Maple tree in brilliant fall color. Photo by Donna L. Long.

Leaf Colors of Common Trees Here in the Oak-Hickory Forest

various autumn leaves
various autumn leaves

The Philadelphia area is graced with a show of spectacular fall tree color. We are just far enough north for the tree leaves to change and just far enough south to miss frigid winter temperatures. Perfect.

Tree leaves change colors in autumn according to their species DNA. Here is a list of the fall colors of common tree species here in the Oak-Hickory region of the Eastern Deciduous Forest.

Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra). Photo by Donna L. Long
Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra). Photo by Donna L. Long

Oaks
bear oak – yellowish-brown
black oak – dull brown
blackjack oak, pin oak, turkey oak – reddish with an orange tinge
post oak – brown-red oak – dull brown
scarlet oak – bright scarlet to deep red
Virginia live oak – green this is an evergreen oak)

 

Hickory tree leaves in autumn
Hickory tree leaves in autumn – Nhlord [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
Hickories
All hickories have yellow leaves in fall.

 

Red MapleTree (Acer rubrum) leaf. Photo by Donna L. Long.
Red MapleTree (Acer rubrum) leaf. Photo by Donna L. Long.
Maples
box-elder – yellow, sometimes reddish
red maple – red
silver maple – pale yellow
striped male – yellow
sugar maple – bright orange, turning to yellow
Yellow Birch tree leaves (Betula neoalaskana) in autumn.
Yellow Birch tree leaves (Betula neoalaskana) in autumn. KANUTI NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE – public domain
Birches
birches – all turn shades of yellow
Fall Trees trunks and Golden Leaves
Fall Trees trunks and Golden Leaves. Photo by Donna L. Long.
Other species
American beech – light yellow and turning brownish tan
American chestnut – brownish-yellow
Black tupelo – deep dark red
Bigtooth aspen – orange-yellow, turning pale yellow
Eastern cottonwood – yellow
Eastern sycamore – brown
Flowering Dogwood – deep red
Pin and wild cherries – reddish, turning yellow
Quaking Aspen – yellow varies from pale to deep
Sassafras – reddish becoming yellowish
Sumacs – orange, turning bright red
Sweetgum – orange-red, turning yellow
Tamarack (American Larch) – bright yellow needles
Tuliptree – bright yellow
White ash – maroon, dark reddish-green

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