Which trees and shrubs have colorful fruit in winter?
The drab winter landscape can be brightened with crabapples that possess colorful, persistent fruit. ‘David,’ ‘Donald Wyman,’ ‘Mary Potter,’ Red Jewel™, and Sugar Tyme® have attractive red fruit. ‘Indian Magic,’ ‘Professor Sprenger,’ and ‘Snowdrift’ have reddish orange fruit, while Golden Raindrops® and Harvest Gold® have yellow to gold crabapples.
Two hawthorns noted for their excellent fruit displays are the Washington hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum) and ‘Winter King’ hawthorn (Crataegus viridis ‘Winter King’). The small, crabapple-like fruit of the hawthorns turn red in fall and persist into winter.
Shrubs that possess attractive fruit in late fall and winter include red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia), cranberry cotoneaster (Cotoneaster apiculatus), winterberry (Ilex verticillata), Meserve hybrid hollies (Ilex x meserveae) and American cranberrybush viburnum (Viburnum trilobum). All of the aforementioned shrubs have red fruit. Snowberries and coralberries (Symphoricarpos spp.) have white, pink, or purplish red fruit.
The colorful fruit displays produced by the previously mentioned trees and shrubs usually doesn’t persist throughout the winter. Very cold temperatures in winter eventually cause many of the fruit to turn reddish brown or black. Hungry birds and squirrels may also devour the fruit. However, the fruit displays in late fall and early winter can be spectacular.