9 Stunning Trees with Colorful Curb Appeal

These no-fuss knockouts will claim center stage each autumn.

bright leaves of gold orange yellow red and green of a Sugar Maple autumn foliage on the branches and across the green grass along a white picket fence
Image: Adria Photography/Getty
  • Japanese Maple
vibrant red leaves on the branches and around the trunk of a Japanese Maple in late fall on the front lawn of a split level house with white siding and red brick
Acer palmatum
  • Height: 15-25 feet
  • Spread: 20 feet
  • Zones: 5-8
  • Fall color: Maroon to orange
  • Care: Plant in dappled shade so delicate leaves won’t burn in summer; not particular about its soil; keep moisture consistent, especially during dry spells.
  • Value add: Slow-growing (it won’t outgrow its home); great planted alone or in groups; songbirds, squirrels, and chipmunks love the seeds.

Vine Maple

bright red orange yellow and green leaves of a Vine Maple tree in fall in a garden edge along the grass
Acer circinatum
  • Height: 15 feet
  • Spread: 20 feet
  • Zones: 6-9
  • Fall color: Yellow, orange, red
  • Care: Plant in shade (though it will take full sun); keep soil moist; prune often to prevent branches from running wild.
  • Value add: Unusual arching and twisting branches that provide year-round interest and curb appeal; good for urban gardens and large containers; usually pest- and disease-free.


colorful pink and purple berries with red and orange edges of waxy green leaves on a Viburnum Nudum shrug
Viburnum nudum
  • Height: 6-10 feet
  • Spread: 6-10 feet
  • Zones: 5-9
  • Fall color: Maroon to red-purple
  • Care: Likes partial shade to full sun; prefers moist loam but grows in a wide range of soil types.
  • Value add: Versatile tree; good as an accent, foundation, border, or street-side planting; edible (but acidic) blue-purple berries.

Paper Birch

the low contrast light of an overcast day brings out the vivid red gold and yellow autumn colors of Paper Birch trees
Betula papyrifera
  • Height: 50-70 feet
  • Spread: 35 feet
  • Zones: 2-7
  • Fall color: Bright yellow
  • Care: Keep moist and mulched, especially in high heat and low-water conditions.
  • Value add: Year-round interest from dark red bark on young stems that turns creamy white on mature trunks; tap the trunk in spring for sap you can make into beer, syrup, and vinegar.

Sugar Maple

bright leaves of gold orange yellow red and green of a Sugar Maple autumn foliage on the branches and across the green grass along a white picket fence
Acer saccharum
  • Height: 60-75 feet
  • Spread: 40-50 feet
  • Zones: 3-8
  • Fall color: Red, orange, gold
  • Care: Likes fertile, moist, well-draining soil; avoid planting near streets, because it’s salt-sensitive.
  • Value add: Long-living, up to 500 years; lots of shade from its dense crown; syrup from sap in spring.


closeup of vivid orange and golden leaves of a Smoketree in autumn
Cotinus coggygria
  • Height: 10-15 feet
  • Spread: 12 feet
  • Zones: 5-8
  • Fall color: Magenta and purple
  • Care: Thrives in diverse, well-draining soil; likes a sunny home best.
  • Value add: Deer resistant; stunning accent tree or colorful shrub border; unusual wispy pink blooms in spring.

Katsura Tree

a Katsura tree has bright reddish orange and golden leaves changing in fall
Cercidiphyllum japonicium
  • Height: 40-60 feet
  • Spread: 25-60 feet
  • Zones: 4-8
  • Fall color: Orange, gold, red
  • Care: OK, this one needs some special care — protection from wind and hot afternoon rays. But its unusual, open spread of up to 60 feet makes it worth the effort.
  • Value add: Fallen leaves can smell like cinnamon or burnt sugar — yummy!


vibrant red foliage of a Sourwood tree leaves in autumn with blurred background of trees that have already lost their leaves and other trees still changing color
Oxydendrum arboreum
  • Height: 25-30 feet
  • Spread: 20 feet
  • Zones: 5-9
  • Fall color: Scarlet, purple foliage; silvery capsules
  • Care: Likes acidic and rich soil; keep moist.
  • Value add: Capsules provide winter interest, too; tree attracts bees that produce prized sourwood honey.

Scarlet Oak

close up of orange and green leaves of a Scarlet Oak tree in autumn
Quercus coccinea
  • Height: 50-70 feet
  • Spread: 40-50 feet
  • Zones: 4-9
  • Fall color: Bright scarlet
  • Care: Plant in dry-to-average, well-draining soil; even tolerates sandy conditions. Give it plenty of room to grow.
  • Value add: Fast growing; grind its acorns to thicken stews; large songbirds and wild turkeys love it.

“Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this.  Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.”

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