Yellow Fall Colored Trees: Trees That Turn Yellow In Autumn

Bright yellow leaves on autumn poplar trees in front of a mountain in Banff National Park
(Image credit: Tatsuo115)

Trees with yellow fall leaves burst forth with a blaze of bright color until the trees drop their leaves for the winter. If you’re a fan of trees that turn yellow in autumn, there are many yellow-colored trees from which to choose, depending on your growing zone. Read on for a few great suggestions.

Trees That Turn Yellow in Autumn

While there are a number of trees that can provide wonderful yellow fall foliage, these are some of the most common trees seen in home landscapes and some good ones to start with. Nothing is more exhilarating than enjoying these beautiful yellow and golden tones on a crisp fall day.

Big-leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) – Big-leaf maple is a large tree with huge leaves that turn a rich shade of yellow in autumn, sometimes with a hint of orange. Zone 5-9.

Katsura (Cerciphyllum japonicum) – Katsura is a tall, rounded tree that produces purple, heart-shaped leaves in spring. When temperatures drop in autumn, the color is transformed into apricot-yellow fall foliage. Zones 5-8.

Serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora) – Trees with yellow leaves include serviceberry, a relatively small, showy tree that produces pretty flowers in spring, followed by edible berries that are delicious in jams, jellies, and desserts. Fall color ranges from yellow to brilliant orange red. Zones 4-9.

Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica) – Persian ironwood is a small, low-maintenance tree that produces a range of sunset colors, including orange, red, and yellow fall foliage. Zones 4-8.

Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra) – The Ohio buckeye is a small to medium sized tree that generally produces yellow fall foliage, but the leaves may sometimes be red or orange, depending on weather conditions. Zones 3-7.

Larch (Larix spp.) – Available in a range of sizes and forms, larch is a deciduous evergreen tree that grows in cold, mountainous regions. Fall foliage is a shade of brilliant golden yellow. Zones 2-6.

Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) – Eastern redbud is valued for its masses of rose-purple flowers followed by interesting, bean-like seed pods and attractive, greenish yellow fall foliage. Zones 4-8.

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) – Also known as the maidenhair tree, ginkgo is a deciduous conifer with attractive, fan-shaped leaves that turn bright yellow in autumn. Zones 3-8.

Shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) – People who love trees with yellow fall leaves will appreciate shagbark hickory’s colorful foliage that turns from yellow to brown as autumn progresses. The tree is also known for its flavorful nuts and shaggy bark. Zones 4-8.

Tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) – Also known as yellow poplar, this huge, tall tree is actually a member of the magnolia family. It is one of the prettiest, most majestic trees with yellow fall leaves. Zones 4-9.

Mary H. Dyer

A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.