Trees are one of the most significant gifts of nature that this earth has given to humankind. Aside from cleaning the air by processing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, trees are also responsible for holding soils and preventing porous terrain that could cause landslides.
At the same, trees can brighten up any landscape with the shapes and colors of their flowers or leaves. Speaking of leaves, we normally see that most trees possess green leaves. But did you know that there are other trees that produce yellow leaves?
In fact, some tree species produce green leaves but the color changes to yellow whenever seasons change.
In this article, we have listed fifteen tree species with beautiful yellow leaves. Without wasting any more time, let’s get down to it.
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Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.)
These small to medium-sized deciduous trees can be found in many parts of the world, including North America, Canada, Europe, and Asia. They are also called shadblow, juneberry, shadwood, sugar plum, and chuckley pear.
The are many varieties of serviceberry that you can find, including ‘Saskatoon’ serviceberry, Canadian serviceberry, Downy serviceberry, and ‘Allegheny’ serviceberry.
Serviceberry trees typically grow between 4 and 24 feet tall, with a width between 4 and 15 feet.
Some varieties, such as ‘Princess Diana’, can grow as tall as 30 feet. Furthermore, different varieties also have different USDA hardiness zones, which are between 2 to 8.
You can recognize these trees by their five-petaled white flowers that bloom in the spring and silvery green leaves that turn yellow, red, or orange during fall.
Serviceberry trees can thrive in moist, well-drained soil and under partial or full sun.
Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra)
Ohio buckeye trees hail from North America, particularly in Alabama, Texas, Iowa, Mississippi, Kentucky, and a few areas in Canada, such as Ontario and Lake St. Clair. They are also known as Texas buckeye or fetid buckeye.
These medium to large-sized deciduous trees generally grow between 50 and 60 feet tall with a width between 20 and 35 feet. In some cases, they could even reach up to 70 feet tall.
Ohio buckeyes can be distinguished by their yellowish-green flowers that grow in clusters and light green leaves that turn yellow or orange in fall. The seeds from these trees contain tannic acid, which is poisonous and can’t be safely consumed.
These trees thrive in the USDA zones 3 to 7 and are adaptable to partial or fun sun. They also love moist and well-drained soils.
Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Also known as whitewood and yellow poplar, these medium-sized, deciduous “tulip-like” trees originated in the Midwestern and southeastern United States.
As their name suggests, these trees have green foliage resembling tulip flowers that turns yellow in fall.
Tulip trees usually grow between 70 and 90 feet tall, with a spread of around 40 feet wide.
Tulip trees produce yellowish orange flowers in May and June. These flowers also attract pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds.
Tulip trees thrive in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9.
Tulip trees can grow healthily in moist, well-drained soil and under partial or full sun. Due to their large size, these trees can provide a good amount of shade and are suitable to be planted in parks and large farms.
Persian Ironwood (Parrotia persica)
Persian ironwoods are small to medium-sized deciduous trees that are native to northern Iran. They can be recognized by their light to dark brown bark, deep green oval-shaped foliage, and dark red flowers that bloom in late winter and early spring.
What makes these trees interesting is that the color of their leaves changes with the seasons. In autumn, the leaves change to different colors, such as yellow, orange, golden, and even red.
Persian ironwoods typically grow between 10 and 40 feet tall and spread between 10 and 20 feet wide. If you have a small lawn or backyard, these trees won’t take up too much space on your property.
They also thrive in USDA zones 5 to 8. Like most deciduous trees, these trees prefer moist and well-drained soil and enough exposure to partial or full sun.
Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo biloba)
Maidenhair trees are commonly known as Ginkgo biloba. These medium to large-sized deciduous trees originated in Asia, specifically in China.
Maidenhair trees typically grow between 25 and 70 feet tall and spread between 25 to 35 feet wide. It will take around 20 to 35 years for maidenhair trees to reach maturity.
Maidenhair trees possess irregular, dark brown bark, greenish-yellow fan-shaped foliage that is leathery, and yellow, fruit-like seeds that can only be produced by female trees.
In fall, their foliage will turn to full yellow, which makes them look majestic from afar.
These trees thrive in hardiness zones 5 to 9 in moist, well-drained soil and under full sun. Maidenhair trees are quite popular among Oriental health practitioners who use parts for herbal medicine.
River Birch (Betula nigra)
River birch trees are native to the eastern United States. They are also known as water birch or black birch and grow mostly near rivers or swamps.
These medium to large-sized deciduous trees generally grow between 40 and 70 feet tall, with a spread between 40 and 60 feet wide.
River birch trees can be recognized by their dark brown ragged or scaly bark, upright stem and branches, and green foliage that turns yellow when fall comes.
Sometimes, the leaves will fall off in the event of rising temperatures during hot months. These trees thrive in the hardiness zones 4 to 9 and can live up to 70 years. They grow healthily in moist, well-drained soil and under partial or full sun.
Golden Chain Trees (Laburnum anagyroides)
These small to medium-sized deciduous trees are native to central and southern Europe. They are also known as common laburnum, golden rain, and golden chain trees.
Golden chain trees can be distinguished by their smooth brown bark, pea-like yellow flowers that bloom from May to June, and oval-shaped leaves that turn yellow in fall.
These trees possess cytisinicline or cytisine, which is an alkaloid that is toxic to humans and animals.
Golden chain trees generally grow between 15 and 25 feet tall, with a spread between 9 to 12 feet wide.
Golden chain trees also thrive in the hardiness zones 5 to 7. Golden chain trees prefer moist, well-drained soil and are able to tolerate partial or full sun.
