Planting Trees and Shrubs in Fall
February 11, 2004
It’s a good time to be planting trees and shrubs. One good source of fall color that does well here are the varieties of ginnala or amur maple. This autumn-red beauty is seeing more use here in the valley.
Amur maple is normally a small tree or very large shrub, depending on its trunk habit. Different specimens of the species can turn from yellowish-orange tones in some, and bright reds with many others in the fall.
Most are more intense, but there are some individuals out there that are more muted, albeit nice. That’s why it’s a good idea to purchase the species in the fall.
There is more good news. This versatile maple comes in full-size and smaller shrub varieties. The durable north Asian native also does well in our local soils.
The variety “flame” is a hybrid that is true to color – bright red with scattered orange tones when it peaks.
It is usually sold as a tree variety, that is the trunk is pruned to a single main trunk and it grows to a medium-small tree. It can also be found as a multi-trunk, and makes a spectacular giant shrub.
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“Compacta” is a smaller variety that is sold as a shrub that maxes out to roughly six feet (but it varies). It generally turns reds and oranges with a few stray yellow splashes. Dwarf amur maple is a good one to pick in the fall, so you know what its fall colors will be in years to come.
Amur maple gets by on low water fairly well. It just grows slower and stays smaller. It will need a little in any dry periods.
The species is certainly worth considering as a tree, as well. When you can pick fall colors, you can find some awesome individuals, and it is a reliable grower.
If you are in Denver and can find any of the more maroon varieties, they are stunning, too.
There are some gorgeous examples turning to fall attire. Check out the choice ginnalas in the town of Vail plantings, the town of Avon landscapes, the Avon Library, and some nice ones have showed up in Eagle.
Its summer leaf color is a pleasing green, and its red stems and samara wings are nothing but attractive in combination with the foliage.
It is easily a “top 10.” This versatile Acer is an ace. “Compacta” makes a great decidous specimen and screen.
The full-size varieties make great little trees, and if grown from a shrub form, make good giant screens. To boot, their winter branch form is one of the nicest among both small trees and shrubs.
The fall splash lasts long enough to provide a hot contrast to our yellows for weeks. It looks really nice mixed in with sumacs with their own reds in the fall.
This Manchurian maple is worth a call and a trip to any nursery that has it in stock. Put it on a drip system and enjoy.