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Sugar maple luck of draw?

Posted by dbarron Z6/7 (Oklahoma) (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 30, 13 at 7:02

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:
Remember shots close to home

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


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Sugar maple luck of draw?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 2, 13 at 15:14

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


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RE: Sugar maple luck of draw?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 2, 13 at 15:19

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.


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RE: Sugar maple luck of draw?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 4, 13 at 21:59

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.


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RE: Sugar maple luck of draw?

  • Posted by dbarron Z6/7 (Oklahoma) (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 6, 13 at 11:39

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.


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RE: Sugar maple luck of draw?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 6, 13 at 20:19

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?


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RE: Sugar maple luck of draw?

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.


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RE: Sugar maple luck of draw?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 8, 13 at 21:59

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.


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RE: Sugar maple luck of draw?

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.


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RE: Sugar maple luck of draw?

  • Posted by dbarron Z6/7 (Oklahoma) (My Page) on
    Sat, Dec 21, 13 at 7:55

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.


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RE: Sugar maple luck of draw?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 27, 13 at 19:42

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.

 photo P1040336.jpg


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