Trees with red and green leaves will work for you if you’re looking for unusually colored foliage in your landscape. Luckily, several trees with vibrant shades can grow in your garden according to the climate and soil conditions.7 Trees With Red and Green Leaves Plant America


Keep reading this article, to know all about the best trees that have both green and red colored leaves that you can plant to add vibrancy and significance.

List of Trees With Red and Green Foliage

1. Red Maple

Red Maple Distinguishing Characteristics Plant America

Distinguishing characteristics
  • This tree usually comes at the top of any list that mentions trees with red leaves
  • It’s considered one of the fastest-growing trees in the Eastern US
  • When correctly cared for, this tree can last up to 100 years
  • Make sure this tree has enough space to spread its canopy
  • It thrives in moist and well-draining soil
  • It should receive full or partial light to stay healthy
  • This tree is usually grown as a specimen or shade tree on your land
  • The tree’s fine wood is used for flooring and furniture
Common issues
  • Aphids and scales usually attack this maple tree
  • Verticillium wilt and leaf spots lead to leaf loss in maple trees

The Acer rubrum is a popular choice for landscape designs thanks to its distinctive red leaves. Although maple’s foliage becomes greenish in the spring and summer, the twigs and branches remain bright red.

The flowers and fruits are also bright red, adding color to your garden throughout the year. You can pair it with the red hawthorn, which bears dark red berries in the fall. Moreover, make sure that the tree will thrive in the right conditions, especially being placed in well-draining soil and a location where it will receive a proper amount of sun.

2. Copper Beech

Copper Beech Detailed Care Plant America

Distinguishing characteristics
  • Some scientists consider the Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea’ as a separate species rather than a cultivar
  • It has coppery-purple foliage that becomes more prominent in the fall
  • This beech tree thrives in moist, well-draining soil
  • It can reach a height and width of 60 feet in optimal conditions
  • It grows best in full sun, which protects it from fungal diseases
  • This specimen tree is usually grown as a windbreaker because of its sturdiness
  • Caterpillars feed on the leaves, while mice, voles, birds, and squirrels feed on the seeds
  • The tree can be clipped without losing its leaves so that it can be a good choice for a hedge with other evergreen shrubs like Japanese barberry
Common issues
  • This tree is prone to fungal infestations when grown in poorly draining soil
  • The beech bark disease is the most severe condition that might affect this tree, usually leading to its death

This is the type of tree that is also called European beech, this tree is relatively slow-growing, but it’s a popular choice for urban landscapes because of its ability to be pruned and clipped without losing leaves.

Each pair of female flowers is surrounded by a cup, which closes to form a beech nut when the flowers are pollinated. This is the tree that is home to different wildlife as it grows, which is where they will inhibit. Moreover, when growing it, make sure that you do not overwater it, because it will, then, be in risk of different fungal infestation.

3. Purple Leafplum

Purple Leafplum Tree Uses Plant America

Distinguishing characteristics
  • The purple leaf plum tree is a relatively small tree with a round canopy, reaching a height between 15 and 25 feet
  • Produces fragrant white flowers in the spring
  • They later turn into edible fruits that don’t taste sweet; however, they represent a primary food source for wildlife forms
  • This tree should be watered throughout the growing season from spring to fall, especially when rainfall isn’t sufficient
  • It thrives in excellent-draining loamy soil
  • Prefers full sun to achieve vibrant purple foliage
  • This is the primary food source of the Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly caterpillar
  • The tree provides shelter to many native songbirds and mammals
  • People usually grow it as a front yard tree, thanks to its gorgeous foliage
  • You can also plant several individuals in an orchard-like row to create a screen
Common issues
  • The stems, leaves, and seeds are mildly toxic to humans and highly toxic to pets and horses
  • Japanese beetles, mealy bugs, scales, and borers can attack this tree
  • Discolored and damaged foliage and flowers usually show that the tree suffers from a severe pest infestation

Known as the cherry plum, the Prunus cerasifera tree requires more maintenance than other landscape trees. It has green to burgundy foliage that adds beauty wherever the tree is planted. This is why you should keep the plant growing in its optimal conditions, one of which is having it in the full sun.

The tree is pretty hardy and doesn’t require winter protection, because it may be in a vulnerable state due to the frost. However, you can pair it with the burning bush spindle tree, which bears red berries in the fall as well, as this tree does. These berries are food for the wildlife that would be surrounding them, such as squirrels.

4. Katsura

Katsura Cercidiphyllum Tree Plant America

Distinguishing characteristics
  • A great choice for urban and suburban landscape designs with its bright red leaves, which can be around 40 feet tall
  • Some dwarf varieties are 15 feet tall and are easier to maintain
  • Some individuals have been going strong since the 1800s, while some trees in South America are estimated to be 500 years old
  • This tree can tolerate different soil types but prefers rich soil
  • Adding compost will boost its growth
  • Growing in evenly moist soil is essential, so adding bark mulch will keep your tree healthy
  • It’s valued in landscape designs for its upright growth
  • It has showy winter bark, contrasting beautifully with the foliage and adding beauty to your fall and winter garden
  • The wood from this tree is used to make furniture and interior design accents
Common issues
  • This tree resists most pests and diseases but can be subject to powdery mildew in warm and humid weather
  • Leaf scorch is expected when the weather is dry, and the tree is exposed to too much sun

This tree is native to Japan, and the heart-shaped leaves turn from green to bright yellow, red, and purple shades in the fall, like the black gum tree. This tree is the type that adds beauty and vibrancy to your surrounding where it is planted. As a result, it should be taken care of in a very efficient matter, because the excess sunlight the leaves may weaken and scorch.

