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srd2b

Need Maple advice..... Red Sunset.....

srd2b
17 years ago

We need to plant a tree in the front yard. We don't know what we want. Something that's not nutty & not super messy. We have a Crimson King Maple in our back yard that we are happy with. Not too messy & a lot of nice shade.

Was wondering about the Red Sunset. (A tree a guy at our local nursery suggested). He said they are the least seedy of all the maples? I don't mind if they have seeds, but I've heard horror stories on the Sugar Maples. We definitely want something with shade and something that would go well in a subdivision.

What is your opinion. Would you select a Red Sunset or look at something else?

tia,

Renee

Comments (33)

  • JustTrees
    17 years ago

    To avoid messy seeds, pick either Sugar Maple (Acer saccarum)or Red Maple (Acer rubrum). I don't know what kind of horror stories you've heard, but these two species have the smallest samaras of the large Maples.

    Avoid Silver Maple, Norway Maple and the hybrid Maple Acer freemanii. They have the largest samaras. They also have the highest germination rate meaning thousands of seedlings growing in your lawn and beds every year.

    How big a mature size do you want? This is the biggest factor in selecting a tree IMO.

  • srd2b
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Thanks for the info. I said Sugar Maple horror stories, but it was Silver Maple.

    We are replacing a River Birch that we lost in the ice storm, so am thinking about 30-40 height. It will be the main tree in our yard so we do have some room to work with. Just don't want anything super huge, but something tall enough to provide ample shade for a 2 story house.

    Also and this may be a stupid question, but when you say Red Maple (Acer rubrum, you're not talking Red Sunset or October Glory which are both Acer Rubrum, you are specifically meaning the Red Maple variety? I'm not familiar AT ALL with trees. I was hoping to go somewhere & they say here's what you should buy. It's not that easy; they want you to know what you want before you go in, which is nearly impossible when you don't know a thing about trees.

    Thanks again for the input.

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  • carterobrien
    17 years ago

    Red Sunset is a very good red maple cultivar, and is probably about the size (eventually!) you're looking for, and it does grow fairly fast.

    One of the gardenweb members, Joolz, has some nice shots here:

    http://www.coffeedrome.com/jtree2e.html

    where you can get an idea of how fast red sunset grows -

  • lalalandz5b
    17 years ago

    I am curious what is wrong with the freemanii? Autumn Blaze was named street tree of the year in 2003. I have read that it is seedless, has great crotch angles & excellent prolonged fall color. I didn't research it enough to find faults, & am curious to your opinion.

  • noki
    17 years ago

    Red Sunset is a man selected breed of Red Maple (A.rubrum).

    In Ohio you usually see for sale "Red Sunset" or "Autumn Glory"... from many sources that I've read, both are suppossed to be excellent/ superlative Maples for smaller urban yards, or front yards, or along the street. Red Maple accepts many conditions, and is fast growing. I planted an "Autumn Glory" in front of my house last year and the leaves in fall are bright red. This spring reddish buds grew into attractive bright green smallish leaves with red stems and small "helicopters", very nice so far...

    the only negatives...? fast growing so plant a decent space away from the house, you don't want branches to fall on the house during another nasty icestorm.

  • carterobrien
    17 years ago

    >>I am curious what is wrong with the freemanii? As it's a silver maple hybrid and is relatively new, I think the jury is still out on whether it will have problems with branches dropping.

    I planted one next to a Red Sunset at my dad's house in Wsiconsin where he has tons of space, and the freemanii is growing approx TWICE as fast.

    very cool for the immediate impact, but in the long run that could mean it will have weaker branches.

  • TNcrystal_stoner
    17 years ago

    Red Sunset is a great tree, but it doesn't take the heat here quite as well as the October Glory. We have October Glory, Autumn Blaze, Red Sunset, and Autumn Flame all planted in our yard (and at our nursery) A. Blaze is by far the fastest growing, we've had NO problems with it (it is my favorite). The Red Sunset is a little leggier in our area than the others and tends to look a little rough in the heat. October has a thick head, is a good grower and has great fall color. The newest red maple in our yard is the Autumn Flame (cross between R.Sunset and October Glory)... this tree seems to be the slowest grower of all, but has an outstanding shape, and great branching, it may end up as my new favorite.

    That being said, I would recommend any of the trees I mentioned, they are all very nice.

  • JustTrees
    17 years ago

    >>I am curious what is wrong with the freemanii?Since I made the statement, I guess I'll wade in.

    I think the best large Maple is Sugar Maple. Here in the north it has reliable fall color, and the color last longest. Also, it tends to have a mix of orange and red which is more stunning that the all red look of most Red Maples. Sugar has the strongest growth and IMO the tidiest habit.

    My second best is Red Maple, and it probably gets the nod in the south where it will be more reliable in fall.

    After these two, I see x freemanii as an attempt to preserve the better traits of the Red Maple while getting the fast growth of the Silver Maple. I think in general this fast growth is questionable for strength and habit. I've seen some rangy looking trees and some not so wonderful crotch angles.

