In this paper, we propose a simple and efficient technique for embedded color image coding. The proposed algorithm exploits inter- and intra-subband correlations of the wavelet transformed luminance (Y) and chrominance (U and V) planes as well as the interdependency among the coefficients of the three-color planes. The coefficients of the three-color planes are linked through the composite spatial orientation trees (CSOT) having root nodes in the Y-plane only. The CSOT is defined for blocks of coefficients rather than a single coefficient. Thus, the proposed algorithm combines the features of both zero-tree and zero-block based algorithm into a single algorithm due to the use of block-tree hierarchical structure. Simulation results show the improved performance of the proposed algorithm over other sate-of-the-art coders such as MPEG-4, color SPIHT (CSPIHT), color SPECK (CPECK), and JPEG-2000.