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Crimson Sunset Maple is an excellent tree for city streets.

Tree of the Month: Crimson Sunset Maple

By Leonard Phillips, ASLA Emeritus


Trade Name: Crimson Sunset Maple

Botanical Name: Acer truncatum x A. platanoides ‘JFS-KW202’

Parentage: Hybrid, introduced by J. Frank Schmidt & Son

Year of Introduction: 2009

Family: Aceraceae

Hardiness Zone*: 5 – 8

Height: 35 to 40 feet

Spread: 25 to 35 feet

Growth Rate: Moderate, 35 feet tall in 30 years

Form: Upright oval

Bloom Period: May

Flower: Greenish-yellow

Fruit: Samara, greenish ripening to light brown

Spring Color: Mid-green

Summer Foliage: Glossy; 5 lobes; deep purple in summer; resembles Crimson King Maple; and the foliage keeps a fresh, glossy look into late summer because it is more heat resistant

Autumn Foliage: Maroon to reddish-bronze; improved over Crimson King

Winter Interest: Bark provides winter interest

Bark: Purple tinged when young; gray/brown with age

Habitat: Midwest

Culture: Excellent heat tolerance; drought tolerance; grows in most soils; full sun

Pest Resistance: No problems

Storm Resistance: Excellent

Salt Resistance: Good to excellent

Planting: Easy to transplant, especially bare root; suitable for use in CU-Structural Soil

Pruning: Seldom needs pruning

Propagating: Budded or grafted

Design Uses: Specimen for lawn or park, street and residential

Companions: Use with evergreen shrubs planted the year after planting the tree

Other Comments: Excellent tree for city streets; similar to Crimson King Maple in shape, growth rate, branch structure and leaf shape; slightly more compact with improved density compared to Crimson King

Available From: Larger nurseries that carry new introductions


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 6. Leonard Phillips can be reached via e-mail at lenphillips@on-line-seminars.com.

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