Answer: The most important things when choosing plants are determining what sun exposure (full, partial, shady) they will thrive in and how much space they need to grow to maturity (both vertically and horizontally), and then comparing that with what your landscape offers. Size and space is especially important because if a plant grows too big for its space, pruning to keep it in bounds is required, which may ruin its naturally attractive shape. Pruning trees also gets expensive as they mature, and creating otherwise unnecessary cuts isn't good for the tree's long-term health. Some maples and oaks will provide the color you want, and take your winter cold, such as red oak or red maple. But these trees are deciduous, meaning they drop their leaves for winter. Is a bare trunk acceptable? Analyze your site and think about what you want from the plant (in addition to the maroon leaves). If a certain color is important, you may want to choose from plants at the nursery during fall. Good luck!
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