I live in a wooded part of the state of Texas. The woods are filled with several varieties of oak, sweet gum, hickory, pine and magnolia. Every year about Thanksgiving, which is coming up this week, the leaves of the deciduous trees turn all sorts of glorious colors: yellow, bronze, copper, gold, orange, red and maroon. The view of the trees from my house is fabulous! I know the northeast is known for spectacular fall color, but this is pretty impressive. Crepe myrtles are commonly planted here, and they can be quite vivid. There are a couple of other trees that should be mentioned: the Chinese tallow and the ornamental pear. The tallow tree is not a native and is really a trashy tree and not long lived, but it redeems itself every fall with its showy leaves. The ornamental pear is not particularly long lived either, but the white blossoms in the early spring and beautiful fall color make it quite popular. Another of my favorites for its color is the bald cypress. It’s actually a conifer that’s deciduous. The bald cypress is fast growing and lives a long time. I have one in my yard which I planted. The only thing I don’t like about it is its “knees” which come up in inappropriate places!
I’ve tried growing a couple of Japanese maples with no success. That maple is an under story tree. I made the mistake of planting one in an area that receives intense afternoon sun. Its leaves sort of fried every summer. In another attempt, I planted a maple near my front door. It seemed to thrive for several years but suddenly died. I don’t think I’ll try another one.
There are many folks that love the desert and others who like an expanse of sandy beach, but I’m very pleased and thankful to live in the forest– particularly at this time of year. Happy Thanksgiving!