It’s fall and Utah’s tree foliage is on the turn. Select from this list of USU Extension’s best fall trees for Utah gardens to capture a crescendo of colors that showcases the season’s palette brilliantly.

Sheriden Hansen, USU Extension Associate Professor of Horticulture, breaks down the best fall trees for Utah planting.

Nothing evokes the cozy feelings of fall like the brilliant blaze of colors that landscape trees offer. Bursts of red, yellow and orange provide a fiery send off as we move into the colorless winter months. Adding fall color into your landscape can be as simple as planting a selection of trees. The unique environment of the Intermountain West requires careful tree selection due to high pH soil, arid climate and extreme temperatures. Often, recommended trees such as red and silver maple­—known for fall color—struggle in these difficult conditions. Utilizing tried and true cultivars adapted to our unique environment can provide thriving trees with a palette of color.

The Best Fall Trees for Utah’s Climate

Big Tooth or Canyon Maple 

Photo via Adobe Stock

A small, native tree that provides much of the brilliant blaze of red and orange along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Mature size: 15-30’ tall and wide

Fall color: Orange to red

Hardiness zone: 3 to 8

Sensation Box Elder

sensation box elder tree utah
Photo via Adobe Stock

Male flowers add texture and interest in the spring without attracting insects. Fall color is a multicolor mix of yellow, orange and fiery red, making this an ideal, drought-tolerant shade tree for the landscape.

Mature size: 30’ tall x 25’ wide

Fall color: Multicolored yellow, orange and red

Hardiness zone: 4 to 6

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry

autumn brilliance serviceberry tree utah
Photo via Adobe Stock

A small, often multi-stemmed tree that boasts a graceful shape. White, pollinator-friendly spring blooms produce small berries that attract birds. Fall foliage turns a brilliant orange.

Mature size: 15-25’ tall x 5-10’ wide

Fall color: Orange

Hardiness zone: 4 to 9

Frontier Elm

frontier elm tree utah
Photo via Adobe Stock

A hardy hybrid elm with moderate resistance to Dutch Elm Disease, this tree brings a deep, moody red tone to the fall color palette.

Mature size: 30-40’ tall x 20-30’ wide

Fall color: Burgundy red
Hardiness Zone: 4 to 7

Princeton Sentry Ginkgo 

Princeton sentry ginkgo tree utah
Photo via Adobe Stock

Ginkgo is a slow growing tree with a rich history and fossil record. The Princeton Sentry is a fruitless male cultivar with fan shaped leaves that burst with yellow in the fall.

Mature size: 40-50’ tall x 20-30’ wide

Fall color: Yellow

Hardiness zone: 3 to 8

Get more garden tips via USU Extension here.