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To be matter-of-fact about the world is to blunder into fantasy - and dull fantasy at that, as the real world is strange and wonderful.
Robert A. Heinlein

Lord Selkirk Maple

Lord Selkirk sugar maple. Ok. I got behind in the weeding. Look at the range of colours.

Ornamental Maples

Sugar Maple, Red Maple, Tatarian Maple

Maples are noted for their ‘helicopter seeds’ called samaras by botanists. They are shade tolerant, but grow faster in full sun. Two of these get big, too big for most city yards, although they could be used for a street tree, set back 10 feet from the curb.

Hot wings seeds

Hot Wings gives you three treats for the year. Leaves and flowers are both red in early spring. Seeds are bright red in summer. Leaves in fall are blood red.

Lord Selkirk Sugar Maple (Banner picture) I like this cultivar for it's variable fall colour. I have seen deep red, bright orange and clear yellow on the same tree. Sugar maples are the largest of the maples that grow here. Potentially they can get 100 feet tall, and nearly as wide. However you are unlikely to have to worry. Growth rate is only moderate, 1.5 to 2 feet a year when young. A 50 year old tree will typically be about 60 feet.

Hot Wings Tatarian Maple This a tree for for smaller yards. It seldom gets taller than about 20 feet (too high for residential power lines...) with a spread of about 3/4 of that. Extremely cold hardy, and more tolerant of high pH soils than most maples. The leave is oval, not the typical maple shape. Tiny red flowers in spring that look more like a tuft of strings.

Autumn Spire Red Maple (At right) Plant, take care of it for 2 years, ignore. Autumn Spire is a broadly columnar tree, usually being about twice as tall as wide. Height 40 to 50 feet, width 20 to 25 feet. Flowers are small, but red, and appear before the leaves. Leaves start out red in spring, then go green. Seeds are red in late spring then ripen to brown. In fall the leaves are BRIGHT scarlet.

Autumn Spire Red Maple is adaptable to many soil types, but does not like alkali soils. In much of central Alberta high pH soils are often found on eroded hilltops, low pH in depressions with high organic matter, but there are enough exceptions that you want to make a soil test both of the top soil, and the subsoil 16 inches down. (If your top soil goes down 16 inches, don't bother with the second test.) Soils currently or recently covered in bush are almost certainly fine, as is any soil that is obviously peaty. Soil that looks like a brick factory in search of a home is very suspect.

Autumn Spire Maple

Autumn Spire maple. Tired of yellow leaves in fall? Is that red or is that red?

These trees are usually available in 6 gallon to 15 gallon size trees, typically at about 10 bucks a gallon. Height ranges from 5-6 feet for the smallest to 10-12 feet at the larger end. I try for 8 footers in 8 gallon pots. Unsold ones move up a pot size in fall.

Most years I bring in 10-20 of each of these. If you know you want a bunch, order ahead I sold out of Autumn Spire Red Maple last year (2016) by the end of February. This year I ordered twice as many. Sold out April 4th.

More info

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Sherwood's Forests is located about 75 km southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Please refer to the map on our Contact page for directions.