Autumn Blaze or Sun Valley Maple

organic_spriteSeptember 30, 2009

The city just took out a street tree that was quite large. I need to replace it before it is too late this fall so I need to get something locally. I have narrowed down my decision to Autumn Blaze or Sun Valley Maple. Which would you get and Why?

I am having a hard time finding a lot of info on Sun Valley Maples, but I want to choose the tree that is the most red in the fall and the one that will resist breaking in big snow/wind storms. Also my soil is really alkaline (I am willing to amend) and the tree will get a lot of hot sun in the summer.


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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I would recommend the Sun Valley over the Autumn Blaze.

Alhtough how Alkaline is "really alkaline"? The Sun Valley/red maples would "prefer" slightly acidic. If its off the charts alkaline and if its a very dry spot you may need to go to the Autumn Blaze.

Are there possibly any other choices?

DO NOT, DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT ammend the soil for ANY tree.

If you are working with a slight slope, put all the native soil back and top dress with a few inches of a organic compost, be sure not to put it next to the trunk.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 4:41PM
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whaas thanks for the response. I wish there were more options around. Most of the nurseries around here carry the same stuff but since it is the end of the season the selection is really limited. I found a 2" caliper sun valley and all the nurseries have a lot of Autumn blaze. I may also be able to get a 2" caliper october glory but I don't like the OG color as much.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 6:03PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I know what your saying. I'd make sure you ask for a discount, or make sure there is some type of coupon. Its not in the nursery's best interest to overwinter B&B product.

2" caliper would be a good size. Just make sure you have a well branched tree with a noticable central leader. Try to avoid co-domindate leaders.

I would go with Sun Valley over the October Glory as well.
The more I read the more I see that Red Maples are going to be subject to chlorosis (yellowing of leaves) in aklaline soils. So if you have anything more than slightly alkaline looks like you need to go to the Autumn Blaze.

Fall color may not be as brilliant and it is a "little" more suseptible to breakage (good branch structure and proper crotch angles will help alleviate any breakage problems). I wouldn't really worry about it, unless your very prone to severe ice storms or severe winds storms (winds gusting more than 50 MPH).

But, Autumn blaze is faster growing and much more tolerant of drought and alkaline soils.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 8:05PM
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I bought the Sun Valley Maple and planted it today. I think it is a really pretty tree. I am posting a photo here for those looking for a Sun Valley Maple. This is a 2" caliper. The photo does not do justice to the leaf color. These leaves literally glow.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sun Valley Maple 2

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 7:14PM
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wynswrld98(z7 WA)

I almost bought a Sun Valley maple at a nursery in my area, saw it in full fall color and if you like red it's the one. I have Autumn Blaze maples, many get a pinkish red vs. a true red although I do have one that gets a more pure red with even some orange on some leaves which is gorgeous. What turned me off of the Sun Valley maple was the leaves were small compared to other trees of its size. I prefer larger leaves. The leaves almost looked more like a Japanese Maple but not quite that small. The tree was about 10' tall.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 10:44PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Looks good...give it a ring of mulch (or strip) and your ready to go.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 10:44AM
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I have both and let me tell you that the Sun Valley this fall has been amazingly beautiful. I've been so impressed with it. The AB was really muted and dark maroon. Both have been in the ground 3 years and are 7-9' tall or so.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 1:19PM
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I ws interested in knowing which tree would work best in my back yard to give privacy. Does the paperbark or sun valley have seed pods? Do they both grow at the same rate?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 9:30AM
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