10 of the Best Trees and Shrubs for Autumn and Winter Colour

Autumn is nature’s planting time – we have selected 10 trees and shrubs we consider most vibrant and useful for autumn/winter interest.

Medley of Vibrant Autumn Colour
Medley of Vibrant Autumn Colour
10 Best Shrubs and Trees Selection for Autumn and Winter Planting in UK gardens
Ilex, Variegated Holly | Nandina Domestica, Heavenly Bamboo | Japanese Privet, Ligustrum Variegated


Some of these trees and shrubs listed are evergreen (keep their leaves), others are deciduous (lose their leaves in winter), but they are all very hardy and all have stunning foliage, stems, or berries for a wonderful appearance even in the coldest months of the year:-

Japanese Maples and Dogwood Trees for Winter colour in the garden
Acer Palmatum Dissectum Garnet Tree | Cornus Sanguinea Winter Beauty, Orange Dogwood

Planting in Autumn & Winter – if trees and shrubs are planted ideally between September and December, then they require minimal maintenance.

The roots take well  while the soil is still warm and moist and autumn planting allows the plants to settle in before the more extreme weather conditions, which generally start in the South-East UK around mid December through to end of January.

This is not to say that plants cannot be planted at other times of the year – but when planted in autumn they require minimal attention.   Watering will not be necessary once the weather cools consistently around October (unless we have a heatwave in the winter!).  The plants will then remain dormant from October through to March.

Evergreen Ligustrum Japonica Variegated as grown at Paramount Plants in London
Evergreen Ligustrum Japonica Variegated growing at our nursery in North London

Once the weather warms up significantly in Spring, usually around end of March, then the roots of trees and shrubs planted in autumn have already had an opportunity to settle in during these cold months and the plants will then flourish and establish quicker than if they had just been planted in Spring.  Also they will not be stressed by extreme changes of weather which can be common in Spring.

So if you are considering planting new trees and shrubs think about planting in Autumn – it will make life a little easier….

Topiary Trees

Topiary Plants by Karen Mariconda
has been popular throughout history and topiary plants are as popular now as they have ever been. Ornamental gardening dates back to Roman times and the word topiary derives from the latin word “Topiarius” meaning the creator of ornamental gardens. Read more Topiary Trees