Tree with Red Leaves – Garden Tips 2024

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Trees can bring delightful foliage to your yard that will liven the entire area. While most trees have green leaves, there are many varieties that have red leaves. If you are looking for trees that grow red leaves, here are some wonderful options.

Trees with red leaves? There are many choices when it comes to trees that have red leaves. Some trees will start with green leaves that turn to red, such as the sugar maple. Other trees, such as the red robin, will have red leaves throughout the year. You can find shrub-like trees that are short or towering giants, such as the October glory tree.

15 Beautiful Trees with Red Leaves

Japanese Maple Tree

One of the most iconic trees that produce red leaves is the Japanese maple. This is a smaller, ornamental tree that can be planted in the ground or, in warmer climates, in a container.

The leaves are a dark red in the summer but turn bright red in the fall. The small size makes the tree especially easy to maintain. However, there are different variations of this tree and some can grow up to 20 feet, so be sure to read the label before you buy one.

Red Maple Tree

Another iconic tree, a red maple tree towers over your whole yard, as it can grow to be 60 to 90 feet tall. It is native to North America and does really well in both dryer and wetter climates.

Red maple trees flowers in the spring and has gorgeous, red blooms. Then, the red leaves will sprout and stay until fall.

Just be aware that this tree will need a lot of cleanup work in the fall once it loses its leaves. The thick leaves will choke out any grass underneath and if left too close to the trunk, can stop oxygen from penetrating the soil and getting to the roots.

Cotinus Grace

Also known as a smokebush, this tree starts out with red leaves in the spring that turn a darker shade in summer and fall. The tree also has pink flowers in late spring.

Cotinus Grace trees grow to be about 15 feet tall, so they are great for most yards. An advantage of this tree is that it is drought tolerant, so it is perfect for dryer areas. Make sure the soil is fertile and can drain well for the best results.

Chinese Tupelo

While this tree is native to Vietnam and China, it can be found around North America. The leaves turn vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange as soon as summer is over.

Plant your Chinese Tupelo tree in an area that is sunny or partially shaded. The soil should be moist and if there is enough room around it, the tree can grow up to 30 feet tall.

Forest Redbud

This selection has leaves that range from dusty pink to deep red and will add instant color to your backyard. Tiny dark purple flowers appear in early spring for an added element.

Forest redbud trees only grow to be about 20 to 30 feet tall, so they are a great option for smaller spaces. They prefer full sun or partial shade and while they need water when young, will be fine in climates that have a lot of natural rainfall.

Norway Maple

Another maple tree option is this tree, native to Europe and Western Asia. It is also known as a crimson king maple, thanks to its deep red leaves.

Norway maple trees grow up to 60 feet tall, so be mindful of this when you are first planting. The trees prefer full sun and light cooler, northern temperatures.

The leaves will turn brown in fall and but less cleanup is needed than with other types of maple trees as the leaves are thinner and can provide good compost. However, you should remove any fallen leaves from around the base of your tree so it doesn’t choke out any oxygen.

Red Silver Flowering Crabapple

This is a real showstopper of a tree. The leaves start out green but by fall, they will be a gorgeous red color. What’s more, the flowers are a lovely silver color.

The only consideration with this tree is that it can attract a lot of pests, so if it is near other trees, you may want to consider spraying it. However, if you aren’t worried about harvesting the crabapples, you can let it be.

Red Robin

This smaller tree is a perfect option for small spaces as it only reaches 10 feet in height. Native to Japan and China, the Red Robin tree does best in temperate climates where the winters are not too extreme and the summers are not too hot.

While you can grow this tree on its own, it also lends itself well to a hedgerow. You can keep it simple with just this variety of trees or you can alternate the hedge with other shrubs that have green leaves or white flowers.

Red Robin trees produce leaves that are red and shiny. Be sure to add a generous layer of mulch around the tree to keep the soil moist.

Purple Leaf Plum Tree

While you can’t actually eat the plums from this tree, you can still benefit from the deep purple-red leaves. You can also take advantage of the pretty blooms that range from pink to white.

Purple-leaf plum trees benefit from nutrient-dense soil and consistent moisture. They like full sun and are known to attract pests, so this may be an issue.

Burning Bush Euonymous

With such a creative name, you know you’re in for a real showstopper with this tree. The waxy leaves stay on this tree year-round and while they start out green in spring, by early fall, they transform into an explosion of bright and deep red.

The burning bush tree won’t grow more than 10 to 15 feet tall but it will spread out even more in width. It’s perfect if you have a lot of space near a walkway or the front of your house.

Sugar Maple

A towering giant, this tree can grow up to 75 feet tall, so it is not for everyone. Still, if you have the room, you won’t be disappointed.

Sugar maples produce sap that can be turned into maple syrup, hence the name, although the process only works in colder, northern climates. The leaves start out green in the spring and in late summer they turn to a kaleidoscope of orange, yellow, and red.

American Sweetgum

Native to the eastern and southern United States, this towering giant grows up to 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide, so unless you have a very large yard, you might want to consider a different tree.

American sweetgum trees get their name because the resin can be eaten just like chewing gum. Despite its height, there should be no major issues with growing this tree and you’ll be rewarded with bright red leaves at the end of summer.

Forest Pansy

With such a whimsical name, this tree is a perfect accent in any garden. It is medium in size, so it won’t take over your whole yard but it does spread out a bit, so make sure there is plenty of room for it.

The spade-shaped leaves stay a mixture of red and burgundy throughout the year and then turn golden yellow in the fall. The leaves are large, about 5 inches wide, so they make a very bold statement.

October Glory

If you live in a colder climate, especially in the northern United States, this tree will fit right in. It grows quite large, up to 50 feet tall and 35 feet wide, so plant it in an area that has plenty of space.

The leaves on October Glory trees start out green but in the summer and fall they turn a vibrant shade of red. The lovely leaves can take a bit of effort to clean up but you can mulch them to return nutrients back into the soil.

Purple Hazel

There are few types of hazel trees but this one, and its purple-red leaves will be sure to delight the sense. The leaves are uniquely textured with ridges so light bounces off them in a special way.

Purple hazel trees start off in spring with a bang as you will see red catkins (rows of flowers) hanging from the branches. Once the catkins are pollinated, they become nuts which results in edible hazelnuts.

As for the leaves, they remain purple for much of the year before lightening up in the fall and turning red. You can actually harvest the gorgeous branches at Christmas time as their color will contrast nicely with evergreens for a holiday wreath or bouquet.


Trees with red leaves will give your yard that certain wow factor. You can grow varieties of trees that change their leaf color throughout. You can also find trees that have red leaves throughout the year.

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