Here are some of the best varieties of trees for color in the Wichita area:
* Ornamental pear, especially Autumn Blaze, which is a good example of a tree that runs the gamut of purple, orange, yellow and red. Its glossy leaf makes it even more dazzling.
* White ash, especially Autumn Purple, which is one of the first trees to turn purple and also hits bronze and maroon notes; Autumn Applause, which turns purple-red; and Urbanite, which turns bronze.
* Sweet gum, which turns purple, red, yellow and a little orange.
* Red maple, especially Autumn Blaze, which is a hybrid with the silver maple and glows red-orange to maroon.
* Sugar maple, especially Legacy, which is mostly orange but sometimes starts out red.
* Trident maple, orange to red.
* Red oak, which sometimes goes straight to red, or to red via yellow.
* Golden raintree, usually a glowing yellow, but sometimes orange as well.
* Chinese pistache, varying by tree from bright red alone to a red-orange mix to purple-red.
* Bald cypress, moving from bronze to a pretty red-brown.
* Oak, especially bur and swamp white, which are usually yellow but sometimes go straight to red-brown.
* Gingko, bright yellow.
* Kentucky coffeetree, starting to turn a nice yellow.
Among the shrubs to plant for fall color are burning bush (Euonymus alatus), barberry, sumac and serviceberry.
For more on what makes this a special year for brilliant fall color, see 3C.