Leaf-peeping is a time-honored tradition in New England for visitors and residents alike. But you don’t need to leave the city to enjoy nature’s handiwork. Take a stroll through the Arnold Arboretum landscape to check out our tops picks for autumn color!
1. Cultivar of red maple (Acer rubrum ‘Schlesingeri’; 3256*A) located directly across Meadow Road from the Hunnewell Building Visitor Center. Read more about this maple, discovered by Founding Director Charles Sprague Sargent growing at a neighbor’s Brookline estate in the 1880s, in the pages of Arnoldia.
3. Sugar maples (Acer saccharum; non-accessioned) growing in the North Woods bordering the M. Victor and Frances Leventritt Shrub & Vine Garden. Find out more about our nationally-recognized Maple Collection. (Photo Credit: Jordan Wood)
4. Lilac cultivar (Syringa oblata ssp. dilatata ‘Cheyenne’; 278-79*A) growing in the Lilac Collection on Bussey Hill. Though lilacs do not typically display good fall color, this cultivar is a notable exception. Read more about our national collection of lilacs.
5. Golden larch (Pseudolarix ambilis; 534-61*B) is a deciduous conifer that turns golden yellow before defoliating; dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) is another example, with foliage that turns bronze in fall. The tree pictured here is located in the Conifer Collection along Hemlock Hill Road. (Photo Credit: Jordan Wood)
6. Freeman maple (Acer x freemanii; 456-94*C) is a hybrid of the red maple (Acer rubrum) and silver maple (Acer saccharinum), offering outstanding red-orange fall color. This specimen grows not far from the Maple Collection on Meadow Road near Faxon Pond.
7. Chinese parrotia (Parrotia subaequalis; 304-2004*A) displays excellent red autumn foliage. This specimen grows in the Explorers Garden, where you can see many other plants collected on Arboretum plant expeditions in Asia. Read more about Chinese parrotia in the pages of Arnoldia.
8. Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum; 510-38*D) is a native plant highly prized for its crimson red fall foliage. Flowers give way to 5-parted dry capsules that ripen to silver-gray in September and persist, contrasting nicely with the fall foliage and providing interest even after leaf-drop. This specimen is located in the Conifer Collection. (Photo Credit: Jordan Wood)
9. Persian parrotia (Parrotia persica; 633-79*A), also known as Persian ironwood, may display variable shades of yellow, orange, red, and purple in fall. This specimen resides in the Hickory Collection.
10. Fan-shaped leaves of the maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba; 1114-89*A) turn a bright yellow in fall. See this specimen growing on the back side of Peters Hill. Learn more about this living fossil and the Arboretum’s collecting interest in the tree in the pages of Harvard Magazine. (Photo Credit: Jordan Wood)