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Mad About Maples

Maples (Acer) are a wonderfully varied genus, ranging from large shade trees to shrubs. Generally speaking, they have subtle spring flowers and

Tatarian Maple Samaraswinged 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. ‘Northwood’ is a steady grower with tiny red flowers and dark green summer foliage turning orange-red in fall. It prefers moist, well-drained soil. 

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.

Our native Rocky Mountain Maple offers another great option for smaller yards, reaching 20-25’. Slender, cherry red branches produce shiny green leaves that turn yellow-orange in fall. It grows naturally along moist slopes, coulees and streams.                                        

Dwarf Amur MapleAmur 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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