October Glory or Autumn Blaze?

momtofour(7a)October 19, 2011


We are new to the tree planting world and are looking to replace a silver maple we took down a couple of years ago. We looked into red oak, tulip poplar and maples. My husband has his preferences narrowed down to October Glory or Autumn Blaze. The tree will be in our front yard (roughly 60' wide) where a Norway maple (I think) grows off to the side. That tree will be coming out as soon as the new one is established because the roots have grown into our sewer line and we are going to need extensive work done. Our intention is that the new tree will be the only tree in the front yard. I want a tree without the invasive surface roots that the Silver Maple had. The existing maple would have been perfect where the Silver was and my original thought was to plant one there. But the Autumn Blaze and October Glory are what he has come up with.

I've seen the fall color which will be a nice plus and something to enjoy, but my greatest concerns are roots, shade and long-term health. Which of these has less chance for surface roots and a more-rounded growing habit to provide more shade across our house? Is there anything else I should look at when comparing these two trees?

Thanks for any thoughts or tips. We want to get this right as this is the only tree we hope to plant out there!

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I was in the same situation 2 years ago. We went with the October Glory after dozens of recommendations. The Autumn blaze is half silver maple and has a lot of the same issues. My october Glory fall color this year was outstanding.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 5:29PM
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Thanks for the info, rmac78. I saw that Autumn blaze was a cross of silver maple and was concerned it would have those tendencies. But then I couldn't seem to find anything definitive about October Glory and didn't want to buy it if it was a cross, too!

Does October Glory have a more rounded shape as well?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 8:11PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

If you have alkaline soil cross October Glory off the list.

I see your in zone 7a, both plants seem to have a serious issue with frost cracking in zone 6. Something to consider if they are exposed to south sun.

October glory might be considered a bit more rounded. Autumn blaze is much faster growing.

Both will have surface root issues down the road. Neither plant is good for gardening under after its quite established.

Acer truncatum is a bit more rounded and has less aggressive roots. The 'Fire Dragon' cultivar has intense red fall color.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 4:20PM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

I have an October Glory and 2 Red Sunset Maples. I love all of them, as per my username. lol

I absolutely adore my October Glory. I have had NO problems with crack issues at all. I wrap the trunks up to the branch line though with tree wrap right before Thanksgiving and they all do just great. We put a 6 foot hardware cloth fence around them to keep the rabbits out. We usually have 4 feet of snow in our backyard all winter long, and the rabbits out here are numerous as are deer. Even found a chipmunk the other day. First chipmunk we've ever seen out here in the almost 10 years we've lived here.

To get back to the trees, my October Glory grew 2 1/2 feet this spring and summer. Amazing! The fall color of the Red Sunsets are so gorgeous you wouldn't believe it. We had just planted our Red Sunsets last fall so they grew less than a foot this year, but that's what our October Glory did the first year of planting too.

You would adore having an October Glory, the tree is beautiful. I love the shape and they grow so fast if you water them well. They like their feet wet for sure. All my trees are on the SE part of my property and get full sun all day long. Never had a problem with cracking or anything.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 11:24AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Very true, if you wrap them they definitely won't have as many issues.

You'd have to sustain that for quite some time until the bark starts developing ridges.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 1:49PM
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dirtman16(7a/b AL)

I have an October Glory in zone 7b that does wonderfully. It's turning red/orange right now and has grown at least 2-3 feet per year since I planted it (was about 10 feet tall at planting). It's probably the best performing tree in my yard.

I had a couple of Autumn Blazes in my old yard in south Alabama (zone 8). They had reliable, almost fluorescent fall foliage there (which is unusual that far south), but I was unimpressed with their overall form. I think the October Glory is structurally a much better specimen. And it's by no means a slow grower.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 4:35PM
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Some nice October Glory pics in this thread.


Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Web link

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 9:52PM
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Thank you for the info! We decided on the October Glory and got it in the ground last week. I can't wait to watch this tree next year! I think we'll wrap it to avoid frost cracking as advised. How do we handle watering over the winter? We'll be turning our outside faucets off soon, but I assume it'll still need watering? If so, what's a nice slow way to do it by container?

I'm very grateful to have this forum to be able to get advice from those who have been there!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 8:12PM
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