It’s an understory tree, and some shade is needed, especially in hotter climates to prevent leaf scorch. However, the trees need full sun in northern climates to achieve their attractive fall color, which is why you will see both green and red at the same time.

You can pair it with the red robin tree, which has green and red leaves at the same time, or the Cotinus coggygria, known as the royal purple smoke bush.

5. Forest Pansy Redbud

Forest Pansy Redbud Flowering Trees Plant America

Distinguishing characteristics
  • The Cercis canadensis is a relative of the Eastern redbud tree
  • It’s one of the most popular flowering trees, and it blooms in March or April
  • It’s a deer-resistant tree with an all-year-round interest
  • This tree requires regular maintenance and pruning to stay in shape
  • It thrives in filtered light, and you can grow it under tall evergreen trees or red oaks in your garden
  • It thrives in medium-moist well-draining soil, as regular watering is needed
  • The flowers are attractive to pollinators
  • This tree can help with soil erosion
Common issues
  • Limb damage can make this tree susceptible to pests and diseases
  • Canker is pretty common, as the fungal disease attacks the tree through wounds or dying branches

This tree maintains its beautiful red-purple foliage and attractive seed pods well into winter. It reaches a height of 30 feet tall and can live up to 25 years in optimal conditions. You can pair it with the Cornus florida or flowering dogwood tree.

In spring, you will see this tree blooming with beautiful flowers, as the flowers will attract a number of pollinators. Moreover, remember that the tree will thrive when the soil is moist and the sun should be filtered. Transplanting this beauty to your garden with its electric pink flowers and colorful fall foliage.

6. Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple Acer Palmatum Plant America

Distinguishing characteristics
  • Several cultivars of the Acer palmatum are available, ranging in height from two to 25 feet tall
  • The canopy can be round, upright, cascading, vase-like, or even in a weeping form
  • Summer foliage is green and red, turning into bright shades of purple, golden, red, orange, and yellow in the fall
  • The tree isn’t picky but has a slow to moderate growth rate
  • The tree thrives in well-draining, moist soil and survives in partial to full shade
  • Adding a layer of mulch will benefit the shallow roots
  • Dwarf cultivars of Japanese maples can be trained to grow as bonsai trees
  • The leaves and stems are popular in traditional Japanese medicine
Common issues
  • Aphids, mealybugs, and borers usually attack this tree
  • Verticillium wilt and cankers are also common
  • The roots of this tree can crack driveways and sideways
  • They can also make lawn mowing difficult

If you pick the right location for the Acer palmatum, it will grow strong on your land. These deciduous trees produce maple syrup, but most people grow them as ornamental trees as they are also used in traditional medicine usually used to treat eye issues and improve liver functions.

You can pair them with cherry trees and Japanese rowan or mountain ash trees which bear red berries to design your Japanese-style garden. On another note, this type of tree may grow aggressively, as the roots are strong enough to crack your driveway route.

7. Flowering Crabapple

Flowering Crabapple Common Issues Plant America

Distinguishing characteristics
  • This flowering apple tree is grown for its beautiful purple leaves and fragrant flowers
  • It also bears tart fruits
  • The flower buds can be red, carmine, pink, or white and grow to shades of red-orange, coral, burgundy, magenta, and pink blooms
  • Plant this tree away from structures and larger trees to allow the roots to spread
  • The soil should be organically amended to support this tree
  • Must be kept in full sun and water during the dry season
  • The small crab apples can be used to make jam or jelly
  • The double flowers can stay in bloom for up to 12 days
  • They make excellent cut flowers
Common issues
  • Apple scab causes foliage loss and disfigures the fruits, especially in areas with too much springtime moisture
  • Cedar apple rust can affect your tree if grown next to a cedar tree
  • It causes orange spots on the leaves and fruits

This tree is related to the apple tree but bears a small tart fruit. Larger individuals can grow as shade trees, while a smaller tree can be a focal point in your Asian or cottage garden.

This type of tree adds beauty in different ways, with the colors of the foliage and even with the beautiful flowers it provides in springtime. This is why you must make sure to grant all the needs, such as moist soil, and being kept in full sun.


Growing trees with red and green leaves will add color and vibrance to any landscape design.

  • Some trees with red leaves in summer will maintain their attractive foliage throughout the year, like red maples.
  • Trees with red leaves in autumn, like Katsura trees, have green foliage in the summer, then change color and turn red.
  • Some flowering trees have gorgeous red and purple foliage, like the katsura and European beech.
  • Although most trees achieve colorful foliage in full sun, the Japanese maple thrives in full shade.

With these colorful choices, which colorful tree are you planning to grow in your garden?

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