crimson king: is this a good tree?

jwr02May 17, 2007

Hello all:

New to gardening and to GardenWeb as well. Just purchased a Crimson King for the front yard facing South. Zone 7. After purchasing from nursury upon their recomendation I have investigated on the web and now have some concerns about possible shallow roots and future disturbing of existing grass and nearby walkway. Also read on this forum that this tree is envasive. Can someone please explain.

Not sure if I should keep it or return for another maple (October Glory, Autums Blaze)

Any advise is appreciated.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Being a Norway maple cultivar reseeding into adjacent areas is a possible problem. Even here in dry-summer Puget Sound country I have been to a wooded city park where there are thousands of (green) Norway maples coming up - an appalling spectacle. Other than that all large-growing maples can be a bit much for ordinary situations in time, being big, rooty, thirsty and shady. How big of an area are you choosing a tree for? What kind of setting? Small yard or city street?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 5:24PM
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I'm curious as to what location you are...I see zone 7 but there are certain areas that this tree is only somewhat tolerant in full sun in the south. In S. Carolina crimson king can handle the heat in only the higher altitude areas (zone 7a), and even then damage is common during late summer.

If in part shade this would be less of a problem, but the color would be lost much quicker.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 11:22PM
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Thanks to mattlwfowler & bboy for the follow up. I am located in MD and the tree is planted offset in the middle of the front yard (about 40 feet deep from curb to house). Have been told by the nursery that this cultiver does not have the shallow root problems as other Norways. I am looking for a tree (35-40' tall & 30' wide @ maturity) to help shade the home from the southern exposure as well as offering some front yard interest. Please note, however, not looking for total shade more so to difuse the rays. I am wondering if this is a quality tree and if it meets my needs. Thanks again for any advice.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 12:01AM
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I think it would be a fine choice under those circumstances. There aren't really any other trees with that coloration or appeal, so it should be the best option for what you are looking for.

I'm not sure about the shallow root problems being less than other norways...they are a bit slower which would put off any problems, but they will eventually become an issue. Having said that, planting in the lawn away from structures would be fine. They will not interfer with the lawn I don't think, but you may have to choose any underplantings carefully since the fibrous root system can choke out some plants. Mulching yearly should aleviate some of this problem though.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 10:46PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

You will have all the same problems as with any other Norway maple. Shade will not be anything like diffuse, plus it will be coming from a dark canopy thus compounding the gloomy effect.

A 'Crimson King' in Seattle (Zone 8) is now 51 ft. high, with an average crown spread of 49 ft. Another here is 52 ft. tall.

Perhaps there is another purpleleaf tree that will meet your requirements better, maybe a purpleleaf chokecherry. Since your source may be offering up some debatable information it might be good to look elsewhere for alternatives. Merely walking around your neighborhood or driving around your town, looking at other yards might produce a candidate.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 4:34PM
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We have a few Crimson Kings. Overall, a nice tree. Haven't had any problems with excessive seedlings or surface roots. I do get pretty consistently what I believe is "scorch". The edges of the leaves turn brown and crispy in hot, dry, windy weather or periods of drought. It can be pretty ugly. I have heard this can be remedied with supplemental watering. The only thing I don't like about them is that in the fall they just seem to turn brown/yellow and drop off. You don't have any of that nice Fall color as with other Maples. I guess you sort of have Fall color all year long though so maybe that makes up for that. A great shade tree though and beautiful form. Very dense shade and hard to grow grass under however I have heard. Ours face the Sun at a weird angle and the grass does well under them. As with all trees they have their ups and downs. Overall, I like it but it wouldn't be the first choice in my front yard due to the lack of Fall color. Can't beat the nice shade and form though! Plus the Crimson is very pretty in my opinion.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 12:00AM
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