What would New England be without our beloved maple trees? It’s hard to beat the fall color of a native Sugar Maple: gold, orange and red all at once. Sugar maples prefer a site with moist, acid soils that are away from roadsides or driveways that are salted or deiced in winter. The best color occurs in full sun. The moosewood maple ( Acer pensylvanicum) tree enchanted me while hiking up north years ago. This understory gem sports soft gold leaves in fall, with the stems turning bright green in winter to continue photosynthesizing – very clever!
Then there is the look of a certain small upright Japanese maple called ‘Sangokaku’ when it turns color and later drops leaves to reveal brilliant coral-colored stems! Japanese maples and the Moosewood Maple like semi-shaded woods with well-drained soil.