    I don't like Silver Maple for any residential planting and Norway Maple is an invasive exotic with poor fall color.

    I think that covers the common options.

  • Ron_B
    17 years ago

    Both red and sugar maple seedlings vary widely in autumn color tendencies. One of the reasons for making named, grafted selections of these species is to get more predictably showy autumn color.

    Red maple is moisture-loving, perhaps the moist important benefit of crossing it with silver maple is the attainment of some of the latter species drought resistance.

    Some Norway maples produce good fall color, but they are still Norway maples otherwise. Despite the dry summers where I live, during which Norway maple (and European birch) become loaded with aphids and drip copious honeydew, there are sites which Acer platanoides has flooded with its progeny.

  • carterobrien
    17 years ago

    speaking of hybrid cultivars, check these out, some of them are WILD!

    Sooner Plant Farm

  • dominogold
    17 years ago

    Red Sunset Red Maple is an awesome tree. I just had one put in and couldn't be happier with it so far.

  • katefisher
    17 years ago

    Has anyone grown an Acer Rubrum in clay? We have a spot on the back half of our yard, that is heavy clay covered in white rock. The previous owner raised that area of the yard and filled it with the clay and lots of rock. I hear red maple is tolerant of bad soil, just wondering if other people have personal experience with this tree in unkind conditions.

    Kate

  • katrina1
    17 years ago

    Just a quick note, there seems to be lots of people who love the Acer Rubrum cultivars and crosses. I hope that those who grow these trees are not near areas where the fall leaf drop can be ingested by horses. Horses like to eat the Red maple cultivars and crosses leaves. When they do, and if they eat enough they suffer from a sickness that will kill them if they eat enough of the leaves.

    I know that the red maples beautiful fall colors are making those trees and their cultivars very popular all over much of the nation. The sad thing is that most landscapers and nurserymen have never heard about the danger those dropped leaves are for horses.

    I have a friend who purchased a house in a nice modern new housing addition. Her landscaper planted two of the October Glory maples in her yard and never informed her of the danger those trees will be to horses in a few years when they begin dropping huge quantities of leaves each winter. The problem with that is the fact that her house is on the edge of the neighborhood that is located immediately next to a small horse stable and trotting area. That same landscaper planted two of the same kind of trees at the entry of that neighborhood not more than 3 city blocks away from the horse area.

    I know that the trees are beautiful, and that they can safely be grown in many places, but please help get the word out so more landscapers and nurserymen will inform people about the danger these trees are for horses that are raised or graised near their customers' homes where the trees are intended to be planted.

  • katrina1
    17 years ago

    SRD2b, Have you decided on and planted a tree yet, or are you waiting for fall to plant?

    If not check out the Black Tupelo (Nyssa sylvtica) that is described on the Nature Hills Nursery web site. This tree is reported to be one of the top 5 most desired front yard trees. If you purchase one in the fall from a nursery, you can easily see which ones have the red folliage that rival the autumn leafed Red maple trees. I like the size and form that the Black Tupelo becomes in a residential neighborhood setting. The tree displays a beautiful winter branching affect with its horizontal growing branches that do not droop. The tree easily reaches 40 feet tall and 20 feet wide, as it grows in a pyramidal shape which begins to open as the tree ages.

    I like the light shade the tree casts for a front yard. It is also nice that the spread of the tree fits easily even in smaller yards, which makes it much easier to locate in a planting spot where the tree should not need to be raised for traffic clearance.

    The tree is a good food source for bees and birds, but the small dark purplish 1/2 inch fleshy fruit is not reported to cause problems. the flowers that hang from slender stalks are not usually noticed, amid the lustrous dark green leaves.

    Best of all the roots of the Black Tupelo have not been reported to cause the same kinds of problems that people often encounter with maples. Plus the Black Tupelo is not a soft wood tree.

  • cfmuehling
    17 years ago

    I think something might be missed here, and that's the shape of the adult tree. Don't forget some are oviate and some around round and spreading.

    The Red Sunset (beautiful!) and Autumn Blaze are said to be more oviate, whereas the October Glory, Somerset and Brandywine (I forget what the Autumn Blaze does) are sayd to be more round and spreading.

    I think it's important to take that into consideration when you're planing for such a small, mature tree in your space.

    Christine

  • adrianmonk
    15 years ago

    I need a tree to shade my two-story house. There was a huge evergreen square in front, but I finally broke down and removed it as it completely blocked the expensive new window. I saw some people who worked out the window dilemma by cutting all of the low branches off, but it had dual trunks, and attempts to save it didn't look good.
    Anyway, now my problem is the mid-day sun bakes the house, and the middle section looks empty. So, I'm looking at trees and see various maples, including Red Sunset. October Glory, a maple with red leaves in summer, along with others (non-maples) , including "White Barked Himalya Birch". Other than the obvious issue of "what tree", figuring out how far from the house to plant it, and how to position it relative to the bay window are concerns. Which trees are most friendly to the bay window crisis? :)

  • spruceman
    15 years ago

    If you are concerned about maple seeds, you should remember that some maple trees are either male or female, some may be both. Jacobson's North American Landscape Trees may be a good guide on this--it lists some cultivars as either male or female. If you don't want seeds, select a cultivar that is listed as male. I am not sure if when he does not specify a cultivar as male or female he means that it is both, or if it is just an oversight that he does not mention it. Red Sunset is identified as female, but others are identified as male.

    --Spruce

  • adrianmonk
    15 years ago

    Does anyone like the kind of red maple that has red leaves during the summer? Is there more than one kind of these?

    Thanks!

  • conifers
    15 years ago

    I think that's a Norway Maple. Acer platenoides 'Crimson King' 'Crimson Queen' etc.

    dax

  • adrianmonk
    15 years ago

    The Black Tupelo sounds like an interesting alternative. I don't know if it's carried around here in NJ, but I'll keep an eye out. I read somewhere that it's a very slow grower. I don't need an extremely fast rate, but I'd like it to have some presence in a few years. Would it likely be at least somewhat prominent in five years? Thanks.

  • spruceman
    15 years ago

    I have always loved these trees. I planted two here about three years ago. They have been slow starters for me here, but part of that problem is the soil here, which has some unusual shrinking and swelling characteristics with changing moisture levels.

    After they get established these trees should grow about 18 inches per year, maybe a little more in good soil with good moisture.

    I think these trees are worth the wait.

    --spruce

  • Embothrium
    15 years ago

    Where Jacobson left out the gender of a clonal maple it would almost certainly be because that information was not available and he did not see the particular selection in flower himself.

  • adrianmonk
    15 years ago

    I see that Nature Hills is advertising a "Green Mountain Sugar Maple". Has anyone experience with this? What do you think?

  • Embothrium
    15 years ago

    Common cultivar. Hybrid between sugar and black maple. You get the tougher foliage of the black maple combined with the stronger fall color of the sugar maple. A patented plant, search USPTO web site for PP 2339 if you want to read a full description.

  • adrianmonk
    15 years ago

    Suppose the primary consideration is needing a tree of modest width. Which species of maple might be best in this regards?

    Thanks!

  • adrianmonk
    15 years ago

    Another question if I may- When sites refer to a tree's "spread", is this the same thing as its' width, or is it more like a circumference? From the pictures, it seems that the actual width is less than the designated spread. Thanks.

  • spruceman
    15 years ago

    Should be the same thing. Circumference usually is a measurement of the thickness of the trunk, although someone could talk about the circumference of the crown, but I have never heard of the term used that way.

    --Spruce

  • lottaviano_cogeco_ca
    13 years ago

    I want to plant these in my backyard. Will the grass still grow under or will I lose it?

  • rluzak
    12 years ago

    I have a red sunset planted in 2001. The last 3 years it leaves turn translucent at this time of year . It hsa been diagnosed as a lack of iron by a nursery examining the leave.For the last three years I have sprayed the tree with iron solution every 1 1/2 weeks. We do have irises under the tree. The leaves eventulally curl up and die. (sloooowly) I suspect the slow growth is because of the lack of iron. How can I apply the iron more efficiently or what else could it be or what else can I do? ....thank you....BobL.

  • okiegrasshopper
    11 years ago

    The tree farm owner-manager where (Central Oklahoma) we have purchased trees for the past 15 yrs. reports that they no longer carry the "Red Sunset" maple, due to the fact that the "Autumn Blaze" and "October Glory" varieties have superior growing habits, and display more reliable, as well as spectacular fall color in this area. Our "Red Sunset", planted in 2000, confirms that assessment. While being a healthy specimen with a dense round crown of branches and leaves, our "Red Sunset" has been inconsistent in producing good fall color. Conversely, our "Caddo Maple" and a neighbor's "Autumn Blaze" have produced amazing colors almost every year since they were planted some nine years ago. The "Caddo" tends to have a rounded crown, but the "Autumn Blaze" is more oval in shape. I have ordered two "Autumn Blaze"(2.5 inch)to be planted in the opposite ends of our backyard as soon as they become dormant (late November to early December).

  • okiegrasshopper
    11 years ago

    The grasshopper's "Red Sunset" tree must have read the Okie's previous post here. Just to prove me wrong, my "Red Sunset" is currently displaying an amazing array of dazzling colors, ranging from bright yellows, oranges and golds, to vibrant reds. This is the first year I have seen the tree perform in this way, but it has been well worth the wait! The tree appears to be healthy in other respects. It has dense foliage in spite of my neigbor's well-intentioned, but flawed efforts to give the tree a "haircut" to promote a more rounded shape of its crown. The tree is gradually growing out of its "crewcut". That said, I am now very happy with the tree!

  • dog_wood_2010
    10 years ago

    I have a pic of my sunset maple in the photo gallery. It can produce multiple leaders so you may have to do some light pruning while it's young so that it has a single trunk. It's beautiful tree all year and well behaved. It is a sturdy tree and very strong. It survived hurricane Irene, a tornado and an early snowstorm while the leaves were still green and still looks great. The birds and wild life will make quick work of all the seeds with virtually no germination. I think anybody would be happy with this tree. It's basically care-free.

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