Driving from Farmington, Maine to Portland this past weekend, I was in awe of the onslaught of fall colors. This 60 mile Northeast strip is legendary for its autumn display; locals even bragged that I was a week early for the big show. But it got me thinking of the more subtle, but longer lived color display, put on by cold hardy Eucalyptus trees.
(Eucalyptus camphora & mannifera)
I know fall color is more an attribute associated with deciduous trees, and one doesn’t look to Hollies or Pines for autumn inspiration, but in Eucalyptus trees, coppers, reds, burgundies and even purples in both leaves and branches appear as soon as temperatures drop below freezing. To the best of my knowledge it’s a form of “protection” from the elements; kind of like the healthy look of blushed cheeks on a cold winter’s day.
(Eucalyptus nicholii 'Angus' & rubida 'Cab Sav')
Now I’m not saying the colors of Eucalyptus are going to challenge those offered by Mother Nature in Maine, Colorado, or the NC mountains. But I know I will be enjoying the subtle hues and evergreen foliage well into the winter months when very little else in my landscape is offering up seasonal interest.