Sugar maple luck of draw?

dbarron(z7_Arkansas)November 30, 2013

30 years ago, when my parents moved into a field, I planted trees. Among them I chose a sugar maple for their brilliant fall color. I really wanted fiery red such as I frequently see in the older trees in town (like 100 yr old).
Until this year, I don't recall it ever *having* any fall color, however, either due to weather and late first frost (or something?), I got some color as below:

Is it genetics, or does the color not show till later in life? Have I any hope of that brilliant scarlet?

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Maybe buy a 'Bailsta' and see what you get from that.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Maybe buy a 'Bailsta' or other named, clonal selection and see what you get from that. There has been selecting of sugar maples for superior fall color and other attributes for some years.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 3:19PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Totally different climate but its rare to get scarlett/red fall color from any sugar maple around here. Usually yellow with tones or orange and or red.

I believe the Caddo maples tend to be more red, especially in your area.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 9:59PM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

well being as I've waited 30 years on this one...seems I probably don't have time to start over ;)
I'd be in my 80s by then...and probably not live here (if alive at all).
But thanks for the feedback. I do see maples that are red...and they're of the sugar clan (old maples more than 50 yrs old (quite possibly even 100) in town), but guess they're just luckier than me or selections were made even way back then.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 11:39AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Why do you have to wait? They get their fall color at an early age. Selections may just range in the palette based upon weather.

John Pair, Flashfire, Autumn Splendor are all potential red selections that would adapt to your area.

Could any of the plants you see actually be red maples?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 8:19PM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

No, there's a difference in the glossiness/sheen of a red maple vs a sugar maple. I'm not mistaken.
I meant that it's taken about 30 years to get a specimen size (more or less) maple. I planted it when I was in college. I'm now middle-aged.
It's at my parent's house...my mother died two months ago and my father is 90 this month. I don't believe I have time to start over. We'll take what we have...after all, 11 months of the year, it'd be teh same.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 8:03AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Leaf shape and coloring of red maple is quite different, as is the branch structure and flowering appearance. The one that red maple is related to (and crosses with) is silver maple; like silver maple red maple has conspicuous silvery undersides to the leaves. Sugar maple is more like Norway maple, can be confused with it.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 9:59PM
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rufretic

Odds are, if in the last 30 years you have not got the color you want, you wont ever lol. You can get some nice reds on suger maples, I like them better than my red maples, but you'll have better luck with cultivars that were picked for that. I'll post a pic of my fall fiesta. I also have a couple green mountains that get nice reds as well. The tree in the picture was only planted a year before the picture, it was more yellow and orange this year. You can get to enjoy these trees almost instantly if you buy one at a decent size even if it won't be huge for many years. My point is, don't feel it is too late to plant another one, you can enjoy it while your still around and others will get to enjoy them for many years after your gone, pretty cool imo. Here is my fall fiesta.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 7:00PM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

I might get around to planting another (I'm hoping to look for a new house this year), but I guess the old one will continue looming over my parents house and not being red.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 7:55AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

rufretic, where are you located?

Fall Fiesta is quite possibly one of the best cultivars. It seems to get consistently nice color year after year in many parts of the US.

It made it through many really hard freezes to yield this color as well.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 7:42PM
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