Red Sunset or October Glory maple

argreJune 7, 2012

Replaced a vandal damaged Red Sunset or October Glory Maple (can't tell the difference) several years ago. Seems healthy and happy enough, now over 20 feet tall. However, unlike the other two in my front yard, in the fall the leaves turn a dingy brownish yellow and then fall off rapidly. Can I correct this problem. Thanks

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You sure the replacement tree was labeled correctly? Both should color up nicely in fall but best fall color is dependent on a variety of factors, including late season water and temperature. If receiving the same care as the other trees of same variety (supposedly), then mislabeling seems the only plausible explanation.

You can correct the problem by replanting with a confirmed ID :-) There is no other alternative.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 6:38PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Yes, it is most likely you got the wrong tree. Was it from a big box store? Labeling at Lowe's and Home Depot here is obviously quite loose, for instance I have seen the same yellow magnolia cultivar in bloom with three different color picture cards describing three different varieties - right in the same block.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 1:44PM
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Thanks-we got the tree from a large established nursery in the PNW. Leaves, bark and growth pattern are pretty similar to the other two trees. Unless there are trees that look exactly the same but are not, then it would seem that it is in the Acer Rubrum line.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 9:09AM
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Here's another approach to the same question: Can chlorosis appear only late in the season? and effect only fall colors? The tree always appears perfectly healthy, but the change in the colors is a complete dud.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 8:14PM
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I am having similar problems with 2 of my newly planted maples(tatarian hot wings and red maple), someone told me it could be root damage during planting
I am still hoping to get an answer too.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:30AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

In the latter case if you are in an area with unsuitable autumn weather or soils this can affect results with fall color of maples. The Tatarian maple cultivar is selected for use in areas with alkaline soils etc. but red maples do not color well in alkaline soils - and fall color of seedling red maples varies from yellow to nearly purple depending on the genetics of the individual seedlings. Plantings or wild stands of genetically distinct individuals (rather than multiple specimens of a clonal cultivar) can be a kaleidoscope of different colors in autumn.

Root damage I don't see as being related. In fact, if you stuck them in using care to avoid root damage that could have been a mistake. The most important thing when planting a tree is to make sure the roots are spread out in the hole and not kinked or circling, and that the same soil is present throughout the hole, with no zones of differing soils. Intact original soil balls are not desirable unless the backfill soil and the soil around the hole all happen to be the same as the soil inside the rootball - not a usual circumstance.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:14PM
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