Acer are renown for the colour of their leaves in Autumn. Careful selection of varieties will produce great spring colour in addition to your Autumn blaze of glory.
Select the varieties that are classified as shrubs. ‘Japanese Maple’ Acer japonicum and palmatum will give you the desired results.
Other Acers like Field maple, Sycamore, Red or Silver Maple are all medium to large trees 50′ plus.
Paper bark maple and Snake bark maple have interesting bark and grow to be small trees 15-25 feet tall.
Acer japonicum Vitifolium is one of my favourites not shown here. It has salmon coloured fan shaped leaves that turn red in Autumn.
The name of the Acer variety may give you clues about the colour or habit. There is a whole group of Atropurpureum purple shrubs, rubrum is red, Columnare is like a verticle column, and palmatum have leaves shaped like the palm of a hand with 5 leaves.
Acer planatoides drumondii the Norway maple is a medium height tree