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Fall Color Begins in Spring

Eastern redbud, El Dorado Hills (3/29/18) John Poimiroo

Many deciduous trees are budding out with blossoms and new foliage, providing for a fresh and colorful spring show.

This Eastern redbud tree (exotic) in our side yard is now flocked with magenta blooms, while Western redbud shrubs in Sierra foothill canyons are carrying rose  blossoms.

Although this website is  dedicated to fall color, what happens in autumn begins in spring.

So, if you see similarly bright spring foliage, email images to us and we’ll publish them here. editor@californiafallcolor.com

 

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East/West Redbud Debate

Western redbud, cercis occidentalis (11/10/17) Robert Kermen

Eastern redbud, cercis canadensis (11/7/17) John Poimiroo

When it comes to redbud, it’s debatable as to which is prettiest in autumn… East or West.

The eastern variety, cercis canadensis, displays bright gold and green heart-shaped leaves.

Whereas, western redbud, cercis occidentalis, display orange, red, gold and lime heart-shaped leaves.

Both are equally stunning.

Redbud is often overlooked by color spotters who give up looking for great fall color as soon as the forests of aspen have turned, but not Robert Kermen or me.

Robert found western redbud growing along Big Chico Creek in Chico’s Bidwell Park.

Cercis occidentalis are native to the Sierra and North Coast foothills. Native California indians used their barks for basket weaving and as a red dye. In springtime, their showy pink and magenta blossoms grow in clusters all over redbud shrubs that garnish foothill river canyons.

Western redbud, cercis occidentalis (11/10/17) Robert Kermen

Western redbud, cercis occidentalis (11/10/17) Robert Kermen

I have the pleasure of enjoying an Eastern redbud all year long. It grows in my side yard (El Dorado Hills) and provides an inspiring show when autumn light backlights the leaves in kelly green and yellow.

Eastern redbud are a popular landscape and street tree, appreciated for their shape, shade and autumn color (best from late October to early November).

Their heart-shaped leaves flutter in a soft autumn breeze, as if they’re beating.

OK, there’s no debate. East or West, who couldn’t love redbud with all they have to show?

Cercis Occidentalis Range – Wikipedia

Redbud – Peak (75-100%) – Their range forms an upside down fish hook, leading from the SF Bay Area north through wine country and the Redwood Highway, then bending east through Trinity County to the northern Sierra foothills, then south to the Southern Sierra. GO NOW!

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Urban Forest Exotics

Pacific dogwood (11/2/16) John Poimiroo

Pacific dogwood (11/2/16) John Poimiroo

Eastern redbud (11/2/16) John Poimiroo

Eastern redbud (11/2/16) John Poimiroo

Eastern redbud (11/2/16) John Poimiroo

Eastern redbud (11/2/16) John Poimiroo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As color descends throughout California, the bold stands of aspen have disappeared. The last remaining big show are the black oak, which continue to show orange color at elevations below 3,000′.

Oregon splitleaf birch (11/2/16) John Poimiroo

Oregon splitleaf birch (11/2/16) John Poimiroo

Pacific dogwood (11/2/16) John Poimiroo

Pacific dogwood (11/2/16) John Poimiroo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color spotters turn to California’s urban forests for bright color, as I did this past week in my garden in El Dorado Hills (800′).

Chinese pistache (11/2/16) John Poimiroo

Chinese pistache (11/2/16) John Poimiroo

Chinese pistache (11/2/16) John Poimiroo

Chinese pistache (11/2/16) John Poimiroo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There, Eastern redbud, Pacific dogwood, breeze-brushed Oregon splitleaf birch and Chinese pistache were backlit and beautiful.

Today, I head out on a search for more exotics showing color in Sacramento’s urban forest.

California’s Urban Forests – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

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