September 28, 2021

What Colorful Tree Is That?

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If you have been on social media this fall, you have already seen a number of incedible and colorful fall foliage photos! It's easy enough to find and appreciate but do you know what trees make all those candy colored mix of leaves? 

There are a number of native trees which create brilliant hues of red, orange, yellow, often all on the same tree. The bright colors comes from canyon maple, quaking aspen, scrub oak, Douglas hawthorn, serviceberries, evergreens, and more — each turning in succession. The reds you see most like come from Canyon or Bigtooth Maple (Acer grandidentatum) Sometimes referred to as western sugar maple, it resembles the eastern sugar maple with its brilliant orange-red fall color. Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) Their color can be orange or even orange-red, but usually tends more toward bright yellow. Gambel or Scrub Oak (Quercus gambelii) mostly in the range of orange to red-orange. These three tree species are responsible for most of Utah's fall color. You can learn more about Utah trees and what to plant for great fall colors in your own yard here.

Three factors influence autumn leaf color and the timing of the color change also varies by plant species. The timing of color changes and the onset of falling leaves is primarily regulated by the calendar as nights become longer. None of the other environmental influences such as temperature, rainfall, food supply are as fixed as the regularly increasing length of night during autumn changes.

There are many ways to enjoy the changing leaves and whether you take a scenic drive or plan a hike or fall picnic, your exposure to nature will make you feel better emotionally and physically, reduce blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and stress hormones. What's not love about trees?