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  • Writer's pictureBlake Nursery

Mad About Maples

Updated: Feb 20

Maples (Acer) are a wonderfully varied genus, ranging from large shade trees to shrubs. Generally speaking, they have subtle spring flowers and winged fruit called samaras, which are often very ornamental, as you can see in the illustration on the left. As they age their bark becomes ridged and offers interesting texture to the winter landscape. They’re also noted for their hardiness, drought tolerance and striking fall foliage. For large, moderately growing shade trees, take a look at the following varieties:

‘Autumn Blaze’ has a dense, oval shape, persistent orange-red fall color, drought tolerance and the ability to thrive in many soil types. 'Helena' is extremely hardy and also adaptable to different soil types; it has yellow-orange fall foliage. 'Sensation' is an excellent choice for dry, alkaline soils. 'Sienna Glen' is a rapid grower with burgundy fall foliage.

Tatarian and Amur Maples are great choices for smaller spaces. Tatarian grows to 25’ and has a spreading, graceful habit. Its creamy white spring flowers are followed in summer by coral-colored samaras. In fall, its leaves turn yellow-orange and red. Amur Maple grows to 20’ and has graceful, arching branches covered with fragrant yellow flowers in spring. The distinctive, deeply lobed leaves turn brilliant red in fall. Best yet, the fruits attract hungry birds to your yard. It requires well-drained soil.

Amur Maple 'Bailey Compact' is perfect for limited space, reaching only 7-9'. This variety retains the great qualities of its parent, with fragrant flowers, scarlet fall foliage and fruit for birds. With all these fabulous choices, you’ll surely want to include some maples in your landscape!

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