Deciduous trees are those which lose their trees during the cold season. In winter it is common to see their bare branches. But they are much more than that.
Deciduous species are the image of autumn. Its colourful foliage makes these trees the choice of many landscapers when designing a garden.
Want to know more about deciduous trees? We are telling you everything in this mini guide.
Why plant deciduous trees in your garden?
If you want to have a living garden, which changes its appearance throughout the year, deciduous trees are perfect for you. Its main appeal is seen during the autumn, when its leaves fall. That is when many species are covered in bright colours such as red, yellow, orange or even purple.
In winter, its bare branches will allow the light to pass through. In the coldest season they will let us enjoy the sun when we need it most, while in summer their leaves will give us shade.
If you want to have a balanced garden, we recommend you to plant both deciduous and evergreen trees.
When do deciduous trees lose their leaves?
The process begins in autumn, when the tree stops supplying sap to the leaves. They lose their chlorophyll (exposing red and yellow pigments) and dry.
The majority of deciduous species ends this process between late autumn and early winter. When the leaves are completely dry, they detach from the branches with wind or rain.
If you have lawn, remember that it is important to remove the leaves as the tree loses them, so that they do not cause fungi.
When should I transplant a deciduous tree?
The best time to transplant deciduous species is in autumn, before they enter dormancy. Thus, they will be able to root well in our garden and prepare for the cold.
When to prune a deciduous tree?
You shall do this in winter, when the tree has already lost all its leaves and is in its period of dormancy. This will make it easier to know which branches are weakened and cut them.
When do I fertilize them?
Each species has its own needs. However, a good time to fertilize most deciduous trees is the end of winter.
As temperatures rise, the trees reactivate. The roots begin to absorb water and nutrients that will lead to the leaf buds. With a slow-release fertilizer, we will provide it with the necessary nutrients to develop a wonderful foliage.
Some species such as fruit trees will require new maintenance fertilizations throughout the year.
The eleven most popular deciduous trees
Cherry plum (Prunus pisardii)
Also known as purple-leaves tree, its name come from the burgundy colour of its leaves. During the autumn, these go dark purple before falling. This makes the plum tree a deciduous species with great decorative value at any time of the year.
The plum tree is perfect for small gardens, since it does not usually exceed 6 meters high. In addition, as it withdraw environmental pollution, we can plant it without problem in our garden.
It is a very undemanding tree with its care. It resists cold, drought and direct sun.
Maple ash (Acer Negundo)
This maple variety is widely used for the discoloration of its leaves, which during the autumn adopt an intense red colour. It resists heat, cold and drought, and can grow in both sun and semi-shade.
The maple ash requires soft pruning. A too aggressive cut will favour the appearance of fungi or pests.
American sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
This species can grow up to 35 meters high. It is an ideal tree for gardens where we want to have colourful and large specimens.
In autumn, sweetgum foliage adopts red, yellow or orange tones before losing the leaves.
It needs direct sun and frequent watering to grow.
Chinaberry tree (Melia azedarach)
Chinaberry is another of these species suitable for small gardens. Although it can grow up to 15 meters, it usually stays between 6 and 8 meters. In autumn, its leaves acquire an intense golden colour.
It does not tolerates intense frosts.
Another one of those fruit trees that will brighten your garden. As we told you in an earlier article about the best plants for an autumnal garden, the advantage of pomegranate is that at this season it will give us its delicious fruits.
This sacred oriental tree stands out for the unmistakable shape of its leaves, which in autumn will turn golden. We recommend planting it with other deciduous trees with red leaves such as plum tree or maple to create an autumnal atmosphere in your garden.
Love tree (Cercis siliquastrum)
The nickname of this species comes from its heart-shaped leaves. It usually grows between six and twelve meters.
The appeal of this deciduous tree is twofold: On the one hand, the decorative value of its leaves, which during the autumn turn yellow. But also, between the end of winter and the beginning of spring we will be delighted with some early flowers (born before the leaves) that will cover the tree in pink or red colours.
Purple bauhinia (Bauhinia purpurea)
Because of its size, this tree could be considered a deciduous shrub. It usually stays between three and five meters high, although it can reach nine meters.
During the autumn, the urape displays the beautiful purple bloom that gives it its name, and that remains until spring. The flowers can also be pink or even white.
Persimmon (Dyospyros kaki)
Like the pomegranate, the persimmon gives us during the autumn its fruits of the same name. But also, at this time its leaves adopt a soft red tone.
To fully develop, it needs to receive several hours of light.
Framboyant (Delonix regia)
Also known as "Flame Tree" for its spectacular red bloom. It is widely used in gardening for its decorative value.
Being a tropical tree, it is very sensitive to cold. Although in its place of origin it is an evergreen species, it loses its leaves below 5 degrees.
It blooms between late winter and early spring in warm climates.
Coral tree (Erythrina crista-galli)
The Coral Tree is known for its striking crest-shaped red flowers. Flowering occurs during the summer and extends until winter begins.
This tree grows between six and ten meters high, making it perfect for gardens with limited space.