Yellow ‘Princeton Gold’ Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)
Yellow ‘Princeton Gold’ Norway maple or yellow Norway maple trees are native to Europe and Western Asia. In the 1700s, these trees were introduced to North America and the United States by a man named John Bartram, who was also a botanist.
Yellow Norway maples can be recognized by their slender brown bark, yellow flowers, and golden yellow foliage. The foliage usually changes to yellowish green or light yellow when summer and autumn come.
These trees can grow up to 45 feet tall, with a spread around 40 feet wide.
They thrive in hardiness zone 4 and prefer moist soil with proper drainage. Like most deciduous trees, they can also tolerate partial or full sun.
Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides)
Quaking aspen trees are native to North America, particularly in central Mexico and Canada. In the United States, they can be found mostly in the forests of Minnesota.
These tall deciduous trees are also known as American aspen, mountain aspen, trembling aspen, golden aspen, and white poplar.
Quaking aspens generally grow between 20 and 80 feet tall, with a spread between 10 and 30 feet wide.
They have bark that comes in a mix of different colors,such as yellow and gray, white and gray, green and white, and yellow and white.
The leaves of these trees are initially green but turn yellow, red, and even golden when fall comes.
Quaking aspens thrive in USDA zones 1 to 6.
They prefer colder climates but can also tolerate partial or full sun. Being a hardy species, they can adapt to different types of well-drained soil with low or high pH levels.
Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)
As you can tell by the name, these trees originated in Asia, specifically in regions such as Japan, China, and eastern Mongolia.
Japanese maple trees generally grow between 20 to 33 feet tall, with a spread between 10 to 33 feet wide.
They can be distinguished by their slender, branching bark, white five-petaled flowers, and glossy, wide leaves.
The leaves will turn different colors according to seasonal changes. When fall comes, the leaves will turn yellow and orange, but during summer, they will turn green. In spring, most of their leaves will change to red color.
Japanese maple trees typically grow in the hardiness zones 5 to 8.
These medium-sized trees are fast growers and prefer moist, well-drained soil. If possible, try to plant them under shade to protect the leaves from excessive exposure to sun and heat.
Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)
These thorny deciduous trees can be found mostly in their native habitat in central North America. In the United States, they grow in many regions, including Texas, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Kentucky.
Honey locusts generally grow between 70 and 80 feet tall, with a spread between 20 and 40 feet wide. They possess thorny stems and bark, whitish green flowers, seeds that grow in pods, and pinnate-like green leaves that turn yellow in fall.
These trees grow in the hardiness zones 4 to 9.
Honey locusts can tolerate partial or full sun. However, they don’t grow well in dry soil with poor drainage. As long as the soil contains enough moisture, these trees can adapt to different changes in pH levels.
Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata)
Shagbark hickories are large, deciduous trees that can be found mostly in North America, eastern and midwestern United States, and southeast Canada.
They typically grow between 70 and 90 feet, with a spread between 50 and 70 feet wide. Their maximum height could even reach as tall as 130 feet.
These large trees have coarse, shaggy-looking gray bark, greenish-brown edible nuts, and pinnate green leaves that turn to yellow or golden brown in fall.
Shagbark hickories grow in the hardiness zones 4 to 8. They are considered a hardy species due to their resilience to insects and parasites.
As long as the soil is moist and well-drained, they can tolerate many types of soil with different pH levels. These trees mature slowly and can even live up to 300 years.
European Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)
European ash trees are native to Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Russia, and northern Spain. They are also called ash or common ash trees.
These medium to large-sized deciduous trees have smooth, light gray bark, green seeds that grow in clusters known as helicopter seeds, and oval-shaped pinnate green leaves that will turn yellow when fall comes.
European ash trees generally grow between 70 and 80 feet tall, with a spread between 50 and 60 feet wide.
They thrive in the hardiness zones 5 to 7 and produce purple flowers that bloom in mid or late spring.
These trees can tolerate any type of well-drained soil with different levels of acidity. However, they love full sun and can’t tolerate too much shade or partial sun.
Sweetgum Tree (Liquidambar styraciflua)
Sweetgum trees originated from North America and Asia. They are also commonly found in the many forests in the southeastern United States.
These medium to large-sized deciduous trees are also known as red gum, alligatorwood, American storax, satin-walnut, hazel pine, and star-leaved gum trees.
Sweetgum trees generally grow between 80 and 120 feet tall, with a spread between 40 and 50 feet.
They have slender and deep ridged silvery brown bark, spiky green fruits, and star-shaped green leaves that turn yellow or reddish yellow in fall.
These trees thrive in the hardiness zones 5 to 9. They prefer moist, slightly acidic but well-drained soil and can tolerate partial or full sun.
Silver Birch (Betula pendula)
These small to medium-sized deciduous trees are native to southern Europe, the United Kingdom, and North Asia. They are also called European white birch, East Asian white birch, silver birch, and warty birch.
Silver birch trees have smooth, slender silvery bark that turns darker as they age, nutlike fruits that bear wind-pollinated seeds, and triangular or diamond-shaped green leaves that will turn bright yellow in fall.
These trees thrive in the hardiness zones 2 to 7.
Although silver birches are considered a hardy species, they love colder environments with moist and well-drained soils. They can tolerate partial or fun sun but not a sudden temperature increase.
If you’re looking to plant any of the trees listed above, be sure to find the right type of trees that are suitable to be planted in your area.
Some species might be too big for your lawn if you have a small plot, and some might take quite a long time to grow up. Also, you have to consider other factors that could promote or inhibit their growth, such as local weather and their hardiness zones.