if you live in a location with such a climate. In fact, research indicates that Norway maple trees are often strategically planted for the shade they provide.

Care should be taken to maintain the health of a Norway maple, however, as it is susceptible to several tree diseases, including anthracnose, which can be mistaken for oak wilt, a relatively high-occurrence tree disease in Austin. With proper care and maintenance, available through the assistance of an Austin tree care professional, Norway maples can certainly thrive and, with the onset of autumn, provide a brilliant shade of yellow for your landscape.

Maples are a great asset to any landscape and are perhaps one of the most glorious trees to behold when it comes to fall foliage. Consult an Austin arborist to learn which species of maple tree may best flourish within your regional climate and on your personal landscape.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit

What Causes Fall Colors?

One of the most fascinating and enjoyable aspects of the fall season is the gorgeous display of colors. Every year, the American public treks miles and miles across the country to take in the fleeting, but beautiful foliage. Most of us spend the season taking in the vibrant reds, oranges, yellow, greens, purples and golds with little understanding of how those colors come to enchant us so.

A lot of what we enjoy during autumn is based on two ever-present elements of plant life.

The first is the presence of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a pigment responsible for the chemical reaction that causes photosynthesis, or the use of sunlight to create nourishment. Of course, it is this nourishment that is provides life to the plant. It is also the pigment responsible for the green coloring we are accustomed to seeing on leaves.

The second is the fact that, embedded within the leaves and well-hidden by the chlorophyll, are other existing pigments. These include carotenoids, which typically give off yellow, orange or brown hues, and anthocyanins, which typically give off red, purple or blue hues. With the onset of the season, these cleverly disguised pigments take center stage in one glorious display of autumn’s majesty.

So, exactly what causal role do these two elements play in fall’s colors? During the growing season, the presence of chlorophyll is constant, using sunlight to provide assistance in a tree’s ability to thrive. Exposure to sunlight, however, eventually breaks down chlorophyll, so it is always being replenished.

Although the onset of fall for mankind is generally marked by the brilliant colors so endeared to us, the onset of fall for plant life is marked by the shortening of the days. Shorter days mean that there is less sunlight for photosynthesis. To compensate, trees begin to gradually slow the production of chlorophyll, eventually ceasing its production altogether. Once production of chlorophyll stops, the underlying carotenoid and anthocyanin pigments become visible.

Many liken this process to a banana that is not quite yet ripe. It appears green at first. However, as the ripening process progresses, the yellow pigment we all associate with bananas becomes evident. The ripening process is very much like the cessation of the production of chlorophyll, and the eventual exposure of the yellow pigment is much like the exposure of the underlying carotenoids and anthocyanins in leaves.

Contact an Austin tree trimming specialist to assist you with properly and strategically pruning your landscaping trees to receive a most spectacular autumn display in your own backyard.

Although chlorophyll production stops during the fall and winter months, this does not mean that trees go without sustenance for these many months. Essentially, the trees will live off of reserves, an accumulation of food that was stored during the active summer months, during this period of dormancy.

For any additional questions pertaining to how autumnal changes affect your landscaping trees, contact an Austin tree care specialist to assist you.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit

Summer’s Effects on Fall Foliage

Arguably, the autumn months foster one of the most enjoyable seasons of each calendar year. The cooler, more comfortable temperatures that accompany it are often a welcome relief to the heat and humidity Austin, and many other parts of the country, experience. That relief also presents itself in the form of rainfall. Many areas within Texas, including Austin, are often subjected to intense southern heat and very little precipitation to counter the negative effects of such. As summer’s heat and, sometimes, drought conditions persist, some may be left wondering about the impending autumn.

Part of autumn’s glory is the foliage that crowns hillsides, mountaintops and valleys. Without this annual occurrence, the anticipation of the season is greatly diminished. So, is there good reason to wonder what may be in store in the fall when a harsh summer precedes it?

Indeed summer’s heat can impact the turning of a tree’s leaves. Persistently hot temperatures may cause undue stress on the leaves. If this occurs, the leaves may begin to wilt prematurely. Although some color typical of autumn may be seen during this process, it is frequently short-lived and sometimes not seen at all. Depending upon how long the excessive temperatures have lingered, leaves may be unable to withstand them after a point. Once this threshold has been reached, the results typically are wilting and die-off of the leaves, and abounding feelings of chagrin from fall enthusiasts.

Heat is not the only component of summer that has the potential to negatively affect fall, however. Another similar key component is lack of rainfall. Much like the oppressive southern heat, lack of precipitation is also believed to have the capacity to stunt a wondrous autumn display. Insufficient rainfall, and especially a resulting drought, is a stressor for a tree. When rainfall is unavailable, so is a vital part of the tree’s sustenance. The ability to self-sustain may become compromised, and the effects of this are sometimes most evident by the duration of the foliage at the onset of fall.

Additionally, sometimes trees’ extremities are quite vulnerable during a season of limited or no rain. Much like any other living creature, it is a tree’s extremities that are the last to receive nourishment and, quite logically, the first to suffer for it. Already weakened branches are more susceptible to the effects of high winds or heavy rains, should a period of drought come abruptly to an end. If any limb causes you alarm, or if you’re uncertain as to its steadfastness, contact an Austin tree trimming expert for assistance.

Perhaps the best indicators of an enjoyable autumn are a warm and wet spring, which ultimately promotes healthy leaves, and a temperate summer with adequate rainfall, which helps to maintain the health of the leaves as the seasons shift from spring to summer. Another reputable indicator of a colorful autumn spectacle is an Indian summer. This is those pleasantly cool, crisp nights followed by pleasantly warm, sunny days, quite the typical fall weather pattern.

Contact an Austin tree care professional if you have specific questions or concerns about your landscaping trees, their overall health or how their foliage will be impacted by summer weather conditions.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit