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Tree of the Month: Autumn Spire Red Maple

By Len Phillips, ASLA Emeritus


 


Trade Name: Autumn Spire Red Maple


Botanical Name: Acer rubrum ‘Autumn Spire’


Family: Aceraceae


Parentage: Selection by University of Minnesota


Year of Introduction: 2000


Plant Patent: # 7803


Height: 35 to 40 feet


Spread: 20 to 25 feet


Form: Upright oval


Flower: Red in early spring, male only


Fruit: None, seedless


Foliage: Lobbed with irregular teeth, green above, grayish underneath, red petiole


Spring Color: Reddish tinge in early spring turning to medium green


Summer Foliage: Mid to dark green


Autumn Foliage: Early bright red color


Winter Color: Handsome bark and tree form


Bark: Dark gray, scaly and ridged


 

Photos provided by J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

Habitat:
East Coast to Mississippi River


Culture: Tolerant of most soils, slightly acidic, tolerates suburban air pollutants but not urban air


Site Requirements: Typical of the genus, sunny to partial shady site


Hardiness Zone*: 3 to 9


Growth Rate: Full size in less than 20 years


Pest Resistance: Excellent


Storm Resistance: Good


Salt Resistance: Fair


Planting: Transplant bare root, B&B, or container in spring


Pruning: Prune at planting and 3 years later to mature form


Propagating: Softwood cuttings in late summer on own roots


Design Uses: Ideal for streets, good in parks, residential areas, and commercial properties


Companions: Excellent in contrast with birch and evergreen trees


Other Comments: Excellent street tree in northern climates


Available From: Nurseries that carry the latest cultivars, may need a plant search


 


* For information about the USDA Hardiness Zone Map, visit www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/index.html


 


These are the personal observations of the author, living in New England – Zone 5b. Len Phillips can be reached via e-mail at lenphillips@on-line-seminars.com

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