The Q&A Archives: How to get fall color

Question: Is there any way to get fall color in my Japanese maples (bonsai) and aspen when the temperatures don't usually fall below 45 degrees? The trees are all in containers, the largest tree is about 6 feet, but most are babies around 1 foot tall.

Answer: While some trees (sweetgum, for instance) reliably produce fall color without a cold snap, your Japanese maples and aspens must experience some chill in order for them to react with colorful foliage. I wish there were some way to trick the plants into displaying their color, but sadly, there is not. How about adding a sweetgum to your collection? It will show fall color without cold temperatures. Best wishes with your trees!

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