This is the view out the kitchen window above the sink. I can hardly do the dishes because I keep getting distracted by that scene — especially the Korean maple!
The spectacular color keeps drawing me outside to visit the half dozen maples in the front garden.
To get a real sense of the color variation you have to cross the street so you can see the whole panorama at once. Pagoda dogwood (below from left), Witch Hazel, Korean Maple and a sweetly pale pink Burning Bush.
We have at least eight Korean or purplebloom maples (Acer pseudosieboldianum) planted in our garden. Most are very small trees bought at the annual sale of the Wisconsin Hardy Plant Society. We like them because they have the leaves of a Japanese maple but are much more hardy in our climate. Though we are supposedly Zone 5, after last winter I am not taking any more chances with tree and shrub purchases and am going back to our earlier zonal designation of 4 as my guide.
The trunk of the one above, planted in 2000, split in a winter snow storm a few years ago. Mark bolted it back together and it's been doing fine ever since. This one is on its way to turning as bright a red as this branch (below) of another Korean maple in the back garden by the Tea House.
Here's the Korean maple by the Tea House and a Japanese Bloodgood maple in the rear.
Moving a bit to the left from the view above you can see the yellow leaves of a striped maple (Acer pennsylvanicum) in the background on the right and yellow Ginkgo biloba leaves just coming into view on the left.
Our paperbark maple (Acer griseum x nikoense) is still mostly green. Next to it is a Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) and an Acer palmatum dissectum 'Viridis'.
Scanning the edge of the deck in these next images, the Ginkgo still has most of its leaves and the Bloodgood maple is visible across the pond in the left background.
Willows are turning yellow just past the trunk of our Locust tree.
Only the top of this Stewartia pseudocamellia is visible from the deck as it is hidden behind the willows and some pines.
Though the Bloodgood and Paperbark maples always turn red, I don't think anything has more reliable or more intense fall color than the Korean maples. Add in the hardiness factor and they are my top choice for a small garden tree here in the upper Midwest.